We often go through different seasons as we grow and get older. Along with those seasons comes surviving the tough stuff of love. This can be hard when for some of us we are doing just that, surviving.
I find myself in the throes of learning to navigate being a school mum, while also being a preschool mum. My eldest started school this year, and, boy, has that come with some challenges. Most days I find myself asking ‘is it bedtime yet?’ And it’s not until after my children are in bed that I find myself relaxing. This season of navigating school life and home life is a tough one. How do we love our children when they seem to be pushing all our buttons? How do we find time for our husbands/partners when all we want to do is be left alone? It’s at these times that I try to remind myself that my children are dealing with some big emotions and that they’re still learning how to handle those big emotions. My job is to support them and teach them some ways to express their emotions safely. That’s just one of the tough parts of love.
Love through tantrums
As our children grow from babies to toddlers, we often ask ourselves if we’re doing enough. With toddlers come meltdowns and tantrums. Love can be hard in those moments, particularly in public where we feel like everyone is looking at us. But love is about more than just a feeling; love can be found in our actions, the things we do for others and reflected back to us from our family and friends. Simply sitting with our children while they have a meltdown or a tantrum is an act of love. It lets them know that we are right there with them when they’re ready for a hug or a kiss.
Love and Marriage
As mothers, it is quite easy to neglect our own needs and the needs of our husband/partner because we spend most of our days tending to the needs of our children. I am the type of person who doesn’t like to be touched by anyone or anything once my children are in bed, and I find it hard to voice out my needs. As my children get older and more independent, I am finding it easier to take care of my own needs, and in turn the needs of my husband. A couple of years ago I had to put my own needs on the back burner and put my husband’s needs first. I was pregnant with our second and my husband ended up being admitted to our local mental health ward 3 weeks before I gave birth. That was a tough season; navigating a newborn, a toddler, and a mentally ill husband had its challenges, but we got through it. That season of surviving the tough stuff of love was exactly that, tough but we got through it.
It takes a village
Having a village of people around us can help. Whether that’s family, friends, or even a local mothers’ group like MOPS. We need people to turn to for help when things get hard and we need help to navigate those tough seasons. Our village definitely helped and loved us through one of the toughest times we have faced, and for that I am grateful.
Rachael is 28 years old and has been married to her husband Lawrence for 7 years. She has two daughters, Abigail who is nearly 5 and Stephanie who is 2. Rachael is predominantly a stay-at-home mum, but is also studying her Bachelor of Education (primary) degree.