Parenting is an adventure. I should probably stop there, but for the sake of saying a bunch of dumb stuff to show how little I know about parenting, I will march on.
I do believe now more than ever we should have a parenting class that is required for all the world. But, I qualify that with it probably wouldn’t do any good except to make some of us older parents feel good. “Well, at least they knew what they were getting into before that baby got here,” we could tell them.
In all seriousness though, I think it is valuable to at least read a book or talk to your parent, grandparents, neighbors anyone that has raised 1 or more children would be a valuable resource for new to be parents. However in saying that I understand and realize that every single family is their own, and every single family will do it their way, much to the chagrin of in-laws and grandparents everywhere.
Parenting is an adventure you and your spouse take on whenever you have children. And all adventures will be yours and yours only for the most part. You get to decide discipline, education, entertainment, medicine, activities, church, diet, exercise and so much more.
As parents of two personal children, and many more via our church youth group and my wife being a public school teacher where we “parent” from afar many students over the years, we have learned so much and yet feel like there is so much we just don’t know.
The problem is, “There is no formula.” Sure you may be the best parents in the world and you may have had the best kid(s) in the world and to this day all has been roses and sunshine. But what you did and how you did it worked for you. Period. It isn’t a formula that will work for someone else. I’m sure there are thousands maybe millions of people who would argue this point. And I’m not even including the ones that write parenting books that every parent swears by year after year. Some trends go and some trends stay in parenting but one thing is always true, parenting is an adventure, one that goes on and on until you are no longer here or your child is no longer here.
I must also confess that the good Lord has blessed us with two pretty good kids and they have had their share of battles and ups and downs in life, but for all things considered they are becoming little adult humans just fine. And my wife and I give all credit to Jesus. We often have said we need to do this or that, we need to be better at x, y and z in raising the kids and somehow, someway they both still talk to us and we are all able to live together, at least for now.
There are so many tough decisions and hard decisions and unknown decisions in parenting. Being firm on a hard no. Not being too excited on a easy yes. Knowing when to give them a cell phone, or computer or car or anything? Life comes at us parents so fast and sometimes we just enter survival mode. T-ball, ballet, volleyball, horse riding and church plus a meal somewhere all in the same day, oh and school and chores and whew if you are a parent you understand. Oh yeah and that job thing, learning to work and parent is truly an adventure and then your kids become part of your work, like this teacher and preacher it is another whole adventure.
If nothing else parenting helps you enjoy and understand and want to make right all the wrongs and times you have disobeyed the 5th commandment. Deuteronomy 5:16 “ ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. “  Parenting teaches you to appreciate your own parents and what you put them through.
So how do you learn to enjoy your adventure in parenting? Great question! I think you have to see your role as parent as a calling from God to truly enjoy parenting. I’m not saying everyday is going to be happy go lucky and fun, but even the hard days, the really hard days, you can enjoy if you know that God has given you this child to love, to pray for, to protect, to provide for and to cry with, laugh with, bond with and even enjoy life with, it is then that you can start to enjoy your adventure.
No matter what turn your adventure has in store, a broken bone, a failed test, a huge lie uncovered, broken heart, jail, an awful medical diagnosis, not making a team or a friend on the playground. No matter big or small, from I missed the bus to I’m pregnant as a teen to I’ve been in a wreck to I’m hungry. No matter if it is a trying day or an easy day, I threw up again and missed the toilet, or can you push me on the swing one more time, your adventure will be yours, it will have pain, it will have joy, learn to enjoy both.
Parenting is and adventure, let’s