The Parenting Advice that I Have Never Read in a Parenting Book
I have a lot of regrets as a mom.
There's not a single moment as a mom that I can point to and say "this is the ONE moment I would do differently". Because there are a million moments I would take back and do differently.
If I HAD to pinpoint something, I would say that I wish I had stepped out of denial sooner. Which translates to...I wish I had known Jesus sooner.
Because Jesus is the one thing that has changed everything.
The thing is, I read tons of parenting books.
I wanted to be a good mom. I wanted to nurture and be a safe haven for my kids...but I wasn't. And no amount of "how to be a good parent" books made a difference -- except to increase my self loathing, condemnation and hopelessness.
The biggest change for me began the day I truly surrendered to God.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't become June Cleaver overnight. But a healing process began. My eyes were opened to the pain and anger I had been denying. And as I allowed God to peel back the layers...to remove the dirty bandages I had placed over my wounds that were now putrid and festering...to reopen those wounds so that I could face them and let Him heal them. I began to forgive others and myself. My heart began to be able to mother differently -- better.
But guess what?! I'm still not June Cleaver.
I struggle with being intentional. Now that my kids are old enough to not climb into my lap with a book or ask for hugs and kisses, there are days when I go to bed and realize that I haven't touched them all day.
And sometimes I relapse into fear and control and I yell at them and bark at them in impatience.
And...I struggle with keeping my word - both in commitments to do things and following up on chores or groundings.
So, I point my kids to God, who loves them perfectly. And I make sure that they know that I need Him desperately and I seek Him passionately and continually too. And I submit to God, admit my powerlessness and His sufficiency every.stinkin.day.
And I pray. Cause I know that the God who loves perfectly will do His thang in them.
And I find comfort in knowing that they have had a front row view of God's power to change lives.
PS...I recently read The Good and Beautiful Life and even though it isn't technically a parenting book...it's a great one to read to become a better parent. :)