Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Parenting has Changed My Life

I've been doing a lot of thinking about how parenting changes us.  I know it has changed me.  When you start out being a mother, you have such plans and dreams.  You know exactly how you want things to end up.  You have pictures in your mind's eye about how you want things to play out.  If you are lucky enough to have a husband, you also have to take into consideration how he feels, what his dreams are, etc.  And you live life one day at a time.

Before you know it, several years have passed.  I remember saying that I could remember every day of my girls' lives, and there was no way the twins could be twelve!  But they were.  And as much as we tried to change it, they continued to grow up. 

As children grow up, their world expands.  They spend more time with other people, and see that all families are not the same.  When your family is different from other people's families, for what ever reason, your children draw the conclusion that their family must be odd.  That is what I feel happened with us.  We are a very conservative family.  I owned a private Christian preschool and my husband was a police officer.  I wanted God to be a part of every part of my children's lives.  Not just on Wednesday and Sunday. 

So now, to speed this story up, we arrive at today.  My children are 22, 22, and 21.  One of my children has very little to do with her family.  We hardly talk to her.  She only wants to communicate with us by text.  I have really struggled with this lately.  My husband and I are business people in our community.  We go out in public, and people tell us how our daughter has been in, belittling her family because we don't accept her life choices.  I have come to the conclusion that I cannot make her be the person I want her to be.  I can't make her live a healthier life.  I can't make her return to the path that God has chosen for her.  I can't make her make wise choices.  The more I have struggled with this, the more I notice myself pulling closer to God.  I feel almost like this is avoidance, like there is something I should be doing to fix this.  But she is an adult, and although she is making poor choices, I can't change them.  And a lot of this is painful to watch.  So although this is a rough patch in my path of motherhood, I have grown a lot in my Christian life. 

My husband asked me recently why, if I was a Christian, that God was not answering my prayers.  I panicked, I'm sure.  I wondered what he thought my prayers were.  I wondered if he blamed me.  I tried to explain to him that prayers aren't always answered when we want them to be, but in God's time.  I guess this isn't God's time yet.  I think she is too wrapped up in a life that does not involve God. 

I told my husband that I just can't pray enough to keep her safe.  There has been times that she has planned to do something that I knew wasn't right.  I prayed for her, even after I thought it was too late.  Then she would come in hours later, and tell me that she never did what she had planned, she just drove around for hours, thinking.  But the next day, I'd have to go to work, and I wouldn't be there to "pray" her out of trouble.  That is what life seemed like in a nutshell.

So now I feel resigned to the fact that I have to stand aside and let her be.  I have to quit saving her, and trying to keep her out of trouble.  People tell me all kids grow up, and this is just a phase that she will outgrow.  I hope so, but I've never faced this before.  I can't see past this right now.  But I certainly hope they are right.  I hate to think that for the rest of my life I will have so little contact with my baby.

I am very thankful that my other daughters are living a healthy lifestyle.  That they are happy and well.  I thank God every day for all my children, but I'm waiting for the day that all of them are enjoying the life God has planned for them.

I'm sorry to have digressed.  Tomorrow we will return to life on the farm.  Honey


  1. My heart goes out to you, as I can't begin to imagine (as someone relatively new to being a mama) how your heart must be breaking. Something came to my mind as I was reading your post though - a mentor mom in our MOPS group shared yesterday that "we can't take credit for our children's successes because then we must also take it for their mistakes" ... then went on to share how as Moms we have to leave our children in God's hands, knowing that he will care for them, and we can only point them in the right direction, they have to propel themselves forward on their own.
    Prayers for you as you go through this season of life! So glad we're in the HelloMornings challenge together!

  2. Thanks so much for the positive comments. You are so right. I do have to learn to let go and trust God. Looking forward to Hello Mornings with you! Stop back by soon!