My 6-year old had a hard day at school last week.
The reason for her struggle? The assistant teacher who was usually in her classroom that day was absent.
It may not sound like a lot, but it was to her. She’s on the autism spectrum, so any change is hard, of course. But let’s be honest, with a global pandemic stretching on and on…and on, these kids have faced a lot of change—and it doesn’t take much more to push them over the edge.
When I first received a message from the teacher about her behavior, I had a whole “mom talk” already prepared in my mind. But when she walked in the door, tired and defeated and sad, my heart broke for her. “Everything is harder when Mrs _ isn’t there,” she sobbed, and my talk went right out the window.
What she needed was a hug.
Our kids are resilient but we need to remember they are also still just kids—kids whose entire world has changed. They are going to have bad days—in fact, they’re allowed to! And in return, they need hugs and gentleness and a listening ear. They need our unwavering support, our unconditional love, and grace upon grace upon grace. They need to know they can feel what they need to feel, and that we will take it, absorb it. That’s our job as mamas, after all.
But it’s not just our kids that are experiencing these “everything is harder” days, is it?
We are, all of us, struggling through these difficult, uncertain times. Perhaps everything is harder because of strained or disconnected relationships, an impossible work/life balance, a struggling business, or financial worry. Perhaps its mounting disappointments, loneliness, anxiety, grief—or yet another unwelcome change.
So let’s save our sermons for another day and respond with love instead. Let’s offer kindness instead of condemnation; gentleness instead of judgement. And perhaps, maybe, help make that hard thing a little less harder to bear.
“Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”(Proverbs 16:24, NLT).