My biggest parenting fear…so far.
I’ve got a 2-year-old, which means I’m pretty much out of the “is she going to die in her sleep or fall down the stairs to her end?” stage. I’m less scared for her safety and am moving into the long-term what if’s. I hate looking too much into the future and worrying about these things, because it’s a time-suck and energy drain. But I am aware, that if we don’t start thinking about how to approach the emotional/spiritual side of parenting (instead of where we’ve been – basically in keeping her alive and lately, in time out), it’ll sneak up on us and we won’t be confident in delivering the love and truth that she needs.
The Goal: Our goal as parents is to raise a humble and loving daughter with self-esteem that helps her make sage life decisions. I don’t just wish happiness for her, but I pray for her to be a well-adjusted woman who has (and seeks) wisdom to navigate both her happiness and her struggles.
The Fear: The fear is that I won’t do a good job of speaking truth and love into her. That somehow something that I say out of anger or frustration or worry will be the one thing that she holds on to and lets define her in some way. Or that somehow in our loving and praising her, she never learns that she’s not the center of the universe. Or that she seeks acceptance in ways that will bring her harm. This list could go on and on…
So, what to do?! (Seriously, I’m asking….what do YOU do?! Mom, what did you do, because you’ve got 2 fantastic daughters!)
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
Keep in mind we’re raising an adult: Sure, sometimes a kid is just a kid…but sometimes we’ll start to see patterns in behavior that we also see in some adults. So, since our end goal is raising an adult, we need to squash any ridiculous behavior unbecoming of an adult. In our decision-making, we’ll ask ourselves, will this help or hinder her path to adulthood?
Model self-confidence and self-care: She’ll see me taking care of myself in all sorts of ways (you know how I love self-care!), and as a result, my confidence will stay steady or grow. And this includes keeping our marriage a priority, so she can see love as a verb in her parents. Finally, I’ll try to keep my negative body image thoughts to myself.
Pray forever and ever and ever: Almost every day I have a brief moment of feeling like I’m totally unequipped to be a parent. The joy is overwhelming, the lows are crushing, and the whole job is bigger than I can do on my own. I will pray as often as humanly possible for all of the things mentioned above!
Give myself a break: I’m going to fail miserably at these things, more than once. I’ll remember that Josie doesn’t need perfection from me, but she needs me to be her mom, even if I’m sucking at it!
What am I missing? Sound off below!