Its started. Seth asked a question. I gave him an answer. And then…
“Why?” came a small adorable voice.
Yes, we have entered into the “why” era of parenting. Ask a simple question, give a simple answer and I can bet my bottom dollar that “why?” will be the next word spoken.
I know this is how little ones learn and increase their ever-growing understanding of the world around them (and how else will they accomplish taking it over, if they don’t question EVERYTHING??), so I try to be patient and answer his steady flow of “why’s.” However, sometimes, I admit, I have responded to this typical toddler question with a typical parent answer: “because I said so,” (not that that puts an end to his inquisitiveness).
Lately, I have had my own questions of “why.” It has been a very difficult few weeks. Seth has been asserting his desire to be the boss and acts as if sometimes he has forgotten how to play by himself at all. Also, with the bit o’ winter storm we got last weekend, I have not seen another adult human (besides Ian) since last Tuesday night. Yes, that would be one full week of toddler, baby and me (with the reinforcements, aka Daddy, in the evenings).
So I have been asking,
“Why is motherhood so hard?”
“Why do I keep losing my temper?”
“Why can’t life just be easier?”
Growing up, when things got hard, my default reaction was to quit. All of my sisters play musical instruments beautifully. They can make a “joyful noise” that is so inspiring to hear. Can I? Nope. Well, I can sort of play around with the guitar, but not really. I took lessons. I tried guitar, piano, clarinet. Each time it was the same story, the lessons got hard and practices were more challenging than fun, and I quit.
Well, I believe one lesson that God is teaching me right now is anything worthwhile is hard. I ask “why” and I can hear Him whisper, “because it’s worth it.” The days of exhaustion, the fights with a toddler, the times when I watch a movie standing up because somehow a baby always knows when you am sitting, the never ending the laundry, the spit up down my back, the times when I really don’t know how I am going to make it to nap-time or bedtime, the screaming hungry baby through the grocery store. All of it is worth it.
Right now, I admit, there are times, when I don’t believe that. Times when I want to quit more than anything else. But you can’t quit on someone you love more than you can express. God knew what He was doing when he designed motherhood. Even in our fallen state, my love for my children force me to not give up. I didn’t love music enough to keep at it, but God is teaching me perseverance by giving me two little humans who have captured my heart in such a way that I am going to keep at it. I will still be exhausted, probably still ask “why” a lot. But I know I won’t quit.