Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Different When It's Your Kid

After lunch I rinsed and stacked dishes while Reese finished eating her sandwich. Behind me I could hear her start to gag so I walked over and put my hand under her chin - she knows the drill. Suddenly, a slimy half-chewed wad of bread fell into my open palm. If any other person on the planet did that to me, I would vomit on the spot. Instead, I walked it to the garbage can with a smile thinking that it’s absolutely true what they say… it’s just different when it’s your kid. 

I’m sure we all remember hearing that phrase before we had children. Whenever I made comments about a public tantrum, a stinky diaper, or a messy chocolate face, there would always be a parent nearby to say, “Yeah, but it’s different when it’s your kid.” Since everyone says it, I always assumed it was true. But I had no idea just how true it was until the first time she spit up down the front of my shirt and disgust registered far below amusement on the list of immediate responses. After more than two years of hardly noticing the bouts of public crying, barely smelling the countless stinky diapers, and smiling at her chewed up bread wad, I know I've developed the mysterious immunity that all moms have toward the seemingly unpleasant parts of our jobs.

I used to wonder how there were moms out there with the strength and patience for twins, behavioral struggles, special needs, or medical issues. I would think, “God help me if I’m ever in any of those situations.” But I’ve learned that the request for help isn’t really necessary because God’s gifts are automatic. Just as He grants the blessing of a beautifully unique child, He also provides the strength necessary to handle the unique needs of that child and the maternal love that carries us through exhaustion and aggravation with patience and grace. There’s no need to look at anyone else’s situation and wonder how she does it, and there’s no reason to fear that if you were in that situation you couldn’t handle it. Just remember that no matter the situation, it's always different when it’s your kid.


  1. Such solid words of wisdom; His strength is always perfect, too, in our weakness. That's what I tell myself when I think about the teen years and how I'll handle them ... Gifts are given as needed and sometimes not a moment sooner.

  2. Exactly true.
    The same way someone else's crying child in a restaurant doesn't irritate us...
    we know what it's like to be that parent...
    and they don't need our annoyance...
    just our silent prayers at that moment for all of us to remember God's ever-present grace and peace.