This afternoon I found myself commenting on a plea for help (on facebook, of course). It's not my story to share, not that part anyway, but the situation was one I'm so familiar with.
And after I was done commenting, I paused.
I re-read what I had wrote.
And I realized how far I've come.
It wasn't so very long ago that I felt at my wits end with Oliver. I didn't understand how to help him, and I felt completely helpless myself. I had determined I must be a terrible mother, I didn't/couldn't parent my 2 1/2 year old! I was emotionally and physically exhausted. Every day was a fight, a struggle between my son and I over everything. And I believed that it was my fault. I thought there was something wrong with me because parenting was not coming naturally to me. (I don't know if being a mother comes naturally to anyone.)
A lot of the books I read talked about hope for the future. They said that the work we do now will translate into "good" children later in life. I got so tired of this dream future. I knew that their future was inevitably different than what mine would be because we have different children. I wondered if there was any hope for the now, in the midst of the difficult times, in the midst of the mess and the confusion, and I despaired that no one could offer me the reprieve that I sought. Until I read Hope for the Weary Mom. In that book I found hope in the midst of the mess. Not hope that it would get better, but a reminder of the glorious hope and truth that is offered by realizing that God is with me now, not just in some far off future, but He is with me in my mess getting His hands dirty right alongside me.
I'm getting off point...
What I mean to get at is that the past year has been tough. I've had to learn different methods of parenting than I knew before. I've had to come up with unique solutions, and there has been a lot of trial and error before finding what works (and sometimes it only works for a little while). I still have days where I feel lost and confused, and like I just don't have a clue what I'm doing. But those days are not nearly as often anymore. Even in the midst of the really tough days I know more than I did before, and I feel less lost than I did before. It's taken time and hard work to get there, and there is a long journey still ahead of us, but it doesn't feel hopeless.