I have a confession to make….
I have fallen into the Parenting Diffidence. You know, that ugly phase where we, as parents, ask ourselves if we are doing it right, if we are too hard or too easy on our kids, if we are making a positive impact, teaching them the values we hold dear, or if we are even enough. It’s not the first time I fell and it won’t be the last time either. It’s so, so easy to fall into this trap of self doubt and fear and sometimes it’s even harder to dig our way out but, dig we must!
This past week has been a struggle for me as I found myself wondering if I do enough for my family. I kept feeling like I had no part in contributing to my family, after all, I do not work or bring in any money but, I know how to spend it. I feel that, as a stay at home mom my house should be perfectly clean every night, clothes should be put away, dishes done and lunches ready but, that doesn’t always happen. In fact, there are usually still toys on the floor, clothes in the dryer and on the couch just waiting to be folded and put away, and dirty dishes in the sink. I feel like I should have perfect time management skills but, often wonder if I spent enough time playing, teaching and loving on my kids and making time for my dear husband. I wonder how I will be able to keep up when the kids are all doing extra curricular activities when I can’t keep up right now. I wonder how so many other parents seem to have it all figured out when I’m running around like puppy trying to catch it’s tail.
However, God always finds a way of telling me otherwise. Over the past few days there have been moments when I witnessed my kids do some amazing things or heard a stranger compliment on how well behaved my children are and it was in those moments that I knew I am doing something right. First, my children decided to write letters to family members and draw pictures to give as Christmas gifts on their own! I didn’t even care that they took a huge stack of printer paper and stationary without asking because, they were practicing the art of giving and doing it from the heart. Then, I was reminded of the movie Mom’s Night Out and the famous scene where the mother realizes that she is judging herself to harshly. Once again, there was a video posted on Facebook of a mom sharing a time in her life when she felt like a bad mom but her therapist gave her a different view point, one that showed her she was doing the best she could with what she had. And Finally, today I took my youngest two out to lunch and an elderly man told me that my kids were very well behaved and it was a blessing to hear!
Sure, I could have looked at each scenario and played it off as mishaps but, God communicates to us in the day to day happenings of our lives. Looking for those moments is the best way out! It’s assurance that you are enough, that God gave you your children because He trusts you with their souls, and that you are doing more good than harm.
You are enough! Stop comparing yourself to other parents or your children to other kids. Look for those precious moments when your children do and say the right things and never let go of those memories. Most importantly look to God for guidance, pray your heart out, and look and listen for the assurances that are always right there and see them for what they are, a message of love from God, The Father.