Motherhood means not losing control, even on those days when my kids make me question my abilities as a parent.
My strong willed child is four years old. I figured out that she was a strong willed child when she was 2.5. Her sister was born, and she fought to remain queen on the throne. I had to remind her that I was queen, and that even though mommy had to divide her attention between the two girls, I didn’t love her any less. I also had to remind her that if anyone was going to be worn down, it was going to be me, not her.
But one day I lost it. Physically, mentally & emotionally.
I was on the way to church and backed into my yard like I’d done a million times. There is a spot right in between a ditch and a plant that we use to keep from backing into a busy road. Melody was screaming (demanding) a particular song be played as I was backing up. Not only was she working my nerves, but I was late for children’s church and I was the teacher that week. While yelling at her to calm down, I backed into the ditch instead of the grassy area. It didn’t help that the ditch was muddy. I sat in the car thinking that this day couldn’t get any worse and started to cry. But then I realized that I’m the mom. I have to remain in control. I now have a new baby and a 2.5 year old in a car stuck hanging over a ditch.
I texted a friend, and fellow Children’s church teacher to let her know that I wouldn’t be at church because my car was stuck. She asked if I had talked with Justin (my husband), and I told her I hadn’t. I attempted to call and text him, but at the time, he was one of the musicians and I knew that he was already on the stage at church playing and his phone was more than likely on silent.
A kind stranger stopped and helped me get the girls out of the car. As I handed the car seat to him, I suddenly panicked. What if he took my baby and ran off? I racked my brain as to what I would do. I quickly unbuckled Melody so I could keep an eye on him. He had idea how to get me out of the ditch, so he asked if I needed anything else and went on his way. Then I was overcome with guilt. God had sent me this kind person to help, and I was worrying about the harm he would do to my children.
Long story short, I called a relative and he, along with my neighbor, pulled me out with his truck. Only by the grace of God, there was no damage to my car. My husband made it home and went to bed with a migraine. I was overcome with emotions and cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. I was now angry with my spouse for abandoning me (my perception) in my time of need. He saw that his family was safe, so in his mind, all was well. I needed comfort. I needed someone to tell me it would all be okay.
Melody stood there and looked at me, while Daphne remained asleep in her car seat. As I sat there feeling sorry for myself, the Lord reminded me that he had done everything I was looking for my husband to do. He provided a stranger to help me get the girls out of the car. He provided family and my neighbor to get my car out of the ditch with no damage. I realized that I was putting my trust in the wrong place and I was relying too much on my own strength.
As parents, we don’t have all the answers. There are times when our children make us feel totally incompetent. It’s those times that we need to lean on Jesus. His strength is perfect when our strength is gone.
As a wife, I trust my husband to be the leader of our family, however Christ needs to be the center of my life. Ultimately my peace of mind needs to come from Christ, not my husband.
That day I promised myself that I would never let myself get caught up in my emotions to the point that I lose control.
Diedre Anthony is a full time school counselor, mother and wife. In her blog Are Those Your Kids?, she focuses on her experiences of raising her biracial girls in an interracial marriage. Her posts are filled with helpful tips about raising children, diversity, curly hair as well as entertaining stories, and anecdotes. Several of her posts have been published by the Huffington Post. You can also connect with Diedre on Instagram, and Twitter!