I have to admit - when I was growing up I didn’t want to have kids. It’s not that I didn’t think I’d love them, I worried they wouldn’t love me and that I’d fail as a parent. Then I became one a year after Jeff and I got married. I thought, with his help, we could actually do this and be ‘good parents’. But I still have fears that I’ll fail my kids and how we’re raising them.
I worry about the moments I can’t fix. The moments they need to go through because it’s the painful ‘part of life’ that creates strength, humility, compassion, empathy, courage and character.
I worry about those moments that will define my kids and shape who they are as adults. I want to protect them from everything. Shelter them from the ‘mean girls’ at school or from the boy who tripped my son in the cafeteria and then laughed. I want to take away the pain and alienation they felt when they weren’t invited to a birthday party. The times they felt inadequate in sports or dance. Experiences that we all go through.
But I can’t protect them. I can only guide and empower them. I don’t ever want them to feel sorry for themselves so even though I may want to cry when I hear something hurtful they’ve experienced, I have to be strong and comforting. I need to find the right words to guide them to handle the situation with dignity, grace and confidence. Finding those words is really hard when all I want to do is confront the situations myself and let whoever hurt them know that it’s not okay while using words that aren't so nice. But I can’t. I need my kids to learn from these experiences of pain, isolation, disappointment, and sadness.
Geez, parenting is hard.
I didn’t want kids. I didn’t think I had what it takes to be a good parent. I wanted to know I’d be able to succeed and there’s no second chances when raising kids. Failing wasn’t acceptable. So fear made me say, ‘I don’t want kids’. I didn’t want to mess up.
I didn’t want kids. I was diagnosed with Endometriosis and told that I most likely wouldn’t be able to have kids of my own. I thought this was God telling me I wasn’t supposed to be a mom. Then we prayed and I thought it was too late. For so long I didn’t want kids and I feared God was telling me I wouldn’t be a good mom and this was His way.
But I’m a parent and I have kids. Two amazing, happy, goofy, fun and challenging kids. They are my everything and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. I’m doing the best I can (the best ‘we’ can). When they hurt, I hurt and words of comfort are what come naturally. Are they the right words? I don’t know but they’re what I feel at that moment. They are what I can give.
I didn’t want kids. But I’m so thankful I’m a mom.