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Over-Protective or Under-Vigilant

Oh my heavens, it's hard being a parent!

I remember my friend Di saying "little people, little problems. Big people, big problems." At the time I had a toddler and an infant and hadn't slept in six months and giggled thinking that parenting would be so much easier when there were no more diapers in my shopping cart and I could be reasonably certain that I could leave the house without spit-up on me anywhere.

Then the toddler became a little girl and the infant became a toddler. I think it DID get easier, at least a little. Or maybe it was just that I could sleep every now and then, so my outlook improved.

Then the little girl became a big girl, and the toddler became a little girl, and we added another infant. And subtracted a lot of sleep. The big girl did become more independent, which sounded like a good thing at the time, but really wasn't. She became more social with more influences, and really wasn't content to sit and watch Sesame Street anymore. The little girl was at the mostly easy phase - potty trained and sleeping on her own, but no independence yet. Diapers were in the cart again and the lack of sleep circles appeared.

Now we have a big girl who can't wait to be a teen, another wanna-be big girl who is in the in-between stage, and a little boy. Everyone handles their own potty needs. Everyone sleeps in their own bed. Two of the three can even fix their own meals. But, life has not gotten easier.

Now, I understand what Di meant. I suspect that I will understand it better over the next few years. Now it's not the question of "should I just put them in my bed so I can get some sleep?" and "WHY OH WHY did nobody tell me I had spit-up in my HAIR?" and "Diaper blowout? Again?" Oh no. Now it's "OH MY HEAVENS SHE WANTS TO HAVE A BOYFRIEND. And read Twilight!" and "should we just implant that phone into her ear?"

I don't want to be the over-protective mom who has the kid like one of my college roommates, who wanted to have every single experience she felt like she had missed out on in her first month of college. Neither do I want to be the under-vigilant mom who has the kid who grows up knowing way much, or without defined rules.

I'm discovering more and more that moms just spend a lot of time walking a tightrope. What works for one child, or one family, will likely not be the best choice for another one. (LOL Have you met my daughters? Night and Day?)

All of this to say - Di, you were right. The little people problems really were easier. Give me spit up in my hair over deciding which text package to choose, please! And the funny thing? I'm sure in a couple of years I will be saying give me "is Twilight appropriate?" over whatever life is going to look like then.

I'm having continual prayers for wisdom to make the right decisions, and for mercy and grace when I don't. And for reminders when I look at my children and don't have the first clue, that the Lord loves them even more than I do, and that not only is His grace sufficient for me, it is sufficient for them as well.

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