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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Parenting is so humbling

 I have been worn out and spread too thin for awhile now. It has boggled my thinking. I want to fix it. I want to find the right book or the right advice or the right Biblical wisdom and have everything returned to joyful. That isn't happening.

I have grown up without a mother, without parents, without family. I am fine. I beat cancer. We survived having no income for over three years. We have home schooled through it all, thrived as a family through it all. Things are great right now. From the outside looking in we are picturesque at the moment:  great kids, great life, husband working full time, living in a mansion while many are losing their homes. So why is it hard for me now? Why is it now that I feel a true struggle?

I sat down desperate and in tears and tried to figure out the "problem." I have a headstrong teen who will be a great leader someday but right now I really don't appreciate his strong personality. I have two preschoolers who need to be watched. Every second of every day. Except for two in the morning when the teens need to talk. I have a young girl who a few months ago was a sweet sweet girl and is now trying to figure out what being a young woman is. That is heavy stuff. There is no problem to fix or a person to eliminate. It's just all too much all together. It's not that I don't have time for each of my children or the laundry and meals for 7 people and cleaning a 3,500 square foot home, and planning, and replanning and praying over the education for 5 people. ALL of my time goes to these things. I don't want a "break" from it all. This is my life. The life I have prayed for, the life carved out for me.....Then why is it is tiring and confusing and draining? Am I doing something "wrong" if it isn't simple and easy and there aren't fireworks whenever people look in on our lives.

I don't need strokes and affirmation from outside people. I'm not looking for it. Yet, people sure like to offer their opinions. I have NEVER claimed to have this together. Why must people point out to me that I don't? You need to tell me that my 14 year old son isn't mature think yours is? You haven't noticed the binge drinking and casual sex in the Facebook pictures of your own but can see every flaw in mine? I will revert my eyes back to my own issues and be quiet.

Sometimes I do long for someone else as involved in and invested in my children as my husband and I, to bear the "burden" and share the praying. The people who want to jump in really dont know what they are jumping into. No my kids aren't perfect. I need to stop pointing that out to people. This is their story too. Parenting is so humbling.

I have good kids. No major sins or law breaking. Yet there is so  much to be worked on. My olders know. They have been taught right from wrong they know what they should be doing. Yet they are children and I find myself following them around and managing them. We somehow get this false idea that if we just train our children properly and follow some formula everything will be perfect and joyful. But really? The kid in Juvenile Hall wasn't told to share and not steal? My child just hid and ate all the ice cream for my birthday because we didn't have proper rules in place? Maybe. Maybe Not. These kids are flawed and sinful and will make mistakes, some can be blamed on me some not. They have been taught and trained by sinful and flawed parents. They have seen the Grace that God has offered those parents too. I can only trust that God has a plan for them and a plan bigger than their flawed character.