Faith, Parenting

I will never leave you

I write this post propped up against a giant stuffed tiger on the bottom bunk bed watching over my youngest. He awoke in the middle of the night shouting for me as he was sick. He seemed instantly brighter afterwards, and even smiled his heartstoppingly sweet smile to crack a joke while washing his hands. 

He lay back down in to bed and I gently stroked his hair and prayed for him, but he seemed fitful and he kept looking up to check that I was still there. He waved my fingers away from his hair, not wanting to be mithered, so I simply sat in silent prayer watching him. 

After a few minutes of sitting on the floor next to his head, I shifted my weight slightly and he immediately looked up and said, “Where are you going Mommy?”

“No where baby,” I replied, “Do you want me to stay?”

He nodded quietly, so I grabbed my dressing gown, pillow and a book, and settled down at the bottom of his bed to watch him instantly relax and drift off to sleep.

As I watched him, my momma’s heart sad and prayerful, I felt the father heart of God remind me of how He watches us. He knows that sometimes we don’t need to be held,  we just need to know that someone is watching over us.

Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber or sleep. Psalm 121:4 NIVUK

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIVUK

Our Heavenly Father never sleeps, He never slumbers. He never lets you out of His sight, not even for one second. You may not feel His hand on your shoulder today, but I guarantee you that He has His eye on you today and always. 

Rest easy tonight knowing that the One who flung the stars into the sky and set the world in motion has you firmly in His sights and gently in His hands.

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5 NIVUK
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Parenting

Working Mom Woes

wahm

So here I am, sat in soft play, trying to bottom out some deadlines before the weekend. It is quieter than usual – possibly because most self-respecting parents don’t palm their kids off to soft play as soon as school’s out on a Friday – and I am trying to dodge the deprecating stares from moms who think I shouldn’t have my head stuck in a laptop.

Just to reassure you, I do know where my kids are. Mainly because I can hear their 100 decibel shrieks echo around the building, but also because I have placed myself right next to the exit with a full view of the entire place, so there is no way that they can escape without my knowing.

But alas, the mommy guilt is still there.

Yes, I am not playing with my boys right now, but that is because mommy has to earn to pay for their future. I also don’t want to be glued to the screen for the weekend as I firmly believe in setting aside Saturday and Sunday for quality time as a family, but in order to do that tomorrow I need to work now. The fact that the boys were ecstatic at the prospect of soft play madness straight after school is irrelevant, however, I still feel guilty. Then there is the distinctly un-homemade sausage, chips and beans dinner they have just wolfed down that gives me guilt pangs about processed food, despite the fact that I know they wouldn’t touch the Spanish paella I have planned for later.

This is not an everyday occurrence. Most days, my boys play outdoors, in parks, woods or wherever they can get to a patch of grass or puddle of mud. Most days they eat homemade food with me around the dining room table. Most days they keep me entertained for hours with Lego building and ninja battles.

But today is not that day, and that is OK too.

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Parenting

To the mom at the nursery gates

“It does get easier I promise”.

The words I gently spoke to a mom at nursery this morning as her son buried his head into her shoulder, crying before we even got through the front door. Her own lip wobbling, and tears filling her eyes, she tried to smile and spoke in a soothing, singing voice to reassure her toddler that he was doing so well and everything would be OK. She was dressed for work, and this was only his second week in to childcare, and the novelty of new toys and new faces had clearly worn off as he cling to her side. He didn’t want new toys or new friends today, he just wanted his momma.

My heart broke for them both. I wanted to tell her to quit the job, to scoop up her baby and take him home. I wanted to tell her that he needed her more than her manager did, more than her clients did. I wanted to tell her that she needn’t miss out on a single second of his precious little life for the sake of a few pounds in the bank.

But of course, that is ridiculous.

Some mothers work. Some mothers have no choice but to work, some are single moms who are fighting to keep the bills paid and food on the table. Some are high flying business women who have overcome incredible odds to establish their enterprise and they need to keep their business going. Some are climbing the career ladder now while they are young so they can provide for their children’s future. Some just flat out need a break from motherhood, and being an employee for several hours a day allows them to have the mental stimulation and adult company that they have craved during the last 12 months of maternity leave.

There is no right or wrong here, and far be it from me to judge any mother, whether she works full time in the office or works as a full time mom. In my humble opinion both roles are equally challenging and equally rewarding. But I do want to reach out to all the moms out there this week who have had to leave their crying babies at nursery or preschool, for all the moms who tried to hold back her tears until she got back in the car, for all the moms who are clock watching until it is pick up time.

I want to tell you that you are a good mom.

You are doing your level best for your babies, and sometimes that means walking them through difficult but necessary separation as they grow. Tears will cease and smiles will take their place, and you will both get through this tricky transition time unscathed.

Take a deep breath, take one day at a time, take the pressure off, and know that this too will pass.

He gently leads the mothers with their young ~ Isaiah 40:11

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