Monday, December 13, 2010

A Grateful Heart?

As a mom, I have always wanted to make sure that I provide well for my children. There are the basics of that statement: that my girls have enough to eat, have a safe shelter, know they are loved, have clothes, etc that they need. But, for me, like most parents, I want to do more than the basics. I want to be able to take them out to dinner on a whim, buy them a toy they like, buy the cool jeans and not just the inexpensive ones, enroll them in sports and music, teach them about giving by allowing tthem to buy things (with my money)and donate them.

We, like many other families this year, are not in a position to do many of the "extras." Part of me feels like a failure because of that. I want to be able to take my 6 year old out and foot the bill while she shops for all the people she loves. Or even, allow her to earn the money to do that. But, that's just not really an option.

As we walked around the mall this weekend, I started feeling worse and worse. Not because my girls were asking for a bunch of stuff, but because I love to give gifts and am not able to do so this year. I live in fear that my girls will grow up resenting the fact that I was unable to allow them to have/do the things they wanted. Funny thing is they were more interested in the SPCA animals up for adoption than the latest clothes in Justice (although we did have to wander through there).

Hope had a birthday this week. As we were talking about what to get her, we were stumped. Brian and I finally agreed on a sleeping bag--something she asked for since she was having a slumber party. I wanted to do so much more. She did receive more from family: her Mimi and Papa got her a new comforter (that she absolutely loves), her Grandaddy got her a cool pair of black boots (that she has worn all day yesterday and is planning outfits around now), her aunt Tess got her some skinny jeans and tops (which also go with the boots) and her Granny sent her money which she used to buy curtains to match her new comforter). Needless to say, she received a LOT and everything she got was something she really wanted. Sounds pretty good, huh? So why do I still feel like I failed my child? Because I was unable to buy them for her myself.

Pretty crazy, huh? I can say all day long how I am thankful that God has chosen to bless her through others, but deep inside, I'm truly ungrateful for those incredible gifts. All because I was unable to buy them myself. I know it doesn't make sense--believe me, I am totally frustrated with myself over this. It makes me feel like God is blessing my children in spite of me. And that I am not enough for them. Which, are both true, but knock my ego down quite a bit. The way things have played out, I am not the hero. And that is the root of my issue--I want to be my girls' hero. I do love them more than I can express with words, but that is not the main reason I want to be their hero (which in itself is sad that it's not my main motivation). I want to be their hero so that I feel good about myself. Sounds pitiful, huh?

I don't think I'm the only mom who has ever felt this, but I've never heard anyone else express it. Maybe because I am surrounded by people who are able to give to their children. Maybe because they are scared to admit their fears like I have been. Maybe because they are truly grateful and don't have these feelings.

What I am deperately holding onto today is the fact that God loves my girls more than I do and He loves me madly. He has chosen to bless my daughter, as well as provide a way for me to not feel guilty about my child not having the "extras." So, I just need for Him to get that from my head into my heart.

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