I’m Not as Great a Parent as I Thought I Was

The Fourth of July holiday is over, but we still have a firecracker in our house.

Who else has one of these?

My firstborn has been the stereotypical “oldest child”:  easy, thoughtful, cautious, and compliant.

And for the first four years of his life, I thought his fantastic disposition had everything to do with my remarkable parenting skills.

Then his sister arrived.

She came on her own terms, beginning her life on this earth with a wild adventure and she hasn’t slowed down since.  She has strong opinions, no fear, and is fiercely independent.  She has a fiery temper and every moment of every day is completely driven by her emotions.

Make no mistake, we adore her.

But, my goodness, has this sweet little one humbled me.

My son never threw a tantrum in the grocery store.  He learned to walk slowly, cautiously placing one foot in front of the other.  He waited to use new words until he was confident his little mouth could articulate them perfectly.  He potty trained easily.  He remains my logical thinker; one I can reason with through the challenging moments and come out the other side feeling like I did a good job as a parent.

And though she is still young, I can already tell that my daughter will have none of that.  She will keep me on my toes.

This doesn’t mean we won’t continue to do our best.  We will parent her the same way we have raised our son to this point – with firmness, consistency, clarity, and love.

But her temperament reminds me that this parenting thing is also a walk of grace.  We can do everything right, make every decision perfectly in the raising of our children, yet in the end we have to remember that there is no guarantee of the end result of our efforts.

This is a hard thing to accept, isn’t it?  We all know that parenting is so incredibly important and we want to do it right for the sake of our kids.  Still, the truth remains that we have to relinquish control, hold tight to grace, and know that we’re doing this motherhood thing to the best of our ability.  And that doesn’t mean doing it right.  It means doing it well.

So we’ll continue to cherish our little firecracker, do our very best in parenting her, pray for grace, and walk in humility.

Because we’ve realized that the first time around we weren’t the exceptional parents we thought we were.  Apparently, we just got lucky.

Has parenting humbled you?  How so?

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  1. naturalbailey posted on 07/17/2014 11:30 PM
    I could have written this myself! My daughter is what I always describe as "feisty"!
    1. Kristina Slaney posted on 07/18/2014 08:32 AM
      @naturalbailey Ahhh...all those words. Feisty, fiery, spirited, enthusiastic, energetic, independent...we all know what they REALLY mean, don't we? :)
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