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  • Writer's pictureMegan Estes

I Feel Like My Kid Is Falling Through the Cracks

Updated: Feb 2

kid falling through cracks trust God

Moms, can you relate? One minute, I'm soaking it all in, nursing my newborn in a precious rocking chair my friend gifted to me while watching the sunset over the mountains, and the next minute, I'm covered in tears, worrying about how I let one of my sons slip through the cracks during this season. If you've ever wondered whether you're doing enough, or "being" enough for your kids, I wanted to let you know that you're not alone. Literally, the God of the universe who knit you together in your mother's womb also knit your sweet children together in yours. He's got you in His hands, along with your children, and He does not forsake those who love Him! If I know that God has my kiddos in His hands, then why do I still feel like I'm sometimes failing them? The truth is that I'm probably still trying to do it all on my own, control too much, and worry instead of trusting what I know to be true--that God is with me, He's in control, and I can hand my worries over to Him.

asking for help when you feel a kid is falling through the cracks

Learning to Ask For Help When You Feel A Kid Falling Through the Cracks

We recently added another baby to our home. (Thank you, Lord, for another sweet blessing!) Watching all the older kiddos care for and love him has been so neat. It's also been hard to meet the genuine needs of all my children this season. Learning to navigate junior high with my oldest and all that that entails, teach multiplication to my third grader, and keep my preschooler busy with someone to talk to at all times because he's the miniature version of Buddy The Elf (I'm serious, he truly is!) while caring for a newborn has been extremely challenging. Don't get me wrong, I am in love with this season, but it is taking everything in me to stay afloat some days.

I recently had an "ugly cry" up on our church balcony during a children's Christmas performance because I truly believed I'd let down one of my sons. He sat there next to me, singing along with the kids on stage and joyfully doing all the motions to the Christmas songs he'd been learning in class each week. He was full of cheer and didn't even realize he could have been up there performing along with his friends had his mom decided to find out when the musical practices were and get him to them. He would have LOVED being a part of that Christmas program, but I didn't make it happen. So, I sat there bawling my eyes out, watching him sing along joyfully right next to me on that church balcony. My husband knew exactly what was going through my head and comforted me with a gentle and reassuring, "he's just fine, babe." And my husband was right. My son was and IS just fine. But I felt I had let him down, and the worst part was that he didn't even know it.

the squeaky wheel gets the grease learning to be there for all my kids

This was just one of the numerous times I've felt like I've let one of my children down, or as some say, "let them slip through the cracks." There's also a saying that goes something like, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," and can we all agree that a newborn is very squeaky?! I've been very humbled in this season of motherhood and have had to learn to ask for help more often--which is hard for me. Thankfully, I've got a great team of moms who truly do want to help and have shown up in amazing ways for our family these past two months. I've asked for help with several things and I should have asked for help getting my son to and from those musical practices in all honesty, but at the time, I just didn't have the emotional energy to do so.

Despite having loving neighbors and friends who have rescued me and my family in recent times of need, the real person I'm learning to ask for help from first is the Lord. I'm learning to ask God for help in very practical ways these days. Sometimes it might be to help me stay awake so that I can be an engaged teacher to my kids after a sleepless night. Sometimes, it might be for patience while dealing with a really tough situation. Oftentimes, I ask the Lord to help me hold my tongue so that I don't speak critical words to the sensitive hearts around me just because things aren't going the way I think they should go. Whatever the scenario, I SHOULD be asking for God's help every step of the way. The reality is that my kids are HIS children, and I have the privilege of raising them. He knows them best, and I should be turning to His Word and Spirit way more often than I currently am. Mama, the Lord is the person you need to ask for help the most. He may give you supernatural strength to help your child in that moment, or He may give you a humble spirit and whisper a trusted name for you to call upon for wisdom. God uses His people to help each other--that's the Body of Christ in full bloom.

I want to be superman for my kids but need Jesus

But Why Can't I Do It All?

Every child has continually changing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, and I'm just one mama trying to fill them all. But should I be? Is that what a godly mama does? I'm learning that I need to cease striving as a mom. Not quit. Not strive more. But cease. Let me explain.

I'm genuinely working hard to serve my family, run our household, teach and train my kids, as well as guide their hearts daily as we minister to those around us. We are with each other all day long and yet, I'm finding I still can't be all things to all of my people. Even on my best day! They need Jesus. More so, I need Jesus. That's why I can't do it all. If I could do it all, then I would start relying on myself in ways that will never satisfy me or others. I am not meant to be my own god, or my children's god. I'm meant to trust God to do what only He can do--and so I must cease striving to be my children's savior and praise Him cause He's already accomplished what needs accomplishing. There's only one true savior. This doesn't mean that I stop giving my all to motherhood; it means that I must get it in my thick head that my 'all' will never be enough, and I need Jesus at every step of every day. When "my all" is surrendered to Him, that's when HE shows me what I truly need to focus on instead of trying to do all the things!

not one sparrow falls without God knowing

Why Can't I Control More?

Today I had a vision of sand that represented all my kids in the palm of my hands, and try as I might I couldn't keep the sand from falling through my hands--but then I saw a pair of holy, strong, and faithful hands underneath mine. They were the Lord's. My kids, represented by the sand, were flowing down from my hold into His steady palms. Even if I never let one of my kids slip through the cracks of my hands, God's hands would still be there guiding mine and surrounding us all. He's the one in control. My control is just a facade. He's the one holding us all. I am not powerful enough to do everything right so they don't experience pain or hardships and choose Truth. I am not God, and free will still exists for them to make their own choices! I'm going to miss out on being there for my kiddos from time to time--financially, physically and spiritually. My prayer is that when those times come I can ask for forgiveness and point them to the God who never fails. Not one sparrow falls without His knowledge (Matthew 10). God's Word says we are more valuable than sparrows, so we need to TRUST that He's got His eyes on our kiddos! They need to know that there is a God who knows them fully, and loves them dearly.

Mom is going to forget musical practice, important dates, and even be blind to my kid's emotional needs from time to time. My kids need to know that God will ALWAYS be there. I need to believe and trust that He is as well. He knows the number of hairs on their head and the hurts they carry in their heart. God knows it ALL. God controls it all even in the darkest times. The best thing I can do is continually show my kids WHO to turn to each day by my own example. When I feel out of control they need to see me stop and surrender. When I am feeling stressed or scared they need to hear me utter words of praise and stop and pray. My hope is that I can be a living testimony of God's grace and faithfulness that my kids get to witness each and every day. I pray they choose to follow me as I keep following the Jesus and His Word.

Kid falling through the cracks into God's hands

So let's go back to where we started with the intense realization that my kid is falling through the cracks: If you've ever wondered whether you're doing enough, or "being" enough for your kids, you're not alone. Literally, the God of the universe who knit you together in your mother's womb also knit your sweet children together in yours. He's got you in His hands, along with your children, and He does not forsake those who love Him! It's not up to you to meet your children's every need. It's up to you to seek Him first, and release your children's needs and worries to the One who already knows them more intimately than you ever will. Every day your role is to surrender your need for control, your fears, worries, and even your grandest plans to your Savior. There's no better place for you and your kids to be than surrendered in the plans and the hands of the Father.

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