just talking to myself

I've had a few thoughts running around inside my head for a few weeks now and oh, how they resonated with this post by Ann Voskamp. I've mentioned here before that I'm entering a new phase of parenting. My oldest just turned 8 in January. Being a parent just feels different now. I thought I'd have it down by now (ha ha). Don't worry, I don't.

There are so many things I want to teach them and so many things I want to do with them. One thing I found myself doing when they were younger was to tell myself, "Don't worry, Jen, they're still young. You'll get to that." Did you ever do that in the toddler years and then suddenly find yourself with school-aged children? We still haven't gotten to some of those things.

So here are a few of the thoughts that have been swimming through my head...

...only one of your kids can ride a bike without training wheels...one!
...none of your kids can tie their own shoes...none!
...none of your kids are signed up for music lessons...none!
...your kids should be better swimmers by now.

Three weeks ago as I was driving home from the grocery store, I realized part of the problem. God is so good to give wisdom when we ask. He always comes through (James 1:5). As far as music lessons go, I really, really want my kids to have them. Why? Because I quit them. It's as simple as that, and it might seem reasonable enough, but here's what I discovered about myself...I think I want to raise my kids to be better versions of me. I want to redeem some of my faults and my shortcomings by raising children that make better choices than I did. I'm finding that this puts an awful lot of pressure on a child--learn to do this because mommy can't. Of course I would never say that to my children. But I don't want to live like I'm saying it. Saying it without my words.

My kids are precious. They're individuals. They're not me.
The only One I want them to strive to be like is Jesus.


♥ Carrie Shan said...

Wow! I have goosebumps becuase I can so relate as I am sure so many moms can. Thanks for being open and honest. Love you girl!
LOVE..LoVe..love the last line. :)

Kelley said...

Perhaps your child has musical talent(s). How will you know if God has placed them there if they're not cultivated?

True: When, as a parent, you see a spark of interest, then you fan the flame. My parents made me begin piano lessons at 5 years of age. Although I begged, I was never allowed to quit because my mother's mother allowed her to quit.

We told our children we wanted them to try an instrument for a year. They chose to continue their lessons until we sold our home and moved into an RV to evangelize full-time. One daughter took both piano and violin until that time. She cherishes her violin, but at 27 has no desire to play either instrument. Our younger daughter played guitar and piano. At 24 and a new bride, she regrets not sticking I appreciate your may 2nd blog
Momwith piano, but honestly her talent lies in a singing voice (she came out of the womb singing), NOT playing an instrument (no rhythm).

It is my opinion that wise parents move in the direction their children move regarding talents and strengths. My younger daughter taught herself to tie her shoes at 3 years of age. Her older sister got an adult size two-wheel bike. Who learned to ride it? The owner at 9? No, the baby sister at 6.

So, you're right, Mom: Teach them to be like Jesus by being like Jesus yourself. He is a perfect gentleman, never forcing talents on us; instead, He supports our desires as long as they are aligned with His Word.

Sandi said...

Tackle your list 1 thing at a time and remember when you had 4 kids in diapers? Did you ever think they would all be potty trained? You are an amazing mother.

~nanashouse~ said...

Truth be told, my children are much better versions of me thanks to God! My main goal was to raise strong, independent children. One of my favorite customers at Kmart used to say "each one teach one till all know". Enough said :-)

Danielle said...

Very true... my oldest is almost 13. I still have much I want to teach him too. We should want more for them... that is a good mom thing. But, yes, we might overdue it a bit:0)