A friend was visibly frustrated the other day as her four-year old daughter had a fit, in a room full of people. She said it had been going on for about two weeks and was driving her crazy. She mentioned how much she has enjoyed her babies, so small and cute, but how she now feels completely inept as her daughter gets older.
I quickly sputtered some words of advice - a few super good ones - like, "It just gets worse as they get older!" and "I often cry myself to sleep with feelings of guilt as I realize that I've ruined my once perfect little baby and I will never be able to fix him or her again!"
Wow. I think, more than anything, I wanted to give advice, but didn't give myself time to think about it - just blurted it out as the opportunity presented itself and I couldn't let it pass! I just love to give advice.
Then I shared something with her that a dear friend shared with me over the weekend. She had eight children in eleven years. She said, "The greatest thing I learned after experiencing all of those years and knowing what I know now is that if I kept trying and doing my best, Heavenly Father would make up for the rest. I wasn't perfect. I wanted to have control, but I couldn't. I made lots of mistakes. But now, I look at my kids and I know, without a doubt, that Heavenly Father made up for my ineptitude. My children acquired numerous traits, talents, habits, testimonies, etc. that my husband and I never taught them or demonstrated for them. Heavenly Father filled in where I neglected to do so. My children developed in wonderful ways, ways that I never would have predicted or expected because of how my husband and I raised them."
She is one of those people that I want to get a paper and pencil and take notes whenever she speaks. She is so full of love and goodness.
Anyways, this weekend I appreciated this advice immensely. I needed it. More than anything, I think my children will teach me to be humble. I hope somewhere in there I can teach them something, but I'm not sure if that actually ever happens. I was grateful for my friend's perspective, her reminder that Heavenly Father is aware of our needs, and more importantly, our children's needs, and that he is invested in them and wants them to succeed, be happy, make good choices - all of the things we want for them - and He will help us make it happen.