"Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord. And He shall lift you up."
I recently went on a women's retreat through my church. It was something I really needed to do for myself spiritually to reconnect with the Lord. I was excited to have some quiet one-on-one time with God.
The theme of the retreat was womanhood and being daughters of God. We talked about what being a mother and wife meant to us. I felt envious of the women who talked about how they loved being a mom and how they have close relationships with their kids. I opened up with my small group that I sometimes don't enjoy motherhood.
I have three children ages 5, 4, and 2. They all have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, my second two were diagnosed at the end of last year. Motherhood for me is hard. Most of the time I just feel like their caregiver.
My middle son Daniel was diagnosed in December. While he can talk and is considered more higher functioning, he gets frustrated really easily, fixates and obsesses over certain things, and has trouble regulating his emotions.
Because he's on the opposite side of spectrum of my other two kids, I've always been a little more hard on him. Daniel can walk and talk and is more independent. Sometimes I feel like I treated him more like an adult, expecting him to know more than he should. Autism or not, he's still only 4 years old and a child.
It was nice for me to get away for a weekend and to have that break away from my kids. My home life is stressful. I don't get a whole lot of time to myself.
At one point during the retreat we did Stations of the Cross through Mary's eyes. That really resonated with me and was my favorite part of the weekend. I started having a better relationship with Mary a year ago, because I feel like I can relate to her. I figured she's probably the best person who understands what I go through with my kids. She also watched her child suffer.
During prayer time I asked God how I could be more like Mary and how I can enjoy motherhood like my retreatmates do. I heard him tell me that I needed to humble myself.
I needed to meet Daniel where he was at as a child and not talk to him like he's an older person. I needed to be more patient with him and try to understand where he's coming from. I needed to come down to his level and be more empathetic.
I immediately think of the song "Humble Thyself In The Sight of the Lord." Christ humbled himself around so many people. He never tried to act bigger than anyone else or treated anyone poorly. He met them at their level, which is what I needed to do with Daniel.
After the retreat I saw Daniel differently. I stood and watched him play with his toys. I saw him as a little boy who needs so much help and a whole lot of love. He can't control his behaviors like I thought he could. Before we knew he had autism I thought he did certain things for attention, but now I know that wasn't the case.
Motherhood is hard, but I'm sure it's not as hard for me as it is for my children. They're the ones who are actually living it. I'm trying to be more patient and more understanding of what they go through daily. I'm trying to humble myself and meet them at their level. It's a lot more enjoyable.
Kate lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. You can read her writing at her blog This Special Journey.