"Our kids are not here to make us look good. They are their own person."
Well dang. Don't I feel called out? I recently heard that on a Don’t Mom Alone podcast (Ep 335) and it really convicted me on the WHY behind the way I parent my kids.
How much energy do I spend (waste) on making sure my kids look good SO THAT I LOOK GOOD? Man, it's embarrassing to admit.
If I'm totally honest... I want them dressed well, with hair combed, so that other moms/teachers don't think I'm a slacker. Not because I want them to feel good about themselves.
I want them well-behaved, obedient, respectful kids around others so that everyone sees how well I parent my kids and keep them in line. Not because the Lord calls them to obey their parents and respect others.
I don't know about you but I want to change this. Change my focus. Change my motivation. And I think it starts with separating myself from my kids…. Remembering that God created them to be their own unique selves with their own unique gifts and callings.
It’s hard enough to remember that the adults around me don’t think the same way I do, don’t perceive things the same way I do, and don’t react to things the same way I do… remembering this with my kids is even more challenging because they feel like extensions of myself. They have my eyes, my skin, my body type, my tendencies. It certainly feels like we share the same brain sometimes!
But we don’t. I have a purpose during my time on earth. So do each of my children. And because they all have different purposes, God has given them all different gifts and different strengths and weaknesses that will help them accomplish that purpose.
Like my son, for instance, who has the gift of great courage and great determination. As a little guy, this often looks like recklessness on the playground and defiance at every turn. Those characteristics can easily embarrass me in front of other parents, because I feel as if it looks like I don’t know how to discipline my child.
In that situation, it is SO helpful to remember that God gave him those qualities for a reason and it’s not my job to stamp them out. It’s my job to help him learn how to control those qualities and use them for good.
God has trusted me to raise them up in the first portion of their life, but they certainly don’t “belong” to me. They aren’t part of me. And they aren’t a reflection of me.
Besides, what’s more important – what other parents think of me OR whether I’m following God’s guidance and being a good steward of these gifts in the form of tiny humans?
Do you struggle with this too, as a parent? Care to share tips on overcoming it? Click on the “Comments” button near the title and share your thoughts!