To the mom whose heart is heavy for her kid today. The one whose thoughts are distracted by what she can’t seem to fix. The one who feels afraid or ashamed to share her worries with anyone–you are not alone. We are all that mom today, no matter the age of our kid. No matter how good things appear on the outside–we have one who is weighing heavy on our heart today. You are not alone.
At some time or another, one of our kids will rock our boat in a way that we could never have prepared for. Maybe this particular one has rocked your boat since birth, or maybe something happens along the way, but one thing is for sure–not one of us is immune to this turbulence.
I could speak at length about things that I have heard, observed, and experienced that have put moms into this place of solitary ache for their child. The themes are similar and they seep into every generation. You might know the ache as you're reading this–the ache for your own child. This helpless and heavy weight that we carry is the way a shepherd would carry the burden of his hurt or lost sheep. He would do anything to bring them back safely into the flock, to see them thrive, and to know they will be ok.
So, why are we tempted to just share the highlight reels about our kids? Why does guilt and shame enter in and taint the story when one of our kids is doing or experiencing something that worries us–when they are about to take, or have already taken a wrong turn? Do we think we will be judged for their struggles or imperfections by other moms? When every single one of us will have a heavy heart for one of our kids at some point in time, why aren't we coming together with acceptance and grace for each other and for each other’s kids?
If we have a child struggling with anxiety, depression, disengagement, or big emotions at home–when we feel helpless to ease their distress, we push it down and smile for our friends. When they can’t keep up with the demands of school or they don't make the team, we avoid the subject with other moms. If our child is willful, has a disability, is causing self-harm, is addicted, or won’t speak to us, we hold back our tears, straighten our shoulders, and walk alone. We are concealing from each other the truth that we are all experiencing–our heavy hearts.
But this mom assignment was never meant to be easy, nor to be taken on alone. This struggle is real as we pour out our hearts for these young souls of the next generation. We sacrifice our bodies, careers, interests, hobbies, and many of our needs for these children who completely captivate our lives. It is a weary walk with more obstacles than tools.
What if we could concede to the notion that we are each other’s most effective and efficient tool? Moms walking alongside other moms creates a fortitude like no other. When moms can sit beside one another in their worry, fear, and in their hopelessness knowing they will not be judged, then this impossible assignment receives the promise of hope. We are all passing through these seasons with our kids–figuring things out as we go along. As we pass through these seasons filled with moments of grace and moments of turmoil, let’s reach our hand back to the mom just entering in. Let’s share our stories of the hope and of the mess and of how we got through them all to give another mom the courage and the endurance to keep going.
To the Mom whose heart is heavy for her kid today–you are not alone. You are a member of the most populated club in the universe. This assignment is not easy, and it was never intended to be. Our hearts will be heavy over and over again. We will laugh and love and cry and ache for our kids. They will wander and return. When their hearts break, ours will break bigger. When they get lost on their journey, we will never find peace until they are found. There is simply no way around this heaviness we will feel for our kids, but there is a way to go through it, and I believe this is with each other.
We are not alone. Our beautiful stories, social media posts, and highlight reels about our kids are great–let’s keep sharing all of this with each other. We need to see the things that are going well. We need to see the successes and the joys and the light that shines from our kids. But let's be careful not to keep the troublesome parts to ourselves. We all need to see and to know that no matter how good things appear on the outside, that there will still be the deep struggles and rough patches that we all have to crawl through. No more shame. No more guilt please. You are not alone.