Parenting is tough. Tougher than any corporate job I’ve ever had. The baby stage is hard. Until you don’t have it anymore. The toddler stage is hard. Until you don’t have it anymore. The little kid and tween stages are hard. Until you don’t have them anymore. The teen years are hard. Until you don’t have them anymore. If we are lucky we get to raise our kids to be full grown adults and maybe, just maybe, we can be friends at that point. Every stage of parenting is hard until you get through it. Then it becomes easier to remember the good times more than the bad and it just doesn’t seem that hard anymore.
Today my 13 year old son came over to me and hugged me. He said, “Mom, thanks for taking care of me today.” You see, he had minor oral surgery this morning. This teenager who is now taller than me, who has his own opinions, who is trying to figure out who he is, and loves to test my sanity at times recognized that he needed and actively received help from his momma.
In that single moment of a hug his entire life flashed through my mind. It was like I was reliving his entire existence on fast forward and it was glorious. Then I thought, I would live at least one hundred more hard days just to get that hug that tells me that we must be doing something right as parents. I mess up a lot as a parent, but today I got it completely right and all I did was make a comfortable space for him to lie down on, ensure his pain was managed, and make soft comfort foods for him to eat. He was thankful and showed it the very best way he knew how; with a hug. That hug said it all and for that, this momma is grateful.
The moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the power of hugs. Especially hugging your children. Give hugs and take hugs through every stage of life with your kids. All stages are tough but hugs will help you make it through. I don’t promise you that it will be easy on the days where you are bone tired, but it will be worth it. I promise. As your kids grow they may not initiate hugs like when they were little. Warning: You may not be “allowed” to do this in public for a few years. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’m told public signs of affection become okay again somewhere around the 19th birthday. I’m a few years away from that so I can’t make any promises to you yet. Still, give them as many hugs as possible. With a hug you receive just as much as you give. How many hugs will you give today?
Proverbs 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.