Monday, August 5, 2013
On raising tiny humans and stained glass windows
I had no idea being a parent would be like this. I knew it would be hard, but I thought it would be easier than this. Or maybe not quite easier than this.
What I really thought, was that I would be better at it.
I knew what I was getting into. I grew up with kids, I worked in childcare. I know kids. And although dealing with children, and looking after them is so very different to being the parent of children... really, it's not my kids. They haven't necessarily given me anything I wasn't expecting. Most of what has thrown me, about parenting, has been the stuff about me. The way I have dealt with things, my reactions, my attitude, it's all my own stuff that has been the biggest stumbling block.
I think the reason parenting can challenge people so much, is because it challenges you, personally. It challenges the way you see yourself, your values, your beliefs, your behavior and your attitude. There is nothing quite like recognizing yourself in your offspring, and not liking what you see.
It can be a bit easy to be mindless in our society. Everything seems to be centered around making life easier for us, (smart technology- empty minds?) We are not always often called to stop and think and evaluate who we are and where we are going. We just keep going round and round like a mouse on a wheel. Parenting can force you to do that, and sometimes that is a painful confrontation.
I kind of hate the expression 'having a baby.' Because really, babies only stay babies for such a short amount of time. When you give birth, you create a person. And it is a person who requires so much of you. You are responsible for their safety, for their well being, for their development and growth, for their morals. Your children are wholly in your power. You hold another person's existence entirely in your hands. You are accountable. And when you stop to really examine that, and allow the full weight of it to rest upon your shoulders, it's terrifying.
Stay at home motherhood, it gives me too much time and opportunity for introspection at times. So many of the day to day tasks I do, don't always require a lot of brain activity. So my mind is left free to think, (and think and think). Sometimes I don't know if that's a good thing.
It has stretched me, and grown me, more than any other thing I have ever done. I have no doubt it will continue to do so. But the longer I raise these tiny humans, the more I realize how woefully unprepared I was, and the more I realize how much I need to change.
Being a parent, is teaching me discipline, self control, and love like I never ever knew. It has broken me, and now my maker and I are slowly putting the pieces back together, to create something new. It is hard, and it is slow. There are pieces constantly being shattered and glued back together. Sometimes I put them in wrong, and then they need to be re-broken to suit His purposes. It is always a work in progress.
I hope it will be beautiful.