Your Job is Not My Problem

Once upon a time, I had three kids at home…of the five-and-under crowd and I remember a certain three year old taking me by surprise.

Bridget OyWe were struggling through potty training.

I had tried everything. Smarties (Canadian M&M’s), stickers, reward charts, guilt trips, peer pressure.

I said to her

“It’s time. You need to stop using pull-ups. I’ve got enough diapers to change with your baby brother.”

I resorted to peer pressure.

“All your friends are out of pull-ups.”

And do you know what she said?

She folded her arms and stared at me defiantly (kind of  exactly like Fiona in Shrek) and replied

“Your job is not my problem!”

Lulu

Part of the 3yr old defiant McConkey is presented by the lovely Lulu. Thanks to Kendra! PhotoCredit: CatholicAllYear.com

Suddenly, years later, this sounds… well, still cheeky coming from a 3 year old, but maybe a little profound for the place I find myself in, in my Momhood.

I haven’t quite figured out exactly who I need to say it to, but I’m pretty sure I at least need to start thinking it.

cool KellyIt’s true that my kids are facing deeper responsibilities as they get older, between high school and jobs and post secondary education and commitments they’ve agreed to…and goals they’re pursuing. While I can try to facilitate, coach them, be hero support, I can’t do any of it for them!

Their jobs are not my problem. Only God can answer their prayers and truly ease their way

…and His Job is not my problem either.

Am I trying to be something like a Cruise Director or a Life Coach, a Commander or a Puppeteer? I know I’m trying to manage the schedules, the logistics, the emotions of my kids ranging in age from 6-20! I’m trying to help them battle their fears and insecurities, challenges and disappointments. I’m trying to help them sort through all the demands and options that come up, easing their hurdles; trying to make them manageable while accommodating last minute schedule changes and conflicts and inevitable social mishaps.

It’s not all up to me.

I’ve got to align my prayer, my trust in His Promises.

He has a plan for me…and for each one of my kids.

The truth is, I can’t manage everything or everyone…maybe not anyone. (Have you seen Adam running down our street lately?)

I can’t anticipate every risk or challenge. I can’t ease all their troubles; that’s not what I do.

It’s getting harder to fix things. Sure, I can whip up a Peter Pan hat mere hours before it’s needed on stage and I can still architect a darn good SuperHero birthday party. I drive people places and I scrounge up cash as they run for the bus. I can make 3 different dinners for 6 different people and I run out last minute for supplies for a field trip or registration for some program.

But emotions these days need more than a boo boo bunny and a chocolate milk.

I suspect that I’ll always be hero support, trying to make their lives easier …even when lives start revolving around grandchildren. God bless my Mom for showing me how it’s done.

I may never quite stop worrying or fussing about…but gradually I might be able to let go a little,

as I start to grasp that

Your Job is not my problem, Jesus.

Jesus, I trust in You.

McConkey 2016

Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    When my first baby was born, in the throws of those first few weeks, I finally understood worry. I am NOT a worrier, but suddenly, all I could think about were all the things that could go wrong for this child who was now mine! In a discussion with my mom, O explained my worries and wondered about how I would ever take care of him. And in her profound wisdom, my mother said, “But isn’t it nice to know that since you baptized him, he isn’t really yours anyway?” And yes, it is.

    • Thanks Jennifer! I once asked a priest…’what happens if I mess these kids up?’ and he said ‘God will heal them’ 🙂

  2. My, how your words speak to me, as a mom of many, ages 7-20! Thank you for sharing; I wholeheartedly agree, Monica. The problems get bigger as they grow up – and there are days I wish I could go back to being the one who knew how to fix it all. With each and every child, I have grown in trust…and it continues. Thanks, Monica, for making me smile today. God Bless and have a great day!

    • Thanks Dawn! I think there needs to be more support for Moms of older kids and young adults! It’s nice to know we’re not alone in the struggle! God bless you and your family!

  3. This is so good! What a funny thing for your three year old to say and yet how profound that saying is for Moms in trusting that God can do his job and our husbands and kids can do their jobs. Following from lovelylittlelives.com and Catholic Mommy blogs

  4. Oh, my, this was so much something I needed.

    “I can’t anticipate every risk or challenge. I can’t ease all their troubles; that’s not what I do.”

    I love that. I’m always feeling guilty, because I feel like I should be doing that, but of course I can’t.

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