Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lately the subject of parenting has been on the front of my mind and in the conversations of my friends.
Ok, Ok, I know we are moms, isn't it ALWAYS!? Not really, but the moms group I belong to just had two back to back studies on boundaries in parenting and one of my close friends that has a 2yr old has recently been entering a new stage in boundaries with her lil one. This has had me thinking about me as a momma.

Being a parent, what is that?
When I was a young girl being a "Mommy" was all I dreamed of. Having a baby and a husband was all I ever wanted, really! In my senior year I had to write a paper about what I wanted to be when I grew up (where will I be in 10yr. thing). My paper was about being a momma & a wife. : ) I got an A!
Then my idea of being a mom had nothing to do with parenting. I had no understanding that to have a baby and raise it meant I'd have to be a parent. Parents were the uncool, rule making, never right, annoying people we are supposed to obey and respect as children to teenagers. Not mommies of sweet little babies! Yes, this reality is just hitting me now as a 34yr old mother of 4 for that last 12 years.....

Josh & I were thrilled about becoming a mommy & daddy when we found out we were pregnant with Maxx. In less then 3 minutes two pink lines where telling us our life had just changed forever! When (almost to the day) a year later we found out we were adding another to our little family we were over joyed! This same excitement carried with each child we were blessed with. Never did I ask myself what this all meant, maybe it's normal maybe I'm crazy but it's how it was.
With the challenges that came and the years that went by we dealt with each as it was. Some things we did really good and others not so much. But the one thing I did realize was "it's not all about sweet coos, late night snuggles, gentle moments and all those baby smiles"! WHAT??? I said I wanted to be a MOMMY, did any one get that!?
Here I am elbows deep in baby poop, a husband I barely see doing his best to support our VERY young family, no sleep, no money, crying, so much crying...... stress, tantrums, spanking vs. time outs, feedings, clingy-ness, and just all out wrong, all wrong! Why was this not the picture perfect scene I saw in my youthful dreams? Why hadn't any one told me that it was going to be like this? Now I am not saying it has ALL been bad or hard, just more so then I expected. There were many of those sweet moments, if not we wouldn't have kept on having kids but I was taken off guard.
So your saying being a mommy means parenting.....? Yep Amber they are the SAME! It is true you, mommy, have to set limits, make the call, know when to go and ask and when to trust yourself. You, lil momma are responsible for raising these children into adults. You have to know when to love by loving and love by discipline. This is hard! There is so many thoughts on this subject. Many people think they have all the answers and push you to do as they believe in parenting. Now don't hear me wrong, I am not saying they are all wrong or right. I just feel that some of the louder opinions out there push their views because if every one is doing it it can't be wrong! WRONG!!! Sorry but there is some crazy people out there raising kids.
I am NOT a perfect parent. Most days I consider my self mediocre. But I know that what matters is that every day I try. I wake up striving to be a better mom then the day before (it doesn't always work but I try). I wanted to be this confident, calm, loving mom that is always cool and ready. Not this frazzled, fretting, half crazy women that has 4 kids and feels like it's 20! I have 4 kids, it is a lot, a lot of so much wonderful things but a lot of work.
My point.......
There is so much more to being a mother. There is more then one way to raise a happy, loving, healthy child, and no parent on this planet will ever raise a perfect child. What matters at the end of the day is how much you try, how much you give to the Lord, and how much grace you allow your self in your role as a momma.
I now see that I am a parent. In the eyes of my children I can see the seed of the thought "uncool, rule making, never right, annoying person we are supposed to obey and respect as children to teenager......" and I'm ok with that. I am their parent. It is a blessing and a gift from God. He gave these children to Josh & I to love, raise, teach and send out to hopefully become good PARENTS
: ) some day.
If I succeed at this, I've done ok.