Why I need the neediness of my kids.

Surrounded by half-open boxes, bare walls, and the mess involved in moving a family of five to a new state, I attempt to do a puzzle with the kids.

A fight quickly ensues over who gets to do what part of the puzzle. Pieces fly, drinks spill, and my blood pressure rises as the screams, squeals, and complaints rise.

I think I might. just. go. crazy.

Trying—with ALL my might—not to scream out of frustration and throw my own puzzle pieces across the room…I lay my head down on the table and pray.

Lord, I can’t do this! I can’t do this! I can’t do this! I want to spend good time with the kids, but I can’t handle this chaos! I want to RUN AWAY. Help me stay. Help me do what you have called me to do. Help me love this messy, stressful, chaotic life.

Why does motherhood have to be so hard?

I’ve asked God many times why being a momma has to be so hard. I love my children and am so thankful for the privilege of motherhood — but it is an incredibly wearisome and difficult journey!

My mind races with questions throughout the day, as I try to deal with the frustrations that come my way.

Why do these kids have to be so darn needy all the time? Why does my four year old HAVE to be by my side all the time, begging me to hold her? Why do my younger two love to crawl into bed with us at night? Why does my two year old insist that I stand and hold him at 6AM—the exact time I set aside to study my Bible and enjoy a quiet cup of much needed coffee?

When I think about what life might be like if my kids played happily, slept soundly, and let me run my days exactly as planned, I start to see a pattern — and I’m not sure life would be the haven it seems it would be.

What would motherhood be like if my kids didn’t need me so much?

Without their demands I would be content to put my role as mom on auto-pilot, so I can get “more important” things done.

Without their cries for attention I would forget that being their momma is not just about feeding their bellies and keeping them dressed, but about preparing them for life ahead and filling their soul with all they need to make that journey.

I would be tempted to ignore their true needs: love, attention, and Jesus.

The kids aren’t the only ones who would miss out. My own need for Jesus would be forgotten.

Without their neediness, I wouldn’t be needy myself.

While I am certainly looking forward to my children growing out of their physical dependance on me to hold, wipe, and cradle, I pray that my dependance on Jesus would be something I never grow out of.

I choose to thank the Lord for this season. Every frazzled, frustrating morning is an opportunity to cling to Him. Each messy moment a chance to depend. Another day filled with the demands of my children is a day filled with the choice to follow the example of my Savior.

 

So, I think we will try out that puzzle again today…here’s to keeping the pieces on the table this time, and maybe even getting a box or two unpacked!

What in your life is driving you to neediness? Are you running to Jesus with your need? Leave a comment here to share your heart.

(Don’t you just LOVE this puzzle? You can get your own here, and help support the HelloMornings Challenge when you do!)

 

Katie Orr: HelloMornings Director

Jesus-lover. Pastor’s wife. Mommy of three. Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Auburn fan. Longs to equip others to walk with the Lord for a lifetime. Co-author of Savoring Living Water: How to have an effective quiet time and author of Focused15 Bible studies. Creator of Do Not Depart where you can receive encouragement and tools to abide in God’s Word.

Comments

  1. That has been one of the wonders of motherhood – how much my son needs me, and how much his dependence on me has made me evaluate my choices, the way that I live and love and the examples that I create for him.

    You make a wonderful analogy with the need for God. I’m going to contemplate that this week.

  2. This post is coming at the most appropriate time. Thank you, Katie. And thank the Lord for knowing we need our kids to be needy to see our own need for Him. :)

  3. Corinne Kanski says:

    Thank you for this story. It was a great encouragement to me. With my 3 kids, I am finding out that I can’t have a clean house and quality time with them. I try hard each day to give each of them their own “mommy time”, even if it’s just sitting and holding them for as long as they’ll let me, and patience for my older 2 who have many questions and endless observations they want to share with Mommy. And yes, at this stage of my life with a 5, 4, and an 11 month old, I am very needy, and yet I feel my Father’s open arms and a listening ear ready to tell Him again, “Daddy, I need You today.”

    • It is hard to see that we can have one or the other…and I often chase after the clean house, or time on the Internet, or…fill on the blank. It seems easier sometimes.
      Again, thankful that our kids pursue us at this stage of life! Praying I am a good steward of their attention!

  4. This post was exactly what I needed to hear right now. I can relate so well. Though I only have one 8 month old baby, the last few weeks have felt so overwhelming. She has been fighting nap time so much and leaving me without any breaks in my day. I’ve been so focused on needing her to nap so that I don’t crazy, that I haven’t thought about how her neediness brings out my neediness for Jesus. It’s so true. Thank you so much for giving me this perspective!

    • Those early stages of having a baby can be so difficult!

      You will sleep again, Kristen! She will get into a new groove! Praying a new stage comes soon for you, and you can find some rest.

  5. This is such an encouraging post. I’ve thought so many of these things and wondered if I was the only mom who felt this way. Thank you for giving me a better perspective for viewing the chaos.

  6. Reading your post, I had to smile, but I wanted to also tell you – as a mother of grown children – You will miss those needy times. There are days I wish I could go back and hold my children and spend precious time doing puzzles. Enjoy all your moments even though they do seem needy. It is a precious job being a mother.

    • Thanks, Laura. Just about everyone says so…and I say I will believe it when I see it. :)

      Seriously, though, I am trying to savor these moments. Thanks for your encouragement!

  7. I loved this post! What in my life is driving me to neediness? The fact that I just fail miserably when I am not dwelling in the Word of God. The way that my flesh takes over and I become the person I WOULD be if it wasn’t for Jesus in my life (and it’s ugly!). I just don’t want my family to suffer with my sinful, unholy being when I wander away from my Lord – all of those drive me at 200mph to Jesus! I need Him!!!

    Appreciate your beautiful thoughts and words…

  8. Yes! Yes! Yes! Do you know how much I quote that line “I need the oh I need Thee” and most often in the context of the task before me as a mother. Thank you for this! It was one of those days! :)

  9. Amy @ olwillowbrook says:

    So needed this day for me to here. I encountered the craft box with our 8, 6, 5, 4, and 3 yr old. My 8 month old in my arms trying to nurse while I sorted crafts finally fell asleep. The whining quickly overtook the spirit of togetherness and I wondered why I did it. It was nice to see its normal. And you’re right, I am growing closer to our Savior in my vocation as a Mother. Thanks again and God Bless!

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  1. [...] these words are good, too. this and this are a must read. a must, i tell [...]

  2. [...] me, tear stained and crying in the corner. I pray they will forget the anger, the yelling, and my head buried in the puzzle. I hope they don’t recognize when I run to my phone and computer to escape [...]

  3. [...] Inspired to Action - “The beauty of neediness” [...]

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