Monday, March 10, 2014
Beyond Newlyweds & Toddler Tantrums
Honestly, there was a small part of me that was thankful that I wasn't completely alone. It's far easier to talk to someone with children that are older, when you have older children. And I remembered back when our church had a panel of women speak that had grown children offering wisdom and helpful advice to those of us that were in the beginning stages of motherhood. At that time, I only had Wesley and he was just a little guy....maybe 2 years old.
Since then, all kinds of things have come up. Things that I never imagined. And alot of times, feeling helpless, I take my questions or concerns to facebook. I have alot of friends on there with teenager or college age children...and sometimes you just need the encouragement from someone who has been in your shoes. And other times we are able to offer advice and encouragement to someone because we have been in their shoes.
We are always able to pray and listen to others. But sound wisdom and advice that can be respected can really only come from someone who has been where you are standing.
When I first started blogging, I had another blogger ask me to write a piece for her blog on marriage. Because I had been married for 16 years at that point (now going on 18 years) and she felt that I may have a thing or two to offer much of the blogging world, seeing that the majority are younger than I and have been married far less years than I. It was true, I did. And I had a lot of people email me after writing that piece. I shared it several times on different blogs, and those people shared it with others...
And though I have made it through 18 years, I still don't believe I know everything. Nor do I always follow my own advice.
While I respect and read many blogs and listen to many speakers and the knowledge and wisdom they have gained about marriage, children, ministry or life's issues in general... it's when someone has walked ahead of me that I feel I can truly seek something out that I may need to hear. I always feel myself smirk when someone who has been married a year or two gives me marital advice. That doesn't mean I don't take their relationship advice to heart...and to the Lord. Because I do. I'm always looking for opportunity to learn. But my initial reaction is generally "I hope your advice works just as well for you in 15 years."
I cherish the prayers of all I have gone to for prayer. But I also cherish the advice and wisdom who have counsel to offer, because they know what I am still trying to figure out.
That stage of their life has passed.
And that goes for myself too. I never try to offer advice or even relate to something I don't really understand yet. I have another friend that has grown children that has had some struggles & fears recently. And I can't begin to even fathom what she is going through because my children are still fairly young. I offer her prayer and scripture and encouragement and it's genuine, but I can't begin to help or offer 'advice' in areas I have no experience in.
And believe me, I too, want the good healthy wisdom of those who have had teenagers, because I see those years approaching quicker than I realize. I see the attitudes, the more serious issues try to sneak their way in...and I want to know. How do I deal with this?
I've been in tears more than once this past month, completely clueless how to approach certain things. Things that feel bigger than toddler tantrums or sippy cups.
When my ten year old comes home telling me how lonely he is or crying that he is depressed, that sounds big to me. It sounds unheard of. It sounds almost ridiculous. Yet it happens. And it's happened to me.
And I have felt alone trying to figure this out. Trying to be the momma God called me to be.
To the children that God gave me. I know God knows I can do it.
So that must mean I can do it.
But sometimes we just need a little guidance from someone who has been there.
It prompted me to ask this question on twitter a little while ago "How many momma bloggers out there have children over the age of 10?" So far, I haven't gotten one reply. I know a handful of bloggers that do, and that have had similar struggles and I am very thankful I am not alone. But from the blogs I have come across mostly, the women are young mothers of young children.
Not that I am OLD...and I am obviously pregnant again AND I have a preschooler, so I can easily relate to this 'early childhood' stage of life, because not only am I still living it, but have been through it a few times already.
But there is a world of difference between having a baby, a toddler and a preschooler...
than having a preschooler, an older child and a child approaching teen years.
And I'm sure that goes for having a preteen, a teen and a college kid.
And those seasons creep up quicker than you know.
I just wonder who could benefit from older women, and by older I don't mean OLD old. I just mean women who have been there, who are a few steps of head. Women that can not only relate right here and right now because they are in a similar stage as you, women that are friends... but women that have been through it and can offer truth and encouragement.
Am I totally alone on wanting wisdom from someone wiser? Maybe I do have some advice to offer, because I do have older children and have been married longer.
Yet I still need it from someone else...
I thought about over the weekend during my discussion with my two friends, about throwing a panel together at our church for all the mothers of children not yet in their teen years BY the mothers that have been through the whole 18 years of life with children already.
But I'm wondering about this online world as well. One website I love is Thrive Moms. I go to it often and I get alot from it, and not only that but I have actually went to these wonderful ladies for prayer.
But I'm quite sure all these wonderful gals are younger than I...
and sometimes it makes me sad that I have nowhere to go to seek prayer and advice from ladies who are in my season or who have passed my season. While I see breastfeeding and sippy cups and toddler tantrums in my near future. I also see two teenagers in my future just as quickly.
I don't exactly know what I can do about it right now. But I feel a tug on my heart to do something or be a part of something. Because I know what I need. I cherish the encouragement from the wisdom of others. I imagine other mothers or wives need it too.
If you have any thoughts, or let me know. I'd love to hear it.
Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.