Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Why Perfect Parenting Is For The Birds

Last week I got a call from my 8-year-old daughter's elementary school principal.  The conversation went something like this:

Principal- "I'm sorry to be calling you but we uhhh...had an incident today at school.  I have M here in the office with me.  She's here because a boy in her class poured paint on her boots.  Then she ...well... she... she kicked him in the private parts."


Today, as I arrived to my son's preschool for pickup (already late I must add), his teachers asked me to step into his classroom.  My heart immediately sunk.

"We need to talk.  Is something going on at home?  We're concerned about L.  He keeps falling asleep in class.  He seems very out of it.  He can't seem to follow simple instructions without his eyes glazing over.  Is everything okay?"


In all seriousness, here's what I wanted to say:

"NO.  No. No. No.  Everything is NOT okay.  My oldest is kicking classmates in the MANLY PARTS.  My middle little has become the preschool narcoleptic.  The baby doesn't sleep at all.  But, don't worry... SHE'S not falling asleep with her face in the dog food bowl.  Which, by the way is her favorite place to be...eating the dog food, that is.

Last week while nursing the baby, I pulled a piece of scrap metal out of her mouth.  Yes, metal.  I have a laundry pile so large that it could rival one of Colorado's 14ers.  We don't even bother to fold clothes anymore.  My second grader goes to school daily with two different socks on because who even has time for matching socks???

Guys.  I don't even know anymore.  I'm frazzled.  I'm exhausted.  I look it.  I feel it.  I spend much of my nights lying in bed between feedings wondering just how many hours of therapy all of my mistakes and missteps as a parent are going to take to "fix" my kids.

Today at the playground after school, as I was wracking my brain for answers to all of life's hardest "mom questions"... it dawned on me: Never before have I needed Jesus like I do as a parent.  Never have I been so humbled and so aware of my dysfunction.  I've always been a wreck.  It's just taking these daily parenting shenanigans for me to see just how much of a wreck I truly am.

So today,  I sat plopped down on the cement sidewalk of the playground while my baby attempted to shovel handfuls of leaves and wood chips into her mouth.   As I sat there, head hanging and heart low,  I realized something.  Perfect parenting is for the birds.  I found myself waving the figurative white flag of defeat.

Or was it a flag of victory?

You see, maybe coming to this place of surrender truly is a "mom win".

No amount of hustling or striving for perfectionism as a parent is ever going to "fix" my children.  

It's not a matter of IF my kids are going to need therapy.  It's just a matter of if they will choose to go. My children are going to grow up with baggage and dysfunction and probably a bit of a trauma.

You want to know why?

Because my kids are sinners.  Because my husband and I... we are sinners.  Because we come from a very long line of sinners.  We are broken big people trying to raise broken tiny people.  

And every day that I still don't get this parenting thing "right", I get to point my kids to Jesus.  I get to ask for forgiveness.  I get to plead for grace and mercy and wisdom.  All of which are things that I probably wouldn't be asking for if I didn't have tiny humans looking at me to make all of their huge life decisions.

It is exhausting and scary and many days I feel so overwhelmed that I wonder if today is the day I end up in the psych ward of our local mental hospital.

But maybe, just maybe, this is exactly the place that the Lord desires for us to be.  Maybe, it is here in this place of humble parenting, head hanging and arms raised in total surrender of our understanding and will, that God does his holiest and best heart work.
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  1. Thank you for writing this!! You are a beautiful writer and this bright Mr to tears. Tears of happiness because it's so nice to relate to it on every level and know I'm not alone!

    1. Thank you Jamie -- absolutely not alone. I'm excited to get coffee next week and talk more ;)

  2. I love your vulnerability and pointing everything back to Jesus. I relate and it feels good to know I’m not alone. Amen!

    1. Thanks Laura! Thankful for your friendship and your constant reminder that everything DOES point back to Jesus!

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