Parenting a toddler is hard. The back half of two years old has sent me running for the cookies after bedtime more than once.
Sometimes I feel like my patience meter is so low that it’s clicking backward.
Tonight I got him ready … changed diapers brushed teeth put PJs on before dipping out of his room to put his sister to bed, and went back in to him to read books. I sat on his little bed surrounded by his many blankets and stuffed animals and we practiced his memory verse—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. When we finished it hit me: Christ can give me patience when I have none in my own flesh.
“Harry, do you think Jesus can help me be patient when I lose my patience?”
“Yeah!” he answered.
And I wanted to weep.
Why do I forget the simplest things? Why do I give in to feeling like I can’t handle it?
God’s Word tells us that His mercies are new every morning and there are some days I go to sleep at night clinging to that.
It can be overwhelming all of the things we are tasked with teaching our children. How to have manners, how to hear the word “no” without losing your mind; how to be generous; how to be a good friend; how it’s not OK to throw your bowl on the floor and feed the dogs from the table. So overwhelming that if you think about it all at once you’ll want to quit before you begin.
It’s why we only get one day at a time. More than that and we’d never make it!
We need the end of the day. We need the dark quiet bedrooms of our children and the chance to go in and smell their sleeping heads and miss them with a longing that belies the fact that just a few hours earlier we were hustling them into their beds and flipping off the lights.
And we need the morning. The clear bright gift of a new day with a new slate and a new chance to try again. A tousled-hair headed toddler who walks into our room and says “Hi mama!” And we begin again.