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Archive for August, 2012

Motherhood would have been much easier if a wiser, older woman had designed a series ofcollege prep classes designed just for expectant mothers as well as confused, more experienced counterparts.  The course line-up might look something like this—Potty Training 101, Night Terrors and Two Year Olds, and Avoiding the Parent Tantrum.  More challenging topics might include Managing Mom Guilt and Maintaining Marital Romance between Diaper Changes and Bad Hair Days.  But, if I had to guess, What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do would be the course certain to fill every time.

When faced with the struggle of not knowing what to do, some of us may turn to our mother or Dr. Phil for parenting advice.   I tend to hole up in the library for long periods of time, research my topic of confusion exhaustively, and attempt to formulate a plan.  The problem?  While I might learn a lot about tantrum triggers or ways to combat sassing, knowledge fails to solve all of mothering’s difficult issues.

One of the greatest parenting challenges I faced recently was the discovery that my little boy suffers from clinical anxiety.  His symptoms?  Extreme expressions of fear, inability to make eye contact, and unexplained melt downs.  In typical fashion, I consumed books until my vision blurred.  Within days, I could list several forms of childhood anxiety and discuss types of treatment.  But, I couldn’t make Seth’s struggle any less real—I couldn’t take it away.

What should I do?  Uncertain of my ability to cope—especially with my dependable, level-headed husband on deployment—I turned to the only One who has all of the answers.  Well-meaning relatives, educated professionals, pop psychologists, and research-based textbooks might provide some direction, but I held on to the words recorded in Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace.”  (NLT)

Learning not to worry is more difficult for me than training to be the next Olympic heavy weight boxing champion—and I’ve never even put on a pair of boxing gloves.  But, this verse reminded me that Seth and I could both set down our concerns and anxieties and expect His peace.  The process hasn’t been easy.

It’s taken almost a year of regular, earnest prayer and months of meeting with pediatricians and specialists to finally decide on the best ways to help Seth learn to cope to with his “big feelings”.  But, in the process I’ve decided that the best thing to do when I don’t know what to do is to pray—because God cares about me and my little boy.  Now….about those classes.

 

 

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