This is an excerpt from my book, A Life Shared: Meaningful Conversations with Our Kids. I may share these for a while. Why?
Right now, I “don’t get it right.” ALOT. Grief because I miss my dad, walking with friends through their heartaches, childhood woes that tempt me to parent out of hurt rather than love, and weariness with “getting it wrong” tempt me to condemn myself. Ever been there? I need this reminder.
It’s not about getting it right.
Who do you share your life with? Friends who constantly teach you things, correct all the little mistakes you make, tell you how to feel, turn down your invitations, do not follow up with you, call you by the wrong name, and treat you like less than a person? People who yell at you when they are upset and tired?
This is not who we long to be, but as parents this is who we can very easily be toward our kids. I have been this momma.
Constantly correcting, answering “I can’t right now” to countless invitations. I rarely call them by their actual name, and forget to follow-up with them. The oldest child jokes I couldn’t get their names right if they wore name tags.
I have momma victories and epic-fails. How we relate to our kids is so very important, but we don’t always get it right as parents.
One night I accidentally humiliated one of the kids. Afterward I said, “Well that was probably my worst momma-moment.” Three kids looked at me and announced in unison, “Uh, no.” “Oh,” I stuttered in embarrassment. I was embarrassed, but grateful too. Grateful our relationship could weather my short-comings and allow honest conversation about who we are and how we relate as a family.
Be encouraged. Parenting is not about “getting it right.” It is about confessing your sin, saying you are sorry, and starting again. It is about love overcoming our failings and fears. It is about choosing again to be the parent our kids want to share life because we encourage conversation especially when the conversation starts with “I’m sorry.”
Be encouraged. Kids are exceedingly resilient and forgiving. Love truly does wash over many, many sins.
Live a life shared – the good, the bad, and the ugly – because that is the fullness of life.