on parenting in the middle

thoughts on parenting in the middle

I am in the middle. In the middle of the term; in the middle of the primary years of parenting; in the middle of fifty-three thousand unfinished tasks (or so it seems). My mind is always full with too many tabs open.

I’m dropping the ball. Last week I took the girls to their swimming class straight after school. I had packed the bag with a warm change of clothes, googles, towel, everything but their swimmers!

It feels like a treadmill of washing, cooking, making lunches, hassling about homework, etc. You know the regular ins and outs of #mumlife

And on really bad days I listen to those voices, the ones that say “you are not doing a good job, you are disappointing your kids, you are stuffing them up.”

And those voices, they are me.

I’m talking to myself.

Those voices are me judging my own parenting against an internal (and unachievable) standard I have set for myself. A standard that does not allow me to make mistakes. A standard that expects perfection in everything I do. A standard that tells me if my child won’t eat the dinner I loving prepared for her then that’s my fault.

The trouble with this standard and this internal voice is I place to much emphasis on me, and my role in my child’s development.

The truth is I am not doing this by myself.

I have an amazing husband, a supportive family, great friends, a fantastic church community and a fabulous school, that are all part of shaping my girls. And actually, it is rather self-centred, as well as self-destructive, for me to place so much weight on my own shoulders.

I am not the be all and end all for my girls, and nor should I be. They have their own opinions and ideas, (even about how yummy dinner is!) They have interactions with teachers and friends, their dance group, their aunties, and many other people that shape them.

I have to give them room to grow. I have to stop trying to be in control so much. I have to stop being so darn self-centred about parenting. I have to leave room for mistakes (from both them and me).

I have to leave room for grace.

And isn’t that always the way, when we feel like we’re dropping the ball and things are spinning out of control we try and hold on tighter. We make lists, we plan to the nth degree, we try to make life more controllable.

When in fact letting go is what is needed, creating space for grace for both me and my girls.

Praying grace and space for you and me today,