“I am sorry” sighed the tree. “I wish that I could give you something… but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump. I am sorry...” -The Giving Tree by Shel SIlverstein
I don’t know if it was the hectic end-of-school year pace or my three-year-old’s non-stop nature, but last week I felt like I had nothing left to give.
I felt like the stump in The Giving Tree.
At first, I told myself it was ridiculous. Why are you so tired? You’ve been through way more challenges than end of the school year chaos and a few three-year-old tantrums.
Yet, I still felt depleted! And, as we all know, the adulting never stops. My kids needed me. They wanted my attention. And the housework certainly wasn’t going to stop piling up.
But the thing is, we all have these moments when we feel like we are running on empty.
It’s in those moments, when we realize that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. We don’t always have to be supermom (or superdad)!
Because sometimes, my children simply want a lap to sit on or a shoulder to cry on. They just want me to be there. My warm embrace is good enough. Just letting them sit in my lap, just reading them a story or whispering I love you, is good enough.
And I’ve discovered that even though my kids may need a lot from me, they will also love me when I’m tired. They will still love me if I don’t cut their sandwiches into shapes or make them hand-breaded, free-range chicken tenders for dinner.
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I’ve also realized that I don’t give my family enough credit. My kids are not like the boy in ‘The Giving Tree’ who just kept taking and taking. They are growing up and they don’t need me to do everything for them. They are capable of putting their own clothes away or picking up after themselves.
In fact, last week my daughter asked if she could make ME a peanut butter sandwich.
Parenting can be physically and emotionally demanding. This is why we need to ask for help and to seek God for strength.
Isaiah 40:29 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
We may not be able to give 100 percent all the time but that’s okay.
Because real parents sometimes feel discouraged. Real parents get tired. Real parents go through a wide range of emotions everyday.
We are doing the best we can.
We are good enough.