I am not enough

 

I yelled at my boy today. I mean yelled – like a crazy person. Because – wait for it – he refused to play with the toys I didn’t really want him playing with in the first place.

OK – before you lock me in a padded cell and throw away the key – let me give you some context. Mmm – where to start?

Let’s start with just this morning…

Today, my boy woke up sad. I have no other explanation for it. He’s not a big talker, so I generally spend my time guessing what’s going on in his head. So today, like many other days, I spent my morning worrying about what had set him off. Did something happen that I was unaware of? Did we do something different in our nightly routine? Did we eat something out of the ordinary? You know, all those crazy mom questions that run around in your head.

As the morning progressed, it got worse and worse. He asked to ride his bike, but only sat on it for a bit before wondering off dejectedly. He asked me to get his crash pad out of the cupboard, but after heaving it out, he only looked at it. Finally, after a zillion other examples like this, he asked if he could have the cowboy toys. I try to rotate the boys’ toys so they don’t get bored with them and the cowboys were packed away. Nevertheless, he was showing some interest in something and who knew, this could be what cheered him up. So I dug out the cowboys and gave them to him. I even put out a flour-filled sensory tray for him to put them in. He lost interest as soon as they were out – and I lost my temper at the same time. I told him, in a not too quiet voice, that he would play with them! He refused and became even more dejected. I gave up and walked away to find my husband – mommy was sad now too.

There’s a bigger context to this scenario that needs explaining: My boy started Grade 0 (kindergarten for my non-SA readers) this year and has, from the outset, had a really hard time. We weren’t expecting him to soar through – he had a rough start in life and has needed that bit of extra love and support all along – so we knew it would be a bit of a bumpy ride and that we would need to support him. But what happened was on a whole other level…

He started school and he stopped functioning. He stopped sleeping. He regressed terribly from where he had been and even, at a point, stopped talking almost completely. We had meeting after meeting with his teachers, trying to understand (as were they!) what was going on. We began all the assessments and support we could. Eventually, we took him out and placed him back in his play school to give him the time that we, and the multitude of professionals involved, thought he may need before heading into more formal schooling.

Those are just a few sentences to explain the absolute angst, deep depression and total confusion we have experienced over the last few months. Words don’t seem adequate to explain but they’ll have to do.

My boy is doing much better now. He has only been back at his play school for a few weeks, but he is talking and he is learning and he is happier. And the relief of that is indescribable!

But today, he is sad again and I don’t know why. And no matter what I do, I can’t fix it.

I suppose that is the real context to this story – the context that I am sadly discovering worries me most:

I am not enough

I am not enough to fill the hole left by his biological mother – the woman whose voice filled his newly formed ears in the womb. I am not enough to make the world feel like a safe place after he has come to understand that it is inherently unsafe and unpredictable. I don’t truly understand what he is going through so I never really know how to support him through it. I’m not as patient as I should be. I’m not as educated as I want to be. I don’t have the finances to provide all the therapies he needs. Basically, I just don’t have enough of anything he needs. And that, my friends, is a hard pill to swallow.

I am not enough

A deep dark realisation I carry with me everyday

Perhaps your child is normal too— and by normal, I mean suffers from the range of difficulties that we as humans seem to carry with us so readily: short tempers, constant insecurities, stubborn natures and deep feelings of being unloved.

The truth is, even in the face of these ‘common’ difficulties, we, as parents, are not enough. 

I am not enough

I understand that

But I like to play make-believe anyway

I am imperfect in everyway. I lose heart. I lose my temper. I get deeply sad and discouraged. When I gave my heart to the Lord all those years ago – before the babies, before the blessings and burdens of parenthood – I knew that I was not enough. Not enough to save myself from my sin. Not enough to be good enough for heaven. But He was and that was enough. Today, I am falling on my knees again and telling my Saviour…

I am not enough

I am not enough

It’s time to stop trying to pretend

Just because I am not enough, does not mean I will stop trying to be the perfect mom for both my boys. It means that I should stop being surprised when I fail. Instead, I should look up, ask for strength and forgiveness and keep on keeping on.

I am limited

I don’t have enough to give

But You are limitless

And because of that…

No difficulty is ever the end

 

This scripture says it all:

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Document8Thank you, Lord, for your power in my weakness.

 

Photo credit: Ann&Μay via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND