Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Parenting Reflections

Today I was sitting & pondering how much I have changed as a person since becoming a mother.  And in how many different ways-physical, emotional, spiritual, the list goes on & on.  I know people always said "everything changes once you have a baby" but I never understood the why or how of that statement.  

Before I had my son I was a stepmother for about 4 years.  And while I always had my stepkids' best interests in mind & always tried to be the best stepmother I could be given the situation, they were older (17 & 11 at the time I married my husband) & they very were independent & I never had a parenting role with them.  Their mother was very much a part of their lives, which made me just this extra person in their lives.  I was still very aware of my position in their life & needing to be a good role model & putting their needs before my own, etc.  There is no question that I love my stepkids tremendously, but it's a VERY different relationship than I have with my son. 

As I reflect over the past 4 years, there are so many positive changes.  First & foremost, my relationship with my God.  I have drawn so much closer to Him during this time to guide me to be the best mother I can possibly be.  To make the best choices for my son that I can make. 

And as I teach my son, according to the Bible, I am also studying & learning along the way. 

In my past I have always wondered why God created us to not be able to remember our first few years of life.  I had always thought it was very odd.  And yet I know that God makes no mistakes so there has to be a reason.  I have often joked that I will be asking God about this when I get to Heaven.  But as I reflect on this now, as a mother, I truly suspect it's simply because we parents make so many blunders in those first few years.  We are trying to get to know our child & what works best (& also to parenting in general for the firstborns), there is no question that mistakes will be made.  There is no rule book with kids, no one way to best do it.  Even if you've had several kids, you know that they are all different & require different parenting tactics. 

During the brief time I attended MOPS a couple of years ago there was only one time there that stands out to me.  We had a guest speaker, the father of the woman who ran the MOPS group I was attending.  He spoke about the subject of God not making mistakes & that God places a child where it NEEDS to be & vice versa.  No matter how imperfect or inadequate we may be, we are the parents that God feels is best for that child & that child is what's best for us.  We must draw closer to God & allow God to mold us & shape us as He desires.  And we must be willing to learn from our children also.  So many people think they are to teach & control their children & never stop to ponder what they can learn from their child.  I have been amazed since very early on with my son at all that I am learning & seeing differently since becoming a mother. 

But God is so faithful & glorious.  As I draw nearer to Him I can clearly see that I am a better parent.  And my son is the one that benefits from that.  I am more patient & kinder & gentler than I have ever been in my past.  And I hope the trend of being a better person/parent continues with the coming years.

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