As she strives to find God's presence in every moment, Nikki Lamberg is reminded that her kids are still kids, and the struggle is real.
I will be the first to tell you, just like any other adoring mom would, that my kids can be the sweetest little humans one ever did see. They love to help and be a part of everything we do, and I find great joy in teaching them. But my kids are still kids, and the struggle is real when you have three young children, with two of them ages 3 and under.
One minute they are sharing nicely with the other, and the next minute I find myself wondering if all those sour patch kids that I craved during my pregnancy somehow seeped into that tiny little blessing and created my very own sour patch kid. I look over and one is dancing on the coffee table in the living room, and another is racing their toy dump truck up and down our hallway. But before I know it, they are all sitting down to read a book with each other, or they are playing some sort of dress-up game.
But then there are those moments, that next level, when you are not sure you can possibly push any harder. You have worked all day, made dinner, fed your children, raced around because everyone needs something different, and you are doing it by yourself because your husband had to work late. After the kids are done with supper, and let’s face it, only the kids ate because you’re not eating until they go to bed so you can actually taste your food, it’s now bath time. You put the two littles in the tub to get them washed up and finally take a few moments to breath as they splash happily around in the bubbles.
But then, it happens. And by it, I mean poop. It is like a slow-motion scene in a movie where you know what is happening, but you can’t quite get there in time to change the course of the event. Before you know it, you find yourself scooping your children out of the tub as fast as you can, while your 2-year-old looks at you horrified with tears streaming down her face as these new floating objects are getting closer to her toys.
The first time this incident happened to me, I was horrified myself and after scrubbing down all the toys, I decided this situation was worth a giant bowl of ice cream. It happened to our second child as well and by the third I had decided it was a rite of passage for every infant to go through, and a story for us as parents to remind them of for many years to come.
By the end of the night, you find yourself exhausted from all of the events of the day and now it’s time for bed. By this point I’m not sure if I can handle anything more, but I find myself pausing for a moment as I watch my daughter tuck her dolls in like they are her very own babies. She pulls the covers up and makes the sign of the cross over them just as I do her and my two boys.
It is in these moments that although some days may be hard, I need to remember that God’s presence is in every moment, and I feel like I got this part right. Saying our prayers at bedtime is something we do every night. But the sign of the cross is something I do as they fall asleep, and it wasn’t something I expected them to see me do. It is my own silent prayer over them, that God would keep them safe and protect them from all evil and harm.
To realize that they had been watching me do this made me stop to think and remember that our children are always watching us and our reactions. If we show our fears, they will be fearful. If we show grace, we pray that they will do the same.
If we praise God through the good and the bad and we look for his blessings in those moments, that is the greatest gift we can give our children. And if we look for God’s grace and mercy in every moment of our own lives, that is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.
Copyright 2021 Nikki Lamberg
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About the Author
Nikki Lamberg is a born and raised Catholic, full-time working, wife and mom of three young children. It brings her great joy to read, write and help others as she can, especially when it comes to infertility and raising young children.