So I just wrote an article about praying for your children and today I’m going to tell you that even though it looks like we have this well-oiled family machine going; it’s not always that way. Sometimes blowing it as a parent does mean you are a great parent and doing it right.
Families do not come in a neat package. There are no “Leave it to Beaver” sessions in this thing we call life. It’s messy and hard with yelling, sarcasm and a whole lot of disappointment. Guess what? You are doing it and doing it good. I heard a quote from a friend, “If you’re worried about being a bad parent, you’re probably a good one.” This relieved me because I often think about how I just do not measure up as a good mom. I criticize myself all the time on my parenting and more times than not I feel like I am the worst mom that has ever walked this planet. What a relief to know that I am not! I am not the worst mom and I am not the only yeller. Oh heavens, I am so glad that I am not alone in this parenting thing.
It would not be fitting if on this day while I am trying to write this that my children did not press hard against me. We are what Jen Hatmaker calls a “spicy” family. More often than not there is loudness. Lots of loudness. My oldest chooses to get louder with every syllable she speaks. My thirteen-year-old has a very funny personality, however, that is countered by an attitude that can circle the moon three times over and still that doesn’t cover it in entirety. My ten-year-old daughter is going on sixteen with her sass and wit and let’s not forget the easiest child, my son who is nine. He may be the easiest, but the boy knows all the “right” buttons to push to get a rise out of every single person in the family and I swear he thrives on that.
You guys, my family is not any closer to being perfect than the family down the road, any of our pastor’s families, or the average family who doesn’t necessarily even have a faith to back their actions.
Parenting is not meant to be perfected. It is meant to guide our children even when they resist the needed guidance. It is loving unconditionally as Christ loved and still loves us. Parenting is more often hard than not and it is the biggest blessing that we are gifted with in this life. How we choose to parent shows our character toward others, but also in how we want to be loved and treated.
Listen, we are all going to fail as a parent. We will make choices that were not right or maybe we will ignore a choice that our child made when we really should have corrected it, but that does not define our entire role as parent. We see other parents that we think have it all down pat and we look up to them while we exaggerate our successes as parent.
Every parent blows it. That doesn’t make us ruin; that makes us ordinary. God made us this way. We are to be molding all those failures into character. Not only ours, but our children’s as well.
Ladies, I will be the first to tell you that I worry that I am not doing this parenting thing right and that I am failing in countless ways that may be seen or unseen, but the fact of all this parenting is…God designed me to be the mom I am to my children. He specifically chose me to be the mother to my four children and any others who may come into our family. I was meant to be this mom; faults and all. I love being a mom even with the hard parts. I love seeing their faces even after they have done something wrong and especially when they have done something right. I love this life.
God, you have provided us with the greatest example of what it means to love unconditionally. Your Word is a light unto our path and I ask that you would continue to use this life given as an example to our children. When we feel that we are not good enough or doing this parenting thing right, remind us that you chose us for this role of a lifetime and we have you to guide us through even the hard parts. Amen.