The moment you look at that little shape in your ultrasound print, your heart skips a beat. You whisper a promise to yourself to be the best parent you can be to this little child. A baby that relies on you for his or her life. And when you lay your eyes on this child for the first time at the hospital delivery room, you cry. It’s just so beautiful. The upcoming sleepless nights will be so worth it.
Even on those days when the crying never seems to stop (the baby, not yours), you convince yourself that this is just a phase and it will get easier. But somehow, the terrible twos arrive and then an opinionated little child appears out of nowhere. This child seems to be the most stubborn little creature you have ever met in your entire life.
The vision of you being a screaming mom in the supermarket chasing after a crazy pre-schooler wrecking havoc in the aisles becomes a reality. Now, it’s your turn to cry, not the baby’s.
Yup. You start to feel like this parenting journey is going to be a loooong journey.
If I can’t get a 4 year old to listen to me now, what makes me think that he will listen to me in the future? I suddenly have a new vision… a rebellious and strong willed 15 year old living in my home.
It seems like a total nightmare!
This is when I start praying fervently for my kids. It occurs to me that I am one very imperfect person, trying to raise a perfect child in a fallen world. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And I need the long term endurance to see things through!
How can I ever give up on this little 4 year old when I have years ahead of me? How can I expect perfection when no one is perfect in this world? There is absolutely no one.
I digest all sorts of parenting books, watch self-help videos, and listen to friendly advice from friends. Some principles really do work, but hey, every child is different. It’s really up to us as parents to find the best recipe that works for him or her. So I don’t give up hope.
I continue to run this race. I continue to pray. And I believe.
I believe that this child can grow in character. I believe that he has so much good in him that is unrealised. That he can be the person that God made him to be, someone who can impact the world and make a difference.
And that is all I need.