Parenting Reflections

1) Parenting is one of the hardest things that you have to do in life. I said something to this effect to my new neighbors and their friends. One problem: they are in the Marines. None of them have children themselves, some have possibly seen war firsthand, and I didn’t realize what I was saying until after the words were out of my mouth. Didn’t get much of a response from them -maybe a few brief “are you crazy” looks. As I have thought about it after the fact, I feel it is still true. I didn’t mean to compare what they do as soldiers to parenting in anyway – you can’t really. The reality of parenting is that it is constant (24/7). There is no slack. There is no time in which you aren’t thinking and/or aware of the situations and dangers. That is what makes it so hard. I am sure there are other things that would compare to this in some way…I just find myself challenged at this particular time.

2) It is easy to feel like you are not doing a good job as a parent. I see this with other parents and this is one of the main reasons that I created this blog. We all need encouragement in this area of life. We can compare ourselves to those we see as being “super-parents” or compare our childrens poor behavior or competance with “super-kids”. Ultimately this is a fruitless endeavor. In keeping with Reflection #1, I think one of the ways that you succeed as a parent is showing up everyday for “work.” Being the constant that children of all ages need. We all need encouragement…keep this in mind as you interact with parents (that doesn’t mean you lie to someone who needs to be spurred on or who is truly neglecting their responsibility).

3) Parenting is fun. So many of the things that get us laughing are the fun and funny things said and done by our children. Ethan is done with his speech therapy and is talking all the time now. I continue to be amazed by the things that he has to say. Like her father, Kara craves onions. Anytime we are chopping onions, Kara makes her way to request/beg/scream for some onion. Amazing! These things, more than anything, are what keep us going. It is a joy to see our children grow. To see how they learn from us as we teach them to pray, to share, to love, to laugh and sing. Some of it comes naturally…some of it has to be nurtured.

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