Your Child: A Blessing or A Burden?
I know. If EVER there was a loaded question, that is it—since it depends on when I ask you. And that’s real talk.
So in this episode we take a step back to discuss how to acknowledge your feelings while holding on to truth.
Homework: Honor Your Feelings
Motherhood isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. So, journal the journey. Note the situations when your kids feel like burdens, but before the day is out, write the ways they bless you too—for a balanced narrative.
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Episode 24 Transcript
Your children, are they a burden or a blessing? Well, real talk, it depends on when I’m asking you doesn’t it? And it’s we’ll get into all that in episode 24 of Motherhood Unmasked.
Hey there Mama Bare, Vanessa here with compassion, candor and clarity for you, the mom battling overwhelm and craving real talk. It’s good to have you here.
So we’re 9 months in to this pandemic and whether your kids are distance learning, home schooling or physically going to school, their needs are taking up a lot of your mental real estate and physical energy.
And I give you permission to feel all the feelings that come with that.
Anger that you’re still dealing with this dumb pandemic that vaccine or not, will affect you for several more months.
Frustration at having to give more of yourself to your spouse and kids than ever despite suffering your own effects of a world turned upside down.
And sadness at the loss of freedom and family members due this invisible pestilence taking laps around the earth.
And I get it. It’s squeezing the life out of you.
But if you’re like me, when you get squeezed you spill all over the ones looking up to you.
Real talk, my children are the first ones I’m impatient with and the first ones I blame for needing me so much when I’m already stretched so thin.
And yes, how much they pull on you depends on their age, but you know what?
even know-it-all teenagers can be quite helpless when they get ready.
And who else is going to notice how the stress of this year is impacting them?
Who’s going help them process their emotions when youre still figuring out how to process yours?
Who’s the one with the answers?
You of course, who else?
And all that need to eat, have clean clothes, have structure, have supplies, and have you be their peripheral brain day in and day out—every year, but particularly this year—spells burden.
It’s why I hide in my closet or in my bathroom or in my car in the garage for a few moments more before heading back into the fray.
And it’s easy to stay in those feelings.
You may even say you’re well within your right to quietly resent all the giving you’re doing.
You certainly wouldn’t be alone.
I read an article recently discussing how the pandemic and its repercussions set back 100 years the gains women made in the workforce.
As a case in point, the writer highlights a married working mom of two elementary school aged girls, who’s struggling under the demands of distance learning.
Lord knows we get it. We feel her pain, right?
The mom goes on to share that early in her marriage she tried to conceive but couldn’t and tried every thing available including spending tens of thousands in in vitro treatments to birth the two daughters she has today.
Then she further sacrificed to stay home with them till they were school aged but now that they’re in school and she finally has a career she loves, she had to quit her job to stay home with the girls and oversee their virtual schooling.
And what do you think she asked?
What about me, when’s it my turn?
And honestly, my first thought was quit your whining.
You were desperate to become a mom.
You put your body and your wallet through trauma to have those girls and now you want to tell me raising them is a burden!
But then I took off my judgment hat and put on my compassion one.
The one where you put yourself in someone else’s place to see life thru their lens.
And I realized the issue was she had given and given and given.
She willingly gave her body over to painful injections and non-romantic encounters based on body temperature, then egg harvesting and embryo implantation followed by years of investing full time attention in her girls and now she’s called on to give even more!
And that pain, I felt that pain.
But then I thought about my mom, who though she birthed two daughters, is NOT the poster child for a giving mother.
I watched her become as invested as ever in motherhood when my sister was diagnosed with cancer.
The child once seen as a burden became so precious.
My mom’s cool demeanor now replaced with warm tears.
And as I watched my mom watch my sister fight but eventually die I thought…the blessing of my children outweighs any season of burden.
I know you don’t WANT to hear anything resembling “this is a season” or “this too shall pass,” but sometimes you have to hear things you don’t want to because it’s truth.
This too shall pass.
2020 has passed.
This pandemic will pass.
And the burden of serving your family in overdrive will pass.
But what will never pass is the blessing your children are. Yes, even the ones that get on your nerves.
Remember that as you pretend to use the toilet just to get a moment to vent, to cry, to pray, to meditate, to gather yourself in peace.
Remember they’re not your problem, they’re your hope that better is coming.
And after you honor your real feelings, give them a smile or a hug because youre grateful you can.
And that brings me to the segment of the show called HOMEWORK: the work a woman does to build her home and family.
This week’s homework assignment is creating a balanced narrative.
And by narrative I mean the story we tell ourselves about ourselves, others or an occasion we experience.
It’s easy to get stuck seeing a story a certain way, especially if there are strong feelings associated with it.
Earlier I asked if your kids are a burden or a blessing. And there’s a story you believe that informs your answer.
But the truth is you can see them either way depending on the circumstances.
And if you see them negatively long enough, you can get stuck misnaming them a burden permanently.
So, your HOMEWORK is to keep your journal or phone handy and whenever you feel like your child is a burden, write a note about the scenario.
But for every burden narrative you write, write something about that child, or being that child’s mother that’s a blessing before the day ends.
Because it’s right to honor your feelings, but not at the expense of truth. You and I need a balanced narrative…
If that exercise helps you, I’d love to hear about it.
That’s also where you can sign up with your email to access resources like my praying for your child template, 10 power meditations for Moms, the Motherhood Unmasked signature tshirt and more.
All the goods are at vinelifefaith.com/podcast.
It’s been great hanging with you today.
I hope something I shared gave perspective to the very real challenges your facing right now.
And remember as you wrestle with finding the blessing in children that feel like burdens, you are STILL the woman for the job. Take care.