It's so hard to know sometimes.
Hard to know when to choose which battle to fight and when to turn the other cheek. When to enforce a house rule and when to give a little bend to it after a long day. Hard to know how to discipline each individual child so as to speak to their heart and not simply to the behavior itself. Hard to know how to express pride, disapproval and affection to each of these four, distinct, unique individuals in my care.
It is hard to know when to start training with a new habit and when to tuck something away for a bit until a child is truly ready. Hard to know when a situation is truly joyfully energetic or inescapably chaotic.
It is sometimes hard to know when your children need a companion outside of their family and when playtime outside of the family walls is simply a time and energy sapper for all. It is hard to know when one is overindulging a child or simply letting layers of love spill over into a sacred moment.
Sometimes it is even hard to say 'no' to the request for one more story (that one is a tough one, I'm not going to lie!).
But often times, the hardest thing is to know when true change and healing are needed in a certain situation calling for outside assistance and when to stay the persistent course with even more resolve, patience and love.
The degree of difficulty in some of these crucial- and not so crucial- scenarios differs for me from day to day depending upon my mood, level of fatigue, satisfaction with my own inner life, the weather and a million other outside offenders.
Being a parent can be so very hard at times. It is often the guessing and second-guessing throughout a day and over a week, month or year that can be so very taxing and depleting on a mother's self worth and sense of accomplishment in her family's life.
Experiencing these trials again and again have certainly brought me to a place of less confusion, less guilt and more joy about meeting the needs- and wants- of my children. But at times it still seems as if a decade has come and gone and there are still days when mothering not just one- but four small humans- may just be the weightiest, intimidating purpose on the planet.