Parenting with Purpose. Passion. Power.

The following is a republished post, originally dated 4 August 2011. Almost 2 years on, I’m singing the same song.

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I love being a parent. On most days.

Parenting is a full-time job, and this week is Appraisal Week.

I am meditating on what kind of parent I have been. How have I filled my hours as a stay-home mom? I have made several interesting (not necessarily comfortable) observations. I have a few thoughts I want to focus on through the second half of this year.

1) Purpose.

I want to parent purposefully, not passively.

When we are home together, I do not want my Bunnies to run around like wild goats – at least not all of the time! We are homeschooling, and a schedule helps to keep life sane.

In the time we are together, at every available opportunity, I want to nurture happy hearts, personal discipline, creativity, a joy of learning, an eagerness to work, a love for humanity, a sense of breathless awe at creation.

I want to plant seeds in the hearts of my children. I want to sow love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I am so thankful I can stay home with my kids so that I can use every possible moment in the day to sow these seeds – in word, in deed.

I can sow daily. I can water my newly planted seeds at the breakfast table and during butt-wipes. I can nurture the seedlings at read-aloud times.

Whenever I notice an ugly weed at any juncture, I can try to find out how it got there. I can pull it out, at the root, before it becomes unmanageable.

I want to parent, with purpose.

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2) Passion

To parent with purpose, I need passion. Passion is the necessary determination and drive to make purposes possible.

To what lengths am I willing to go to nurture the purposes in my child’s life?

I will put my career on hold during these formative years. It is generally agreed that the first 6 years of a child’s life, and particularly the first 3, are absolutely critical to his or her development. I will be available all I can.

I will strive to consistently model the values I want to sow, because children learn by example.

I will not be glued to my computer, even though I have recently developed a love relationship with it.

I will ensure I get enough rest and exercise (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually), because a lack of all these produces fatigue. And fatigue for me = grumpiness = sad, sordid parenting story.

I will, because I have put my career on hold, live with the accompanying financial consequences. I will learn alternative ways of building an income, ingenious ways of stretching a budget and live happily without manicures.

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3) Power

I may be passionate. I may be willing. But will I be able?

Passion without power is useless. I need to be empowered so I can be the parent I want to be.

I don’t just need parenting books and Google, as if humanity could be boxed into fact sheets.

For all the challenges in parenting, I need self-understanding, I need self-control. I need the support of Sweet Man and the arms of our extended community of family and friends. And because I am a little weird, and just a wee bit zany, my needs and my own understanding of them can sometimes be a little complicated.

I need the power of God. Human nature is, by nature, fallible. I cannot always call, text or blog. Sometimes, the fog of my own undoing is too thick to see through.

I am glad that God is just a prayer away. He will never hang on me. He is good, inspite of me.

My 5 years of parenting have flown by all too quickly. I have so much to celebrate. My littlest, Piglet, is only 6 months old. I have things – in me – that I want to change.

I am changing because of Purpose. Passion. Power.

I am looking forward to the ride.

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8 thoughts on “Parenting with Purpose. Passion. Power.

  1. Ing

    What a thought-provoking post. I struggle the most with no.3 – power. I know my purpose as a mom, I am passionate enough to do crazy things that are against societal norms, but power is the thing I feel I lack at times. Was just feeling at a loss and inadequate this morning about my ability as a mom. To be honest, I was feeling a bit down. Thanks for this post. And did I read correctly, you’re going to be a mom of 4 kids??? I salute you! 🙂

  2. Mama J

    Yup, 4th kid on the way 🙂 Sadly I haven’t had very positive responses from some people about that one but am trying to ignore the negativity. It’s quite rare for most Malaysian Chinese to have (or want) more than 2 or 3 kids. Honestly I have enough of my own inadequacies to deal with without others adding to them.

  3. Ing

    One thing I’m learning and often remind myself: ignore what others say about you. 🙂 It takes someone with great capacity and a big heart to want to have more kids. Your kids are blessed!

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