I was totally going to rock this parenting thing … and then I had children.
I read all the books on getting my baby on a sleep schedule. I knew what to expect when expecting. But then I had children and realized everyone is a liar, because God gave me the children that are divergent – the ones that all the books call, “the exception to the rule.”
I would have appreciated a book that covers topics like “what to do when your 3-year-old decides to go streaking through the neighbor’s yard,” or “how to keep your child from going all Jedi with a light saber on the Catholic neighbor’s statue of Mary.” I could have used tips on “how to keep your toddler from putting dog poop in his mouth.” That’s what I needed – a parenting book on how to get my children to do what I want them to do. Sadly, this book does not exist. Motherhood doesn’t work that way.
As a parent, we do not need a list on how to do things better; we need a reminder of why we have been given children in the first place. Parenting is for the glory of God. He designed it. It was His plan to place children in families. Yes, parenting is hard, but there is hope.
Hope?! Are you kidding me? How can we have hope when we don’t remember the last time we slept or showered? Where is the hope when remnants from many meals ago are fossilizing on our kitchen floor, Legos have been vomited everywhere, and there is lots and lots of sassiness. Parenting is messy, isn’t it?
Yet our hope lies in the fact that God is in control.
Yes, parenting is hard but there is hope.
Our creator doesn’t make mistakes. Christ will provide us all we need to parent these divergent children. After all, aren’t we all divergent?
Remember, God is the only perfect parent. He doesn’t expect or need us to be perfect. He simply asks us to teach them what we know, “My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9).
Our children do not need to see perfect mothering. They need to see parents who are in desperate need of a loving God.
More than anything, our kids need to know that mommy and daddy need Jesus just as much as they do.
I am constantly asking my children to forgive me for the ways I have hurt them. I intentionally show them that mommy doesn’t have it all together. They need to know that God is teaching mommy, so mommy can teach them. It’s not all the theories, books, or unrealistic expectations; it’s understanding this – that God is in control of me and my kids – that’s what makes me really rock this parenting thing.