I birthed three unique individuals. Some traits of their personalities were highlighted early on while some were slowly discovered as they grew up. I’ve done this parenting thing for over 30 years now and I believe I’m qualified to touch on quite a few topics. I’ve grieved and celebrated each stage of their growing. From infancy to high school & college graduations, from love and marriage to the baby carriage. Not all in that order, but I’ve experienced it all, more than I care to mention. What I’m constantly discovering with this parenting thing is that I can’t make mini me’s (which is great because I am definitely “flawsome”) but I am to be there for each of them. I can’t treat them the same because they are so different.
Loving well, parenting well — we make it so complicated. It doesn’t need to be. I think our children simply need us to be present.
I grew up with my parents owning businesses. We all had to work. We had to survive! Parenting looked different for them than for me and that’s okay, parenting doesn’t look the same for every family. You do your best and you make it work. When I was parenting, I didn’t have the distractions of the computer or social media. I feel for parents these days. My granddaughter told me not too long ago, “Grandma put your phone down.” Even as a grandma, I must be intentional with my time spent with my kisses.
August I celebrated 54 years on this earth. While I am not as old as my granddaughter thinks I am, I am noticing that my body is breaking down a little faster than I desire. There are things I crave for my little kisses. But I won’t accomplish them if I am so fixated on my phone or too busy to even notice that I need to pour into their little souls while they are in my company. This is easier said than done when I’m not feeling my best or just want some me time. But it’s in those times that I feel like I’ve failed them. When I was parenting my children, I saw their bents at a young age. My baby girl was always artsy. I didn’t know the extent of it until she reminded me that I used to purchase extra art supplies for her. She is a dancer and artist with creativity out of this world! My oldest daughter was always a bookworm. It didn’t shock me at all that her love for reading and writing would land her a college degree in Journalism and would afford her an opportunity to work as an executive and travel abroad. My oldest has the gift to meet no stranger. As a young 5-year-old he didn’t want a book bag, he wanted a briefcase to take to school. His uniqueness has landed him his dream job of being an executive trainer. I’ve always said my boy could be the President of the United States!
As a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t have many distractions, so I was intentional to look up when my kids walked through the door, listen when they chattered and explore when things didn’t add up. I wanted them to navigate life well and I was extremely intentional with teaching them as they grew. One thing I prayed for each of them as they were developing in my womb was that the favor of the Lord would be upon them all the days of their lives.
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52, NIV).
Now they are all adults and living out their personal testimonies. Even through the bumps and bruises, I continue to see the hand of the Lord on their lives. What more can a parent ask for. More than their academia (which is important to me), when I see them walk in the ways of the Lord, grow from their mistakes, and pour into their children it makes me the proudest mom. You can say you parented well when you’ve done your best, given your all and selflessly stewarded the gifts that God has given to you. Parenting is the best life! I’m glad God trusted me with this awesomely difficult task!
I pray for all the parents who may read this. May they follow your manual, may they see their children as gifts and not distractions. Help them to parent well. Let them realize that they will make mistakes just like their children will, but You are so loving and faithful to cover them through every stage of parenting. Help them to love and teach their kids well so they will grow as Jesus did, in stature and in favor all the days of their lives. Keep them all safe from this disease that has destroyed so many lives. Shield and protect the parents as they go about their daily lives. It’s in JESUS’ name I pray. Amen