What I Know For Sure About Parenthood
My daughter recently turned 15. She announced three days before her birthday that she would like to get her driving permit immediately. Having just moved from a state where this happened at 16, we did not even know this was a possibility. My husband looked at me and said, "I simply have never been prepared for the next stage of growing up, no matter how much we have tried to get ready for it."
It got me thinking about all of the things no one ever told me about parenting:
Here's what I know for sure about parenthood:
- The day you bring your baby home you feel totally inadequate. You wonder if they should be allowing you to come home with this child, because you've come to the acute awareness that you have no idea what you are doing.
- You love your child from the moment you first see them, but it takes a little while to FALL in love with them.
- There never comes a point where you truly get to go to the bathroom alone. Even when they don't walk in on you anymore (which still happens btw) they stand outside the door and talk to you.
- The feeling of inadequacy gets worse when your kids start asking deep life questions that you don't have answers to.
- Your heart crumbles the first time you can't fix a problem for your child.
- There will come a moment when you hide in the closet to eat something you want to eat and not share.
- You lose ownership of most things. Everything is considered up for grabs unless of course it belongs to your children, then it is theirs. Just ask them.
- There will come a point when you say something that sounds EXACTLY like your parent. You will cringe. You will also understand them a little better.
- There will always be a parent who you feel is better at this, more together, and more spiritual than you.
- If you try family devotions, they will not go as planned.
- The best life lessons happen in the unscripted moments of mistakes, failures and accidental triumphs.
- You always live in fear this will be THE time you mess your kids up once and for all.
- You will have standoffs with your preschooler during which there is a stare down and you muttering, "I WILL WIN THIS."
- Someone will give you a compliment about your child which makes you wonder, "Are we talking about the same child?"
- You will give in to some things you were "never" going to do: like feed your kids fast food or let them watch several hours of television on a day when you are sick (or let's face it--on any day.)The first time your child has to go to the emergency room you realize how little you care about the "stuff" of this world when compared to their health.
- Your house will never be clean for more than 10 minutes. Don't even bother.
- You will laugh the hardest as a family.
- Your kids will pick up your quirks- some you wish they didn't have- some you feel a little like are God's gift to reminding you they notice who you are.
- You'll figure out that your kids are not ever really "yours." The Lord allows us to guide them for a little while, but they belong to Him. And it's a relief.
- At some point when everyone is talking about the "weird" family- you realize the conversation is about you.
Finally- the only parents they REALLY want are the ones they have. It doesn't matter if you are imperfect. They want us. They want us to love them, hold them and not give up on them. They want us to be present, fully attentive and just guide them. It doesn't matter to them if you are the funnest, or coolest. The want YOU. You are enough for your children and my husband and I (with the help of Jesus) are enough for ours.
Tell me what is on your list?