I have a kid.
I guess I just needed to see that statement in order to process it and let it sink in.
I have a whole human being that I’m responsible for, and I don’t know what the heck God was thinking. I have no clue how to raise a boy. I’m still tryna figure out how to raise my own self.
Oh, Ethan….my Ethan. He really is my life. And it’s super weird because I’m super selfish. Not only am I super selfish, but the expectations I put on my son are just unreal. You see, when I had Ethan, I just KNEW he would be just like me in every way. He’d be studious and focused. He’d be super obedient. He’d be a bookworm and be well known in school as a favorite of every teacher he comes in contact with.
I bet God found my imaginary Ethan hilarious.
What I got instead was a little boy that is always on 10. I got a son that eats like an old man (neck bones, rice and gravy, and beef tips type eating..ewww). I LOVE seafood. He’s allergic. He’s not the teacher’s pet. He’s the class clown, and he LOVES attention. Any time his school calls, I cringe because I just know it’s not a call to tell me how perfect my little angel has been, but to tell me his behavior is getting out of hand. I don’t know how many times I’ve cried out to God: “HOW MUCH MORE OF THIS CAN I TAKE??? I don’t know what I’m doing, Lord, and You’re not giving me any answers! Where are you???”
I’m not 100% sure if God’s answer was this, but I took Ethan to get evaluated for ADHD. *Sigh* The doctor diagnosed him with this, and to me, it made me feel like a complete failure. I felt like the worst mom ever. I still do. It sucks. Sure, it’s helped minimize the school calls, and I know for a fact that it does help him focus, but still. Why couldn’t Ethan be just like me, Lord? Why? Everyone has an opinion about it, too. Some people are for it. Most people are telling me that it’s not needed. Well, those “most people” don’t get the constant calls and requests to meet with teachers on what suggestions I can give on how to handle my son. Ya’ll. One day, I got so hot and fed up with the teachers and that dumb Class Dojo thing (this stupid app that gives teachers the ability to message you and rate your kid’s behavior for the day), that I told them that I didn’t go to school to be a teacher, so I have no suggestions. What I do to punish my son, you can’t, so please stop asking me for suggestions. I’ll talk to him and punish him at home, and you do what you can on your end.
God probably wanted to choke me. I’m sorry, Lord, but I was tired.
And ya’ll, it’s not just the ADHD thing I feel guilt over. My son don’t be playin’ about cuttin’ into his time with me.
Can I get my groove back, Jesus without playin’ 20 questions with Ethan?
“Where you going?” “Why you leaving?” “Whhhyyyy can’t I go?” Shoot, Ethan. Can I live??? It’s crazy. It’s really been us two for so long, so I get why he be trippin, but still, Ethan. Can you not make me feel bad about dates? All it does is make me feel like Ethan will never be ready to let someone in our space. And I understand 100%. What’s a constant on my mind is how will I ever get to be serious with anybody without my kid feeling abandoned or left behind in some way? Who will love my son as his own? Who will be special enough to invade our little world??
It’s funny. I have all this guilt lodged inside myself, and I do all this venting to God about how He’s giving me no instruction on how to raise Ethan. I literally think this as soon as Ethan gets a negative report at school: “Here we go again, Lord. You done left me hangin.” I cry and pray and pray and cry about how to raise this boy the right way, and all I get silence. Did you forget me, Lord????
No. He didn’t. It’s impossible for Him to forget me or my son.
I read this and could not stop thinking how crazy amazing my God is:
Isaiah 49:14-15 (NLT):
14 Yet Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us;
the Lord has forgotten us.”
15 “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!
Wow! WOWWWW! God is so gracious and such a good good Daddy to have that in His Word just for me. I do all this shakin my fist at Him and being upset, and it’s all for nothing. My God knew the exact struggles and questions I’d have, and He ain’t trippin’ about any of it. Neither should I. I’m not perfect. I don’t have it all together, but God sees me trying and so does Ethan. There’s so much I want for my son. I want to travel the world with him. I want to show him that I’m strong. I want to show him that I depend fully on Jesus every single day of my life. I want to allow him to be a kid and have fun because sadly, we can’t be kids forever. I want my son to live his very best life right alongside his mama. And if I, me, this super selfish person, wants all this for my son, I can’t even imagine the amazing plans my amazing God has in store for us both. God made me Ethan’s mom for a reason, and He holds me responsible for raising him right. God didn’t make a mistake in calling me to parent Ethan. Nope. He did not.
When I found out I was pregnant, I thought for sure I’d get a girl. I soooo thought I wanted a girl. When I went for my sonogram or ultrasound (whichever one it’s called, lol) the doctor was moving that thingie on my belly, and the kid would just not move, ya’ll. It just sat there on the screen with that big head. The doctor was like, this is a lazy baby. Right then and there, I was like, oh noooo. It’s a boy.
The doctor was like, oh, there’s the penis, it’s a boy!
My face went blank like that emoji with the straight lined mouth. Then, I cried.
My mom comforted me by telling me that boys are so special. They grow up and they really take good care of their moms. They really love their mom. (She ended up being right, as always).
After I got over the shock of finding out a boy was taking up residence in my belly, I had to think of a name. What will this little one be named? I had a book with names, and I highlighted the ones I thought were keepers. I just couldn’t narrow it down, though. Well, my linesister and roommie at the time was like, “What about Ethan?” Hummmm. Ethan. Since my weird self loves looking up name meanings, I decided to look up Ethan. What I read had me sold. I saw that not only did that name appear in the Bible, but the meaning of the name got me.
Ethan means firm, strong and long-lived.
That’s so my baby. He’s strong. He’s strong enough to handle my attitude and accept my apologies. He’s firm, especially when it comes to Jesus. Shoot, ya’ll. When Ethan be telling me stuff about the Lord, I just get amazed. His personality is large and in charge. People that meet him fall in love with him. Even the teachers that complain can’t help but say how charming my son is. He’s so much more than what I could have ever made in my imagination. He so lives up to his name. When I put him to bed and he says his prayers, my heart just melts because I know that if I feel this way, God feels a million times more touched because he created my son. Ethan, I don’t know what I’m doing. But I am so trying to be better for you and for God. I want you to know that you are my world and I’m trying to build the best life I can for us. This mommy guilt be having me undone, but God is always there helping me work through it all. I will learn to manage it by taking it to Him daily. God, thank you for knowing that I needed this little boy to change my life. Thank you for entrusting me with Your gift. Thank you for NEVER forgetting me or him. You’re amazing, and I love you.
2 thoughts on “I don’t know how to manage mommy guilt”
Every week you amaze me with your gift for words. Ethan is a true gift from God
Personally I believe you have unrealistic expectations for you too. I believe especially in media you do fine job. In finance class you did well. It will always be difficult to enjoy life when you don’t feel good enough. If you ask me you are. God bless and keep writing i really enjoy reading this.