Someone asked me last week what the hardest part of parenting is. I answered, “The lack of control.” Especially when the kids start school—in kindergarten. When they’re home with you, you know everything they eat, everything they say… everything. Every thought they think, you know–most of the time better than they do. But when they start school, they’re gone for so-so-so long. You don’t know what they played like, you don’t know what they thought during certain situations. You don’t know what they felt. You don’t know what kind of conversations they had at recess. You just don’t know…everything. And that’s terrifying. You spend the first 5 years scared OUT OF YOUR MIND that you’ve been given this much control over another HUMAN BEING. And you spend the rest of your life watching what control you had, slip through your fingers like sand. There’s this realization that any time you talk to them you’re either going to be too inquisitive or not inquisitive enough. Which is worse?
And then what happens after that? Every morning you rush them through breakfast, and getting dressed, and packing lunch, and talking about plans after school.
And you spend every afternoon hoping the words you say repeat in their brains, becoming their inner voice. You hope your love shows through all the scolding and correcting, and micro-managing. “I do this because I love you.”
And then you think about the consequences of that phrase. Everything you say lashes back with doubt in your own mind: “Was that helpful?” “Will it still be true in 2 years… 5 years… 10 years…?” You’re trying your best to help them become everything you aren’t. You say all the words your parents didn’t; you give all the advice no one gave you at this age. And then, will they even remember?
And at the end of the day, you ask yourself, “Was it always this hard? Is this what parents went through all those years ago? Is this what MY parents went through?” And then they get on the school bus, and they’re gone for another 8 hours.
Ugh. Parenting is hard!
But for some of us we have a helper: someone to guide us and change us and mold us– and them; someone to share your heartaches with; someone who knows your pain; someone to shoulder the blame.
You are my Rock and my salvation.
“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears. – 2 Samuel 22:7
I pray that I ALWAYS stay humble, and ALWAYS remember that it is not I who is doing the soul work, but ONLY YOU, Jesus, can save them. Gently remind me when I forget. Remind me that it is not my hand they are in, but yours.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. – John 10:29
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