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The Irrational Id

Toddlers are incredibly irrational beings. I don't understand how a child can prefer to pull of their socks and chew on them when there are teethers, pacifiers, and even blankets with chew-friendly tags on them are within reach. What is it about dirty socks that is so appealing to the Id!?! I love my child, but oh-my-goodness-motherhood-can-be-so-!@#%-frustrating (the last part is said through gritted teeth and in a low, frustrated growl as you shake a wooden spoon in the air). The worst part is, I can't even blame my kid for things like this. My inner scientist tells me that it's all a part of natural, healthy human development...germs and all. This kid probably has one of the best microbiomes out there, which is a great thing according to the hygiene hypotheses. The more bacteria diversity, the better. Still, it is pretty gross when my kid decides to splash in the dog water. Oy. Vey.

Whenever I catch my kid doing something dangerous or gross, I find myself transforming into the archetypal European mother, with eyes and hands raised to the sky in supplication, begging God for the patience necessary to not throw my child to the wolves or go after said child with wooden spoon waving in the air. It's primal-mama-mode moments like this when I wonder if I will ever experience spiritual growth ever again. It seems like I lose a bit more patience and holiness every time my kid throws a tantrum after failing to understand why I will not let her play with electrical cords. Toddlers are irrational and you simply cannot reason with them.

Deep down, I know God loves me and that my child is a great gift. As hard as it is to accept sometimes, I also know that this child is a crucial part in my spiritual development, a part that is helping me to do away with quite a few of those deadly sins...
  • pride (unkempt hair + pajama pants = good enough for me to leave the house)
  • gluttony (You get whatever treats your kid doesn't finish and you will be happy.)
  • wrath (It is very hard to stay angry at the kid no matter how many interruptions or hair pulls.)
  • sloth (Good luck allowing yourself another 15 minutes of sleep in the morning.)
  • lust (BWAHAHAHAHA! Forget EVERYTHING in that department)
  • greed (Nice things just so they can get gnawed on? Forget it.)
I guess envy is still a problem when it comes to wishing I too could have spare time, a social life, an interruption-free afternoon, a guilt-free trip to the bathroom, and a child that listens when I say no.

All kidding aside, motherhood is a vocation that is just as beautiful as a vocation for religious life or even a vocation as a consecrated virgin. All of these vocations are aimed to help you attain sainthood and God gave us so many options because we are all different and have different needs as well as abilities. Maybe I'm a mother because it was the vocation that would best enable me to learn to trust in God.

And trusting God is a very important component when it comes to salvation.

To my fellow mothers out there, the next time you find yourself losing your sanity butting heads with the irrational Id, the screaming toddler, or a lake of dog water on the kitchen floor, join me in throwing it all up to God and trusting in Him that it will all be alright one day.

Trust God that your child will make it to the age of 18 without getting thrown to the wolves. Trust God that you will one day get to spend that 1 hour in adoration some time in the future when the kid is old enough to be in school and you get a day off. Trust that God gave you a child for a reason. Trust that God entrusted you with a child because you could give them the love and lessons necessary to attain sainthood (the *ultimate goal* in parenthood). Trust that God will forgive you when you lose your patience. Trust that God will heal you when you feel frustrated, angered, fearful, or just plain tired of everything. Trust that God will give you whatever graces you ask for on HIS time (not yours, *HIS*). Trust that God will heal you whenever motherhood begins to become painful. Trust that God will be with you throughout this journey. Just trust in God.

Pax Vobiscum

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