Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Parenting Fears

This week Lei and Morning Glory "have asked us to share with you on the topic of "Facing your parenting fears". We all have them, apprehensions that is. It may be the idea of going out to a restaurant as a family, or getting through church, or just a simple trip to the grocery store that gives you the sweats. Everything is tricky when you have children in tow. So please share your thoughts with us - funny stories, clever anecdotes, even your pearls of wisdom."

O.K. So I've already had 6 kids fly the coop, leave the nest, whatever, but to anyone who thinks my parenting days are over--forget it. The concerns continue no matter how old they are. I have friends with little ones, friends with teenagers, and friends with grown up children. I have commented before on how the struggles we face with them are all relative. I've watched new moms basically fall apart when babies have difficulties, moms with toddlers who are a basket case because the toddler won't listen, and moms with adolescents who are going bald because they have pulled their hair out. And I've done most of that myself. Mothering isn't easy--it's a learning process, a continual learning process that will benefit us FOREVER.

Children are such a blessing from God. I love being a mother. It has brought me so much joy. Through it all I have shed a lot of tears--tears of sorrow and tears of joy. I've made a lot of mistakes, have had to do a lot of repenting and continue to do a lot, but through it all I've grown, and recognize there is lots more growth to come.

At this point in life one of the toughest things for me is watching my children struggle. I heard one time that "a mother is only as happy as her most unhappy child". For me that is so true. (That may not be true for everyone) I feel the pain when my children have struggles, and I worry, ache, and struggle right along with them. I recognize more often than not, there isn't anything I can really do about their struggles except listen, encourage them, and pray for them.

I sat in Church on Sunday and listened as someone told a story about a tidal wave that hit Hawaii years ago. During the tidal wave one family received a call that the tidal wave was coming. The mother looked out and could see the wave coming so she and her husband and their baby fled to higher ground. Unfortunately two of their daughters were playing somewhere else. As the family watched this monstrous wave approach, they could see their two girls with nowhere to go. The girls wrapped their arms completely around the trunks of the lauhala trees. The wave totally covered them as the girls held their breath and CLUNG with all their might until the waters receded and their heads were above water. The speaker at Church was asking--what do we cling to? My greatest fear is that my children will not cling to the values that have been taught to them since they were small. I watch each day as Kyle heads off to high school and know a little of the pressures that he faces. I know I cannot follow him around making his choices for him--for they are his choices to make.

I understand that each of my children can make their own choices--and being the "struggling to recover" control freak that I am, I don't like that, but I do not know they have that freedom. I know that my responsibility as a parent is to teach them correct principles, and then let them govern themselves. (I know I heard that somewhere before ; )

I try very hard to "trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) I recognize I do trust in the Lord but it isn't always with all my heart, and I hope and pray that I can learn to do that.

I think we each need to enjoy our children. It's an awesome responsibility that we have been given. I have great kids, and I am so proud of each of them, so my question to me is: why do I worry?


Amber said...

Point well taken. Why DO we worry? What a wonderful well thought-out post!

Tonya said...

Very well said Yvonne. I am going to do all I can to teach correct principles and hopefully with a pinch of good luck, I won't warp my poor child to much :o)

Lei said...

Oh my gosh... that story! Wow.

Thanks for the reminder to just enjoy them. We worry too much!

Nancy Face said...

I loved your post! I will never stop worrying about my children, at any age, until I am a corpse! It's not that I don't trust them or have faith in them...I just love them so much, and hope that they will find joy and happiness!

Karen said...

I am new to your blog and just love it. While you are sharing about your kids I thought I would give you all a chuckle about mine.
I have a son(4) and a daughter (2) and going out with them is definitely always an experience. Recently I took them both out to a store and very loudly my son asked from the back of the cart "Mom, are you wearing a bra?" My daughter who was in front pulled my shirt open and yelled "YEP!" I just kind of shrugged to the dozen people laughing in the aisles and continued shopping...What are ya gonna do?

Melissa said...

Great post... I remember when I got married I told my mom she didn't have to worry about me any more. She laughed and said, "Yeah... now I have to worry about you AND him!!" :)

Holly said...

Terrific post. I worry so much about so many things: am I teaching them enough, am I preparing them enough. I know I don't enjoy them enough. Thank you for sharing.

Yvonne said...

amber: thanks--I know we shouldn't worry.

tonya: I'm sure you'll do a great job.

lei: I think many of us (and I'm one of them) worry needlessly.

nancy face: You sound like me--I feel exactly the same way. I only want them to have that joy and happiness.

karen: what a cute story. I would have died right there! Glad you stopped by to visit. Thanks so much for commenting.

melissa: That's how I feel about my daughters-in-law and son-in-law--I love them very much and am concerned for them just like I am for my kids (and I don't think some of them think I do)

holly: I think if we have that faith and trust, we don't need to worry so much. (I know I'm trying not to worry!!!)

txmommy said...

this is a good post, and a great story!

mumple said...

As a control freak, I am recently coming into NOT trying to actively control my 18 year olds' direction. I know where he needs to go (I even know which roads he needs to travel to get there), but it's not MY journey--and I've come to understand that it never was.

My job is to give him what he needed...and then trust to God to get him there.

Hard as it is, I am learning to do just that. (and, I'm sure, my reward will be no longer being a control freak).

Thanks for this post--it's good to know that I'm not the only one struggling to let their child struggle and learn and grow in his (or her) own way.