I've been having a rough time with Caedmon the past few weeks. He's 2 years 9 months old and extremely strong-willed. He typically does well in public (which is a huge blessing) but when it's just our family, it can get pretty ugly.
I don't want to go on and on with all the details of issues that we're struggling with (mainly revolving around obedience and self-control) because that would be depressing and perhaps boring to read. But I've been living it every day, every minute, and it has been exhausting.
I did want to tell one story, though. Not so that you would feel sorry for me (or judgemental of me, whichever side of ditch you fall into), but because I know that there is probably another mom out there who is at her wits-end and just needs a little company and encouragement.
Yesterday I was putting Caedmon down for his nap like I've done every day of his life. Lately, going down for a nap has turned into something similar to an arm wrestling match between Caedmon and me. I think he's getting close to no longer needing a nap, but he's a bear without one so I'm trying to hold onto it as long as I can. We went through our naptime routine (potty, brush teeth, read book) and then I closed his door and hoped for the best. It was another day of Caedmon getting out of his bed multiple times and me having to go back in there multiple times to spank him and talk to him. (Yes, we believe in spanking...don't be so shocked!)
The last time I went in, I sat on his little stool and held him as he kicked and screamed and tried to slap me. He was facing me and I had his arms restrained down by his sides. He would start to get quiet but then get going again. I just stared at the wall not knowing what to do or what to say. I kept running over all of my options in my head and couldn't think of anything brilliant or magical to calm him down and make him go to sleep. I felt so inadequate in that moment. I'm his mom. I'm a pastor's wife. I majored in early childhood development. I've read a ton of parenting books. I should know what to do. But I didn't.
So we just sat there. Caedmon screamed and kicked and slapped. And tears ran down my face as I stared at the wall trying to maintain my composure. Finally, after maybe 15 or 20 minutes, Caedmon wore himself out and went to sleep. So I went out in the hallway and just sobbed...thinking, "I can't do this. I'm not even sure if I want to do this. What am I doing wrong?"
Last night I recounted the days events for Andy and I said, "I don't think I have the strength to face him tomorrow." Andy said (with compassion in his voice), "Yes, you do." And we both knew that was true.
I don't know what exhausting circumstance you're facing in your life right now, but there is a God in Heaven whose strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He gives us wisdom when we ask of Him (James 1:5) and grants us more and more grace to sustain us (James 4:6). He gives strength to the weary (Isaiah 40:29) and rest to those who feel burdened (Matthew 11:28)
I did get one thing right yesterday: I am inadequate. But I serve a God who is MORE THAN ENOUGH.