At the Plate

At the Plate

Well, I have a confession to make.

I’ve been battling some anxiety lately. Feelings of not being good enough, impending sense of doom, you know that kind of stuff. No big deal.

It’s something I’ve always struggled with, and sometimes it hits me harder than others. I withdraw from the world, I shut down when I start to think too much, and I stop writing because then I might really have to face my feelings.

A few minutes ago, I figured out what I think is the root of this bout of anxiety – my boys.

We homeschool Noah right now, and Aidan goes to our friend’s Montessori school part-time. I have my boys home with me and a part of my life a lot. I spend such good time with them when they’re home, and I’m so blessed to be able to stay home and soak up all this time with them. My love language is “Quality Time” and getting to spend such good quality time with them is so special for me.

Next year, Aidan will be attending kindergarten full day. We knew this was the plan all along, even though we were homeschooling Noah. I loved having Noah go to an actual kindergarten with desks and lunch lines and raising your hand, and we knew that we would like for Aidan to do that, too. We were always going to take school year by year – whether we’d homeschool or send them to school.

The anxiety started creeping in when we decided that it would be best for both Noah and Aidan for Noah to spend 2nd grade at school with Aidan next year.

It occurred to me that I will only see my kids for a few hours after school each day – much of which will be spent on homework and sports practices. It just hit me that I will see my kids significantly less than I ever have in their lives! My quality time feels like it’s slipping away, and I am losing a lot of the control I have in my parenting.

Then last week, we were sitting at Noah’s baseball game, and I was watching him walk up to the plate to bat, and I felt like my heart would beat out of my chest.

I was so nervous for him. I felt so out of control, and I realized that’s where so much of my anxiety is coming from. I hate the feeling of sending my kids out into the world and hoping they’ll be okay.

There was nothing I could do watching him stand at the plate. I had to just sit in my chair (though on the edge of it, hyperventilating) and wait for the other team’s monster pitcher to throw his best at my baby.

For many years, I have been running around the world baby-proofing things, removing choking hazards, and buckling five point harnesses like a boss. I’d keep them safe if it was the last thing I did.

Now that I’ve started coming up for air, none of my cabinets have child locks, if they choke it’s usually because someone farted at the dinner table and they’re choking on their own laughter and half-chewed meal, and they buckle their own seatbelts in the car.

It’s time for me to stop running and start sitting down in my chair and watching as my kids venture to the plate and wait for the world to throw them a pitch.

Sometimes it makes me feel like I want to vomit. Other times I feel like someone might need to hold my earrings while I have a chat with the world about messing with my kid. And then sometimes I just glow with pride when they knock it out of the park.

But here’s the deal. If I’m just totally honest with myself, I know that ultimately they’re not mine, and they belong to Jesus. Their hearts have been entrusted to my care for now, but when the chips are down, the goal is for Jesus to keep them forever. *Cue more anxiety and hand me a paper bag.*

If my kids have any chance of becoming Spartans, it’s because I’ve let Jesus do the work – I’ve brought him to practice and let the Coach do His thing. It’s my job to point them to Jesus and then to live my life as an example of how to listen to His coaching and practicing on my own.

I can’t control their lives and who comes in or out of it. I can’t make their decisions for them (even though, truth be told, I’m sure I’d make the best ones, amiright?) and I can’t be there to discuss every decision they make before they make it.

The best thing I can do for my boys is cover them in prayer and point them to Jesus. What a relief to know that the One who created them loves them more than I do, and He’s actually in control!

Unfortunately, my anxiety hasn’t quite subsided, and I’m still very daily handing it over to Jesus (when I allow myself to). But it makes it so much easier for me to let go of control when I remember that I’m not in control and that He is.

It’s time to grab a lawn chair and some {hearty} snacks, trust the coaching and the practicing, take some deep breaths while I pray…and wait for the next pitch.

cover photo: Mary



about 4 years ago

You. Are. Amazing. It's going to be okay. Every mom goes through this. You're transitioning to the new role in their lives. You're going from primary caregiver- get them dressed- learning ABC's- with you every second of the day- let's run errands all day.... to more of a moral support, listening, "Mom, guess what we did at school today!", helping study for spelling tests, cheering from your chair behind the fence- role.... you're the mommy to 2 amazing little boys, soon to be big boys. They will blow your mind every day with what they're capable of doing when you set them loose in the world. You'll hear stories from teachers or other moms at school, of how they were kind to the boy in class that gets made fun of or eats lunch alone. Or how he raised his hand to go 1st to present a project, or asked to help sweep the gym after a school glowstick dance party<(Elijah did this, #proudmama). They'll still need their days at home with mom- helping with grocery shopping, cleaning, playing a card game, or just veggin out, watching a movie. You're the best at knowing what they need, being at a school or being homeschooled, and you don't ever need to question that. We pray out loud every day on our short drive to school and then I tell them as I drop them off: "Live for Jesus!!!" I tell them to go through the their day like Jesus is right next to them.... cuz He is :) Jesus is their Coach! We're their cheerleader!!! :) <3 <3 <3


Hayley Schraufnagel

about 4 years ago

You are so sweet to me. It's a transition that's so scary but you're so right - it will be a different good. Thank you for your kind words for my soul!


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