Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | April 23, 2014

Parenting isn’t easy

For anyone who is thinking about becoming a parent or is a new parent I am here to tell you it is tough.  You don’t feel that way at first because everything is just about feeding, changing, and getting up in the middle of the night with the baby.  Then something happens; they get older.  Things happen, rules are broken, lies are told, and last nerves are constantly being pulled on and if you have more than one child then it seems like it is a never ending cycle without any kind of break in it.  Decisions have to be made and everyone you make you seem to later wonder if it was the right one.  Is that punishment you gave too harsh or too weak?  Are you yelling too much or not enough?  Are you talking to them enough about right and wrong?  Is this being a defiant child or just something kids do?  These questions go on and on.

There will be times that the punishments you give seem fitting but after just a few hours of calming down you start to doubt yourself.  Was it that necessary to be that harsh?  Should I have yelled at them that loud or angrily?  Should I have taken that away or grounded them that long?  It will not matter what technique you use, you will always second guess yourself.  I know many parents, me included, wonder if they are raising their kids the right way.  Will they grow up to resent us as their parent or be thankful of us?  A parent’s life is full of second guessing yourself and wondering if how you are raising your child is the right way or the wrong way.

I am starting to look at it a little bit like the presidency.  You will really never know how you did until a few years after it is all over.  It is not until they are grown up and living on their own that you can see how you did.  Now I know there are some things that are out of your control and have nothing to do with how you raised them but there will be a lot of little things you should be able to see.  Are they kind, honest, trustworthy people?  Are they compassionate, loving, caring people?  Do they know right from wrong, good from bad, and selfless from selfish?  In most cases like we have with our own parents they will tell us the good and bad things we did while raising them. 

Beyond all the wondering and scrutinizing ourselves the one thing we can do most that will have the biggest effect on them, more than any reward or punishment will, is to just love them.  We must let them know how much we love them through actions and words.  As a child the only thing they see is how much trouble they seem to always be in or how horrible their punishments seem.  As an adult it will be the love they felt and received from us that will ascend to the top of their memories and the day the tell us how they felt that love, that will make all of our thoughts and insecurities on how we raised our children just disappear. 

I have 1 pre-teen and 3 teenagers and they are not making it easy being a parent right now.  They continuously make me second guess myself and wear on my patients like nothing else can, but I know when the end of my life comes raising and loving the four of them will be the best and hardest thing I ever did in my life.  I am so thankful to God that I have been given this challenge and gift.  I love them with all my heart and I hope one day they see that along with the hugs and laughter over what they seem to see and that is them always being in trouble.  So to all the future and new parents, it is not easy but it is worth it.  The arguments, punishments, and attitudes go right along with hugs, laughter, and I love you and to feel and hear those things are what makes everything worth it. 

To my kids: I love you and that is one thing in this life you can count on never changing, no matter what else happens.

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