The most amazing job I’ve ever had is being a mom. On the other hand, the hardest and most frustrating job I’ve ever had is being a mom. Every day when I pick my kids up from daycare, I go in wondering what David did today. Did he escape his class and lead 5 of his classmates on a rampage around the daycare? Did he slap his teacher? Did he run out the back door into the playground? Did he strip off all of his clothes and dance on the table? Yes, he’s done all of those things, and a couple more that I’m just too embarrassed to mention here. I’ve pretty much stopped parking in the drive through when I pick them up because I know I’m going to have to spend 5 minutes listening to his teacher recount all the things he did that day and apologizing profusely. Every time I wonder if I am handling these situations correctly. I feel like all I do the entire time I am with him is discipline or correct and many times I end up in tears by the end of the day wondering how I’m ever going to get this boy raised.
There are so many opinions out there about the right and wrong way of doing things – even among Christians parenting methods vary greatly. I’ve read at least 10 books on the subject. The Bible offers lots of guidance, plenty of proverbs and even commands such as, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4). As much scripture as I have read though, I have yet to see one that says, “When your child is on the top of the playground equipment and refuses to come down (while all the other mothers look on), thou shalt do this…” or “When your child is running naked through the halls of your church’s children’s building, do this and he will never do it again!” Wouldn’t it have been so much easier if God would have given us a customized handbook for each child (because they really are all different) so that if we followed it we could be guaranteed to raise good kids?
I am often torn because I absolutely love David’s spirit. He is so charismatic and full of life. He has so much God-given potential and I don’t want to squelch that spirit. I don’t want a robot, but I do want him to obey. I go to bed so many nights thinking that I’m doing a horrible job as a mom!
Apparently I’m not the only one that feels this way. Yesterday Kelly, one of my favorite bloggers, wrote about her very similar struggles. Oh how I could relate! And she linked to a blog by Lysa Terkhurst, another one of my favorite bloggers. I had seen Lysa’s blog earlier in the day but I knew if I read it I would end up in tears so I didn’t. I read it after reading Kelly’s and I was right, I ended up in tears. But I was also so encouraged. And it made me realize that I don’t want to raise good kids, I want to raise Godly adults. I’m so thankful for Kelly, and Lysa, and all the other moms who either have walked or are walking this road now and can be transparent enough to let me know I’m not alone and that there is hope.