I’ll be the first to let anyone know that I am not a natural mom. In fact, I never grew up around babies in my small family of origin, and I never babysat. I didn’t like babies, and I certainly didn’t intend to have my own.

That was, of course, over twenty years ago, and as the years passed and I grew up (at least a little), I knew that, if my vocation was to marriage, then I had to be willing to welcome children if God willed for us to have them. Then came the call, shortly after my husband and I were married – It’s time for children.

A calling is definitely different than a desire. It’s like this gentle tapping on one’s heart that can turn into loud knocking from the Holy Spirit. The call to motherhood, for me, was a fierce and fearsome one. I didn’t know what to do with a baby, but my husband and I said yes to the call.

And then God blessed us with two beautiful girls. The sleepless nights began immediately, and I was quickly overwhelmed. I remember laughing with my husband when we tried to figure out how to change a diaper – on our own daughter! Neither of us had ever changed one in our entire lives before that moment. So we got a crash course – via life experience – on parenting.

Naturally, parenting is rocky and messy and usually a constant struggle. But for some moms, it seems to come so easily. I always watch in admiration when I see mothers who appear to have interminable reservoirs of patience while juggling a newborn, a toddler, a preschooler, a kindergartner, and a first-grader.

How do they do it? I wonder. The guilt quickly sets in as I recall my earlier outburst of anger, the sighs and eye rolling (from me, not a child), and the constant inner turmoil as I cringe at every shriek or scream. Why is everything so difficult for me as a mom?

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Text and Image Copyright 2016 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.