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Monday, August 6, 2012

A Reflection on 21 Years of Parenting

My oldest son, First Born, just turned 21. Wow. I can't believe it's been that long! So today I am being nostalgic, looking back on his life, and thinking about all the little successes and failures along the way. I have been far from the perfect parent. I mean, just the fact that the poor kid lived with me through seven more pregnancies should earn him a medal!

We've never been great with schedules, and we've often stayed up way too late and slept in way too late.  (Babies with mixed up days and nights didn't help.)  Once I had more than a few kids, I often let them get their own breakfasts and lunches, though I did stay pretty consistent with dinner.   We were sick all the time, and often school had to take a back burner to wiping noses (and other body parts.) Most days the house was a wreck.   I did my fair share of crying, yelling, and seriously contemplating running off to a distant land never to be seen again.

Honestly, looking back I can't figure out now First Born came out to be such a great kid!  I do know that no matter what, I always let him know how much I loved him.  I think homeschooling helped, as he didn't have the negative peer influence many kids get in school.  We worked him hard, and that helped him be responsible.  (Though he's still learning in that area!)  Most importantly, we led him to Jesus.

The reason I share this with you is because some of you might be contemplating running off to a distant land too!  Or maybe you've just been crying and/or yelling a little more than usual today. Maybe you were up all night with a baby, or cleaning up puke, or wiping butts or noses, or your house is a mess.  Maybe it's noon and your kids are just getting up and getting a bowl of cold cereal. Maybe you feel like an epic failure and are sure you have failed as a mother.   Maybe all of the above. But don't give up hope!  Keep on keepin' on, and keep your eyes on Jesus.  There is hope.  I mean, you do fail as a mom.  We all do.  It's in the Bible. But so is the Hope that keeps us going.  Don't give up.  Soon your oldest will be 21 and you'll look back and realize it was all worth it, just like I do.

Happy Birthday, son!  I love you!!!

Happy parenting!







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