Parenting… why did I have such a confused outlook at it?
Why did I know that so many people talked about how challenging it was but never really comprehended it? Even as a child I remember hearing passing remarks about the “joys of parenting”, the frustrations and the difficulties that seem to encircle it. If I’m honest, that’s why I never really wanted kids in the first place. I never really wanted to be that “tied down” or that “inconvenienced”. The “joys of parenting” was a phrase that lead me to believe that parenting was mostly just struggle after struggle and mess after mess.
It wasn’t until I became a mother in 2016 that those things manifested themselves in my life as a 7 pound 8 ounce, sassy, little girl. Since then, all the things I’ve mentioned above are very much true. Life with her is, in fact, struggle after struggle, mess after mess; it’s difficult and challenging, we’re more “tied down” and it would appear more “inconvenienced”.
However, the one thing I missed when hearing about the “joys of parenting” was the actual JOY in it! All of a sudden it didn’t matter how messy things are, you learn to deal with that pretty quickly. It doesn’t matter how hard or challenging things get, “tied down” and “inconvenienced” doesn’t really register as a problem.
I quickly realized that the fears I had before having kids were not the fears I actually have as a parent. The fears of tantrums, crayon-colored walls, lack of sleep, lack of time, all of those things are so tiny to the things that really worry me as Mom.
Because along with overwhelming joy there is equal overwhelming fear. Fear that my husband and I will fail her somehow. Fear that the devil will grab ahold of her with drugs or alcohol, that an uncontrollable illness would take over. Fear that one day she will walk away from the God I love so much.
Those fears have a gravity to them like no tantrum could ever have! They have the ability to stop me in my tracks, to keep me awake at night. Something tells me that I’m not the only parent out there that has similar concerns, or worse, who are dealing with those fears being a reality.
So what do we do? What do we do when the worry gets to be too much? When we feel like we are failing at the most important job we have? When we only seem to be yelling and correcting, when life gets crazy and the toddler or teen or adult is out of hand.
We turn to the ONE who can give us rest, and composure! We turn to the ONE who promises to give us peace in the midst of chaos. We turn to the ONE who loves our kids more than we do. It’s hard to wrap my mind around that fact. It’s hard for me every day to pray and give my child (soon to be children) back to God. It’s hard but it’s necessary, necessary for my sanity, necessary for my well being and most of all necessary for their soul!
I believe parenting was always meant to be filled with abundant joy, not abundant fear.
I also believe it CAN be that and more when we decide to embrace the mess, the struggle and the chaos When we choose to give our children over to their Creator, the ONE who loves them most!