Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the daunting task of parenting your precious ones? Do you have fears about your parenting skills and the results of your efforts? Goodness gracious—join the crowd!
“Hey, Mom! I think my little brothers have been smoking weed in the game room.”
“Hello, is this Mrs. Parks? This is officer Flannigan. I have your sons at the county jail.”
These two quotes came at a time when my parents were dying, my kids were lying, we were dog broke, and I was over-the-top menopausal.
Nothing can teach you more about real life quite like parenting. I never thought becoming a parent would lead me to a greater love than I had ever known—nor did I realize it would lead me to greater frustrations than I had ever known. What an awakening! I didn’t have any idea how much parenting would mature me, grow me, and strengthen me. Over time, it’s made me a better woman. But how do you survive in the meantime?
I needed help reframing and expanding my perspective. I would have to remind myself, daily, of things I learned from great parents of the past. I wasn’t the first mom in this rodeo. And that was a huge piece of my puzzle—the piece that I was missing. My perspective wasn’t broad enough. I was too narrowly focused on myself, what I was getting wrong. I needed to remember a few things to update the way I looked at parenting. Believe me, nothing has lightened my parenting load quite like changing my perspective.
Here are some valuable perspective lessons hindsight has taught me. Use them today to refresh your parenting skills, so you can look back one day and smile at your parenting days.
- My children were gifts given to me. Not everyone gets the opportunity to parent. Thinking of my children as gifts versus obligations was very helpful. Just talk with someone unable to have children to help your perspective.
- My children were some of my greatest teachers. I only thought I was patient! Then came children. They are like little mirrors reflecting all my strengths and weaknesses. They were my greatest teachers, and I will forever be grateful for the lessons we learned living together.
- Parenting addresses the control freak in all of us. And that is a good thing! No one likes to be told what to do. Yet we spend the early years of parenting constantly telling our kids what to do. This cements a really bad part of our control freak nature. When the teen years arrive, they often don’t want to hear a thing we have to say. Now that my nest is empty, I have little or no control over anything. They’ve been launched and I’ve let go. But I still hang on to prayer!
- Parenting is full of fleeting seasons. There were many times that I wanted to “freeze frame” the child or the moment or that age. There were also difficult times that I was just trying to survive one day at a time without anyone dying. Remembering that I was not the first parent to encounter difficult seasons with my children and that “this too shall pass” often comforted my weary heart.
- Your parenting skills do not need to be perfect. First of all, they can’t be—because you’re human. But your parenting skills can grow. You’re the parent your kids love and want more than anyone else. You’re being shaped into the person God’s made you to be. And your loving heavenly Father will give you the wisdom you need to parent well, every time you ask.
I can truly look back and say my children have made me a better person. Renew your mind by learning from my perspective: you’re gifted, you’re learning, you can let go more, your difficult parenting patches don’t last forever, and you don’t have to be perfect. That’s the perspective hindsight has given me.
Refresh, renew, and reframe your perspective—and relish your gifts!