search me: mom struggles

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

Being a parent is hard. You do everything you can to raise your children to be productive members of society. While doing so, you also have to deal with their various personalities and moods, their attitudes and their needs and wants.

I can’t say being a step-parent is more difficult because I don’t have anything to compare it to. I think, maybe, there are just different challenges. By the time I became a parent, my kids were 6, 7 and 11 years old. Maybe the fact that I don’t have any biological children made it a little harder. I didn’t ease into parenting, it was thrust upon me and I accepted it wholeheartedly. Please don’t think that I’m complaining or anything like that, I’m just explaining the situation so that you may better understand where I’m coming from. It was my choice to accept my husband’s three children as my own. Their father and I have been raising them together, with little to no participation from their biological mom, since we gained custody of them ten years ago.  Their mom, well that’s another story for another time. My point is, in our family, I have been mom for what seems like always.

In the beginning, it was a little rough. Everyone knows how kids can be. They are kids, they aren’t supposed to act like adults, think logically. So, we are going to focus on me. I struggled quite a bit and in all honesty, I still struggle. I am struggling now. Being a mom (that didn’t give birth to her children), I had a lot of fears regarding how they felt about me. Bottom line is, I’m not their real mom, so they don’t HAVE to love me. This made punishment extremely difficult.

Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. – Proverbs 13:24

Don’t get me wrong, I did my parental duty and punished my children, when needed. I just always worried that they would stop loving me, or even worse, they would hate me. Now that they are older, I only worry about how one of them feels.

My relationship with my oldest has always been a little strained. I always did what I thought was best for him. I’m sure, to him, it just sounded like nagging. I’m sure I made him feel like he never did anything right. I’m sure the times I told him I was proud of him didn’t compare to the times I made him feel bad about himself; even if it wasn’t intentional.

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. – Colossians 3:21

I sure hope I’m wrong, but I feel like I drove my oldest away. He’s now an adult, but he’s struggled his whole life. He’s struggled with growing up, with responsibility, with ambition and with laziness (his word, not mine), among other things. I’ve tried making things easy for him by doing things for him. I’ve tried letting him do things on his own. I’ve tried yelling and I’ve tried talking rationally. I’ve honestly tried everything I could. Through it all, I’ve always reminded him that I love him and I want what’s best for him.

So, where are we now? A few random texts here and there. I’m worried about him and I have no idea how he’s doing. But, I don’t know how to fix it. That’s the part that’s killing me. I am a fixer, I want… no, I need to fix everything! And this, I can’t.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 Peter 5:10

I have faith that God will strengthen my relationship with my child and that in order to do that, we have to face this current struggle. I have faith, I really do; but sometimes, when things get really hard, my faith wavers. I sometimes worry that my relationship with my son will go up in flames. No matter how hard it gets, I just pray that he knows I want nothing but the best for him and that I love him with all my heart.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. – Psalms 127:3


8 thoughts on “search me: mom struggles

  1. Ok let’s me ask you some questions. Do you think you have brought him up (which is extremely difficult given the age he was when you joined the family) to the best of your abilities? I think you have.

    Do you believe like I do that God likes us to follow a path?
    Do you believe that God gave us the choice of free will?
    Do you believe that life is a lesson we have to learn?

    I believe that you have done the best you could have done, but yet you are still blaming yourself for how he is now….. maybe that’s your lesson, to learn to accept what you can’t change!

    Your stepson has chosen to take the path he is going down, not the right path to you or me for that matter but it’s his path, his life and maybe just maybe Gods path to learn him some lessons.

    I believe he will learn those lessons and one day thank you for the way you were with him. Maybe if you ease off and let him go his chosen way but be there at times of crisis he might learn quicker.

    Hope your not offended by my words.


  2. I am not offended by your words at all. I actually think you are correct on all points. I do believe I have raised him to the best of my ability, given the circumstances. I know I made some mistakes along the way and I learned from them. I guess it’s just human nature to wonder “what if” I’d done something different.

    I believe God has a plan for all of us and I know He has a reason for putting me in the lives of my husband and all three of our children. I believe God allows us free will, one of the main reasons we “choose” to follow Him or “choose” not to. I believe that life is a lesson that is meant to teach us so many things that God wants us to learn. God has a plan and we, as humans, complicate His plan as much as possible. LOL.

    I think the hardest lesson for me to accept is that I did the best that I could in raising my son, but I can’t control how he reacts to my actions. I can’t make him be the person I want him to be because that’s up to him. I have to accept that he makes his own choices and will have to live with the consequences of those choices. The hard thing for me is seeing him suffer with those consequences, knowing he struggles and knowing he is not happy with his current situation and knowing I can’t fix it for him.

    In the end, you are correct, I need to ease off and let him learn on his own. If I am always there to fix everything for him, how is he supposed to learn anything?

    In the meantime, I just have to pray that God protects him and I have to have faith that worrying myself crazy is not the way to go. I still have my husband and two other kids that need me to be there for them. I have to let go and let God have control of the situation.

    Thank you so much for your words and encouragement. It means a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

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