From the moment they are born, we are so enamored with our sons and daughters that during infancy we watch every move…capture every memorable moment…and praise them for every milestone. We often don’t realize how closely they observe our every move as well – at least until we notice bad habits in them that need correcting and we ask ourselves, “Why is she so impatient?” “Where did he learn that word from?” Once thinking having a little “mini-Me” running around was the best thing in the world, we stop and pray that our kids actually turn out better people than we are.
As parents, we truly are the primary educators of our children. We teach them how to walk…how to feed themselves…how to brush their teeth and use the potty. But we also teach them how to handle stress…what to do when they have conflict…where to draw their strength from when times get hard. So what is it that they are seeing in us? Do they witness parents who lose their temper – or respond with patient resilience? Do they learn to silently hold grudges – or immediately try to reconcile? Do they understand that food, shopping, and alcohol are used to fill their empty hearts – or will they know where to find the Source of Living Water?
Before I became a mother, I thought I was a pretty good person. Within the first few years of parenting, my faults quickly rose to the surface. I wasn’t as patient, as loving, or as generous with my time as I thought I was. I found myself constantly running to the confessional because I just couldn’t seem to be the kind of mother my children deserved. Three kids may not seem to be much of a handful to those who already have large families, but trying to juggle full-time teaching and working part-time as a FertilityCare Practitioner with being Wife and Mommy can be difficult sometimes.
Which brings me to the reason I have started working on this section of our site LAST.
By no means have Gary and I perfected our parenting skills. When Meleana hit the toddler stage, we were frantically looking for things we could do to help us manage and balance the growing list of responsibilities we had. We still spend a good chunk of time talking about how they will be educated, disciplined, and provided for. These are daily conversations that gradually evolve as the years go by, especially when we realize that we need to be more in sync with God’s plans for our family instead of trying to figure things out on our own.
We are well aware that we can always be better. Of course we would love to be carbon copies of St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother – wouldn’t everybody? – but God has called us to be the best parents WE can be. Yes, even with our sins and shortcomings, He wants to sanctify us individually so as to strengthen our marriage. This in turn gives us a solid foundation for the communication and teamwork needed to raise our children.
Almost five years into the parenting experience, I think we have at least a few successes under our belt. Many a mistake has been made as well, and these also feed into the lessons learned from those moments Gary and I would look at each other and say, “We’re not doing that again!” If anything, you just might get a kick out of our quirkiness. Someday our kids may read this blog and learn to appreciate the sacrifices made for each one of them…knowing that we gave them everything we had.
So here we go… Happy reading!
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)