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