{Day #8 in the Let’s Talk Relationships series}

Lori is a sweet friend & a big encourager. I’ve been invited into her story and have loved getting to know her heart for ministry – and for her family. It’s an honor to have her share the honest trust about feeling like you’re not the mom you wanted to be. She gets it, so I invite you to pull up a chair & lean in close. Welcome, Lori!

At some point in our lives, we formed a mental image. The image of a Mother’s love. I don’t know … were we scouring the crowds or simply watching television when we saw the one that made us say,

“That one! That’s the Mom I want to be!”

She made it look so natural. So easy. So perfect.

But the reality of being a Mom is different. It’s not always natural or easy. And most definitely not perfect.

Ever had the thought that you're not the mom you wanted to be? Here is some encouragement from someone who get's it. Pull up a chair & learn to love your child well! || This post is part of a one-month series called "Let's Talk Relationships!" Join us!

That truth has left me questioning myself. Wondering if I’m capable of loving my children well.

How about you? Do you love your children, but walk through your days pushing back the sting of insecurity? Wondering why your reality just doesn’t match up to who you want to be?

Friend, can I whisper encouragement into your heart?

You don’t have to be the Mom of your dreams to love your children well.

You see, loving our children well is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. God didn’t give you that Mom’s kids. He gave you yours.

Loving our children is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal! #relationships #lovingourchildrenwell… Click To Tweet

And yours are unique. Uniquely wired to give and receive love. So how we love them looks differently than how another Mom must love hers. The love we give must resemble the needs of our particular child.

It’s not that we can’t glean lots of helpful strategies and support from the Moms who have gone before us, but we cannot allow them to be our mirrored reflection. We cannot lock ourselves into a one-size-fits-all box. Our children simply won’t fit. And neither will we.

Love has all kinds of moments. Some that are wonderful and some that are not.

Moments where love must dig in and not give up. Where it’s fierce and it does the difficult.

Ever had the thought that you're not the mom you wanted to be? Here is some encouragement from someone who get's it. Pull up a chair & learn to love your child well! || This post is part of a one-month series called "Let's Talk Relationships!" Join us!

A few days ago, I witnessed devastation on the face of a Mom who I call a hero. The tears poured from her grieving heart. She is a Mom who loves fiercely and who rescued her child from the chains of foster care. She dreamed of that joyful lavish love. Only no matter how much she loved, she couldn’t free her child from the chains of previous trauma. His capacity to love and be loved had been altered beyond what one Mom could do.

In the deepest act of love possible, she had to surrender and allow him the support of professional help that would serve him best. All that she had to give with every fiber of her being wasn’t helping him and that is a sting beyond what a Mom can endure without the hope of Christ.

Sweet friend, I am thankful your situation is not to this extreme, but I know your situation still has pieces of the difficult laced throughout it. There’s difficult whether your child struggles with the really tough things like Autism, ADHD, or depression. Or your child has learning, speech, or physical delays. Or even if your sweet treasure simply has a bent toward the spirited, shy, or dramatic type of personality.

Your child is unique. And this uniqueness determines what loving well looks like for you.

Loving well means knowing your child, and even when it looks different than ideal, following through with what they need to help them become the best possible version of themselves.

Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. –Proverbs 22:6 AMPC

My three treasures are all uniquely bent and I understand now that loving well looks different for each one. But I didn’t understand that before even with a Master’s Degree in Education and years of teaching under my belt!

I understand now that loving well looks different for each of my uniquely wired children… Click To Tweet

For one child, his independence kept me from hovering. In his mind, my attempt at “helping” on the school project spoke of a lack of belief in him. I had to step back and sometimes receive looks from other Mothers labeling me as that Mom. Not engaged enough. But the truth is that they weren’t the ones parenting my child.

Our other “little guy” has always been extremely tall. He is also smart and capable. But emotionally, age appropriate and extremely sensitive. Although he was only 2 years old, he looked like a 5-year-old having a tantrum on the department store floor. I heaved up every bit of strength I had to calm all 60 pounds of that sweet boy. The stares clearly stated I was doing the mothering thing all wrong. But they weren’t Moms of an oversized and sensitive 2-year-old.

But where I learned the greatest lessons about loving well is in the parenting of our beautiful daughter given to us through adoption. Her needs are extremely unique and anyone looking from the outside in, wouldn’t understand what it involves. I didn’t understand even after we brought her home. It took lots of counseling, therapy sessions, and learning.

With her, my great big style of lavish love doesn’t work. It invades her space. It makes her anxious. Trust wasn’t a part of her first 5 years, and because her brain development is effected by those years, trust may never fully be a part of her story. Loving well with her looks different than any kind of love I’d ever experienced. It didn’t feel comfortable and it didn’t come easy for this Mom.

I tell you these stories, to help you see that loving well looks different for each unique child God has gifted you.

Feel my gentle nudge as I say,

Embrace the way your child needs to be loved. Even when it raises eyebrows. Even when it doesn’t come easy.

You know your child better than anyone apart from God. Dig in. Don’t give up on them. Recognize their bent and parent from there.

That Mom of your dreams? Maybe you don’t look like her now. But that’s more than okay.

Because the real Mom you are today is a better version of the Mom your children truly need.

Lord, I thank You for your intricate and unique design of each and every child of Yours. They are all miracles. Lord, I praise You for the specific matches You made for child and parent. Let us all live in the truth of that Heavenly design. When things are tough, may we never lose sight of the fact that we are the parent You chose for this child and with You as our cornerstone, we are the parents we need to be. Empower us to live in the freedom of that knowledge. Let us not compare any other children and their mothers. Let us not compare ourselves to the Mom we wanted to be, but rather relish in the Mom You are creating us to. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen

1511_Schumaker_090_editedABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Encouraging others is Lori’s passion. So whether she is in wife, mom, friend, teacher, or writer mode, encouragement is the desire of her heart. And because there is no better encouragement than the love of Jesus, pointing to Him brings her great joy! Her blog, Searching for Moments can be found at www.lorischumaker.com.

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