The scene that unfolded, wrapped around my heart and squeezed tight. Twice the bubbly, young girl attempted the speak out “enough!” with her hand motions, but her request was denied. Screen time with a device, over face time with her, won on that lunch date with mom. Ouch. Conviction washed over me like a salty ocean wave on a fresh wound.
Parenting is hard.
I pen these words with trembling. Thankful for your grace – as I share what is most dear to me over the next few weeks. Parenting seems to unearth parts of us that we’d rather leave underground. Our inadequacies, weaknesses, childhood hurts, selfishness – all is churned up like compost and exposed to the sun’s rays. We long to belong, to be affirmed, to do noble things and be appreciated for them. Raising a child evokes inexpressible joy while stirring up those longings. The road from conception to convocation looks very different for each one of us.
Parenting is personal.
The lead-up to becoming a parent – whether a welcomed surprise, a painful season of waiting, an adoption, or being thrust as from a canon into the whole deal – is not the most crucial part of the pilgrimage. That may come as good news to many! I believe it’s the story we tell ourselves when the alarm startles us to the dawn that matters most.
Our dialogue shapes our identity. Our identity shapes our legacy.
I remember the anxiety and worry. Next door lived 5 german shepherds and a drug lord. We lived on the humble side of a town, in a shoe-box apartment. I painted our little kitchen the brightest yellow I could find, to overpower the feeling of that dark street.
We’re not prepared. We’re not equipped for this. We barely know what it means to be married after 5 months. How can we care for a baby?
Feelings of inadequacies flooded in as my belly grew rounder. Worry and doubt lingered as faithful companions throughout my pregnancy. I was in awe when our little boy arrived so peacefully despite the dialogue in my heart. In a matter of moments, a new name was given, and I received a new name. He captured our hearts with gratitude and joy. Giving birth is a tremendous gift. The world may say otherwise, don’t be deceived.
Parenting is sacred.
I remember the day when the sun broke through. A postpartum seizure took time to recover from, as well as adjusting to my new name of Mom. Yet the dialogue shifted and the fears subsided. A new sense of purpose emerged and I felt incredibly free.
You were made for this, Sue. And this child was made for you. You are equipped. You are enough. You are loved. Remember that you are not parenting alone.
The words jarred me at first. Could I actually believe this? Over time, I let this dialogue seep into the crevices of my heart. It wove like a thread through the fabric of my identity. Then I made a crucial decision. I chose to parent on purpose. To give myself fully, to receive fully, and to leave a legacy for our children in small, unseen ways everyday.
Over the next few weeks with grace, would you explore this idea of intentional parenting with me? Yes, it’s hard and personal, but incredibly sacred and full of purpose and joy.
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