By Christi Stone
So often I read articles about how to parent when I “think” I have it all together but what happens when I find myself in a season of drought? How do I continue to be and do everything that is my “normal” as a mom to do? I don’t. It took me a long time to learn that truth but once I had the “ta da” that not just as the seasons will change, so will your role as mom. When I recognized and adopted this truth I found a new onset of freedom.
Most of you know I have six amazing children, who by Kingdom standards, are all mine. But in the world’s eyes we are what you call a modern day blended family. We don’t use that term in our home but we recognize that we are considered one. When I married my husband, Shane, we combined and collaborated our families to become ONE…in every sense, but along the way there were so many lessons I learned.
In the beginning, I set out to make sure that NO ONE could tell we were blended. I wanted each kid to be treated exactly the same way, that way no one could ever tell they were “step” brothers and sister. I feared the stigma that came with that word “step” and felt as though it wasn’t an accurate representation of our family. I continued this mindset of thinking for about one year, and you guessed it…IT CRASHED and BURNED. All of the sudden, it felt like everything I did with my children was like swimming up stream. Nothing seemed to be as seamless as I thought, and I was dry. I was exhausted trying to continue to parent every child the same and the same way I did the season before. Oh sweet mama’s, you can’t do it and here’s why....
A. Your children are NOT the same. They are each individually beautifully created by the hand of God. And at times in their life, most often different times in their life, they will be broken and facing different challenges along the way, thus requiring different strengths and qualities from you as their mama. This is where we as mamas–if we don’t recognize not everything looks and will be the same–can find ourselves disappointed when we don’t see the progress in our child we hoped to see that we saw in our other child. We can feel defeated when we realize they are not responding to our strategy that worked before and feel dry when we feel as though we have given all we had and it just didn't seem to be enough. Take heart!! Just be you. I have recognized that this is the MOST powerful quality I have in raising and instilling values into my kids. I am not the same with each child as I once believed I needed to be.
B. There is only ONE you!! Mamas, if you are in a season where you are feeling like it’s the desert for whatever reason and you are in search of water...REST. Rest is something that as moms there is always a shortage of. There always seems to be another dish to put in the dishwasher, clothes that need to be folded, lunches that need to be made, homework that needs to be done. The list could go on forever, right? I have learned that rest can look like so many things for each of us, but it is imperative to all of us. You can not pour out what you do not have. Giving the best you to your children is a rested you.
C. Being overwhelmed and being dry DOES NOT disqualify your mom skills. MOM GUILT is often a very well used tactic from the enemy because it’s a bus we as mom’s so easily jump on. We feel guilty for a plethora of reasons and I used to have a list a mile long. UNTIL. Until I realized, while yes, I was a mom of six, I was still me. I was still human! And while I am gonna make mistakes with my kids and blow it big a few times, ok maybe more than a few times....I was HANDPICKED to raise my children, and SO ARE YOU. Yes, you. You have been handpicked by God to raise those sweet little darlings you call your children. Whether you are young mom, single mom, experienced mom, mom of multiplies, or mom of grown children, wherever you find yourself in life, you are chosen and you will never stop being chosen.
Why do I share all of this? Because it was my journey into the freedom of realizing that God blends everything and it is not something for me to fear. Not all my children can be treated the same. I realized by trying to fit them in a box of familiarity I was reducing their identity. I was minimizing what makes them…them. I realized if God chose me then He will equip me to parent them even when I don’t understand, when I feel disappointed, defeated, dry or I have seriously blown it in a situation. He will equip me and He will you too.
So when you find yourself in a season where you are dry and don’t know what to do, or things don’t look like you thought…REST. Be kind to yourself and remind yourself there is only one you.
And last but not least remember that you are handpicked and chosen. YOU. You are not only the perfect mom for your kids in and out of seasons, you are the CHOSEN mama for your kids. And never forget to JUST BE YOU... God will fill take care of the rest.
Christi is a wife and mom to six children through blended family. She attends and leads at Garden Valley Church in Roseburg, Oregon, is a published author, and founder of Just Be You Ministries. Her favorite drink is cold brew coffee and her favorite sweet treat is an old fashioned chocolate donut. She enjoys reading, traveling and hosting her friends and family at home. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!