Ya’ll, I am so sick of these annoying “catchy” titles that are circulating the blogging sites of the world. Why I don’t eat chicken. Why I hate reading blogs. 10 things you should know before you have a baby. Hmmm… just 10? Funny stuff! These titles peak your interest and then what? Maybe it’s a touching story that really has nothing to do with the dramatic title chosen or it’s a post that just has no meat on the bones but they got you to open it up, click the button and read, all because of the title it bears.
I don’t need a catchy title today or any day because I’m about to get real with you like I always do. There’s nothing to spice up. This one is all about being a parent and feeling like a failure. Here we go…
I am an imperfect human who married another imperfect human with whom I procreated two other little imperfect humans. Bottom line… we don’t know what we’re doing!Parenting is HARD! Oh. My. Gosh.! Everyday that goes by I feel like I am completely ruining my children.
I think we’ve been too hard on the first one. We’ve spoken “too grown up” to him his whole life. He’s the one that was on a schedule from day 1. He’s the one we carried sanitizer around with in case someone wanted to touch him. We cleaned everything twice, we sanitized, and sanitized, and put the child in a bubble. We had to pick the right kind of diaper, the right kind of clothes, and we had to follow the book, and follow the book some more. He was a great baby. He actually followed the book too. He even wore the size clothing the book said he should wear according to this age. Now, Our son is almost 11 and he’s like half man half little boy. It’s heartbreaking. My baby isn’t a baby anymore. He can’t figure out if he’s a man or a boy child. We can’t figure out whether he’s a man or a boy child either. It’s the greatest mystery among our home these days. Even his clothes are currently at an “in between” status of size. I can’t take it. I don’t know what to do with a little boy man child.
4 years after our son blessed us with his presence, our daughter arrived. She screamed. She screamed some more. She wanted to be held all the time. She licked everything and we were just too tired to care. We finally just gave up and said we’re tired of fighting it… “lick away”. (just FYI, she only licked things when she was a toddler… no licking is happening now!) She has always hated sleep and has chosen her own schedule. Now, she’s almost 7. She is very artsy. She loves to paint, dance, sing, and play instruments. She cries… a lot… still! Little girls cry… a lot! I’m over here thinking “Dear Lord, I can’t handle my hormones and yours my little mini me”.
Parenting is hard.
Every time we turn around we’re in a new era with these kids.
To think, we were once worried about people touching our baby and us staying on a perfect schedule. Feedings every 3 hours on the dot, nap time at this time, 2nd nap time at this time, follow the book, follow the book, sterilize, be scared, worry, watch the cute infant human sleep, worry, finally fall asleep, get up to feed cute little baby human…
I would take those days all over again. I remember they were exhausting, but I also know that I didn’t have the same worries I do now! They’re different and they’re deeper. Will my kids choose college? If they go to college, will they be safe? Will they party? Will they follow someone with a strange outlook on life and try weed? Will they remain pure until marriage? Will they have a heart for missions like we do? Will they make life altering mistakes that no one can fix? Will they grow up to hate us? Will we be close for life? Will they continue to confide in us? Will we get to help take care of our grandchildren? Will Bradley’s wife like me? Will Emma’s husband take care of her? Will they all keep Jesus first? These worries may seem premature, but they are real and they’ll be here before we know it! Bradley will be 11 this year! 4 more years and he’s driving. 3 years after that, he’s 18 and he’s making huge decisions. Which means, Emma will be 1 year away from driving, and just 5 years away from being 18 and making huge decisions. They’ll be driving motorized vehicles and making huge decisions!!!
TIME. SLOW. DOWN!!!
I feel like we are so inadequate. Why did God give us these amazing people to take care of when all we’re going to do is screw them up? Have you ever thought that? I worry all the time, and the truth is, that God is actually in charge and our children, whom we have dedicated back to Him, are actually His.
They belong to Him.
I chew on this scripture all the time: Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
This gives me hope.
So, when you’re human like I am and you make mistakes like I do, how can you be sure you’re actually doing justice to this scripture?
We live what we preach. The things I write in my blog, this is who we are. We make mistakes, but we are covered in God’s grace. We expect our children to make mistakes also, they aren’t perfect, they aren’t Jesus. But, they know that we live our lives according to the Word of God and they know who Jesus is. They know that the way to stay strong and say no to sin is to stay in the Word and say yes to Jesus, to grow in their relationship with the Lord.
The bottom line is that my hope is in the Lord. My hope is not in anything we do! Where we fail, He succeeds. Where we “drop the ball”, He picks it up. Bottom line, be real! Teach them what you want them to learn by being who Christ wants you to be. No catchy titles. No fake actions. No more being 1 way at home and another way elsewhere. Show them Jesus so they know exactly what He looks like and there is no confusion and no other way that would entice them to think there’s something better on the other side. Then, let God do the rest!
Father, I need you more. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for allowing me to be a mother to 2 of the most beautiful humans on the face of this planet. Thank you for blessing me with such a wonderful husband. Thank you for designing this life for me. I humble myself and ask for your forgiveness of mistakes made and I thank you that you are big enough to guide us. You are big enough to love our children more than we do. You are big enough to take our mistakes and turn them into lessons, cover them with grace, and sprinkle your love all over them like a fresh made cupcake. Lord, continue to refine us. Give us wisdom. Give us strength. Give us the words to say. Protect our babies and us against the traps of the enemy. You are bigger and you are greater than he is! I love you Jesus, amen.
*Photo taken by Angela Tomzcak