Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So You Think You Can Raise Kids

Yet another reality TV series idea!!

I remember being so smug when dating my husband. My older brothers and sisters were married and raising children, and there we were, passing judgment on those little upstarts.
"If we ever get married and have kids, we will NEVER put up with all that whining/fighting/mealtime struggles/fill-in-the-blank." This is shameful for me to admit, but I even had the audacity to think that, in our early years of marriage, it was our noble Christian duty to bring fine young Christian children into this world. Some "good kids" that were so lacking in the classrooms in which we taught.

Now my 12-years-older-self wants to go back and kick my smug little 20-something's butt and laugh in her face.
Ha! So you think you can raise kids? You think it's so easy, that they'll just all fall into line and obey every word you say?
That they'll lift the lid, clean up after every little playtime adventure, take turns, share, and jump to help with chores?
That they'll eat all of their vegetables and never once complain about the main course?
That they'll keep their hands, feets, and words to themselves while riding in the vehicle?
That they'll join you in those prayers, suppress their selfish desires, hold hands and sing "Kum-by-ya"?

The nerve of my immature, pre-parent self.

Do you know what my definition of parenthood is?
In my growing-humbler-by-the-minute opinion, parenthood is survival, unconditional love, and an increasing need to lean on God. I was reading an article in Christianity Today and the author's words resonated with me. Leslie Leyland Fields wrote about parenting: "It is faith rather than formula, grace rather than guarantees, steadfastness rather than success that bridges the gap between our own parenting efforts, and what, by God's grace, our children grow up to become."

Just when I thought I knew everything about parenting, I went and had kids. And you know what? There's no formula for raising children, and even though I may know more about kids than I did before, I am only scratching the surface with them. This whole parenting thing is just another way to learn more about myself and realize my need for a Savior!
(P.S.--These photos were taken by my 11-year-old when I was off doing important things like folding clothes and fixing meals. I know, I know--who gives their 11-year-old kid a $200 camera to play with??!)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.--Ephesians 2:8-9


Blogger Astrid said...

I totally and completely agree! I thought the same things (even though we didn't have any family raising kids...we just saw the rowdy kids in the malls, etc). We thought we could do better. HA! What a laugh! However, you can't give up. You just have to keep trying and hoping and praying for the best. :)

March 3, 2010 at 10:05 AM  

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