So I’ve been itching to blog for a few days. Lots of thoughts about parenting running through my head.
It started with this blog post that my friend Jeni told me about. He ends the post with this:
“I want [my kids] to look back and think, ‘I’m not sure what my parents were doing or if they even knew what they were doing. But I always knew my parents loved me and I knew they loved Jesus.’ Maybe it’s not that complicated after all.” – Kevin DeYoung
That got me to thinking – what do I want my kids to look back and think about my parenting?
I know I’ve thought about it before, but more in terms of what I don’t want them to take away from their childhood/my parenting. I’ve seen lots of parenting styles that I don’t want to imitate, but I’ve never decided on an exact goal of what I want my parenting to look like, the main thing I want my children to take away.
That struck me as sad, but at the same time, I was given so much hope by DeYoung’s goals, because he simplifies it so much.
I often feel like a total failure when it comes to organization, house-cleaning, meal-planning, grocery-shopping, healthy eating, fun and educational activities, regular social interaction …. you know, basically ALL the things a mom and wife should be? Yeah, I pretty much fail at those.
And yet, I do love my children, and I let them know that every day. I make sure they feel my love through words, affection, time and attention – all administered imperfectly, but I know that they feel loved.
Do they know that I love Jesus? I hope so. By doing a daily Bible study, making that time a priority and a very visibly important part of my day, I hope I am showing my girls that a relationship with Jesus is important. Singing them to sleep with “Jesus loves me,” praying with them at bedtime and taking them to church – I hope all these things are pointing them to Jesus.
Yeah, I’m still gonna work on all the other ways I can be a better mom. But, good grief, this mom thing sure is complicated these days with all the books and advice and crushing loads of “oughts” that burden a parent’s every decision.
I’ve decided that I can live without most of that – the stuff other people decided I should do and be as a mom. I can accept my momhood as being imperfect, but simple.
I can and I will accept that none of that other stuff even matters at all if my children don’t know the first two most important things:
1.) I love Jesus.
2.) I love my children, and I will give my life up for them. Every day.