So many articles and columns are devoted to the hardships of motherhood. When things are tough, when you have to discipline, rebellious children, carving out time for yourself, struggles, blah, blah, blah.
And I’ve written some built from tough phases of parenting, as well. But when I look back on my parenting years after my children have left the nest…I don’t think I’m going to remember the tough phases the most. No. I’m going to remember the joys.
You see; my kids are my best friends. I love their company. They make me smile far more often than they bring tears to my eyes. They make me laugh on more occasions than cry. And they have taught me some wildly wonderful lessons about myself.
I delight in being their mom. Maybe that’s the big difference in my attitude. Maybe that’s why to me, parenting is more joy than sorrow. I don’t know. I just know they are my heart’s delight. Totally. Unequivocally. Absolutely. Definitely. No debating it.
I enjoy picking them up from school and hearing about their day. I love it when they share their burdens, and excitement with me.
I relish holding them when they are hurting and standing back to watch their proud moments. (Even though I want to yell through the rooftops – “That’s MY child!”)
I was made for this. I was created to love them. And I take it seriously. I take each moment I have with an intentional heart that is looking to mold, shape, and invest in them. I try never to pass up opportunities to prepare or equip.
I think so often we can focus on the challenges in parenting. And challenges there are. No child is perfect. No one flawless. Even the best of kids make poor choices, sass their mom and dad, and can hurt your feelings.
But there is SO much that is good. All those meals you share over laughter and soulful talks. All those times you brushed their hair or helped them pick out clothes. The moments where you felt their hot forehead and tended to them as they fought an illness. As you gazed at their sweet faces while they slept.
Think back to all those sweet notes and drawings they’ve given you professing their love. All the times they ran to you with open arms; excited to see…just YOU. Or even the times their heart was breaking and the first person they turned to…was you.
There are so many joys. So much to be thankful for. When they refuse that party because they’d rather have down-time at home with you. When you start to see them apply all the things you’ve taught them and you realize they are “getting it.” When you see them stick up for a friend or do something courageous. When you see them love – without regard to their reputation. When you see them being generous.
Parenting IS a joy. It’s hard work, yes. But it’s a joy. Deep. Far reaching.
And it’s good.