I saw a post on Facebook the other day and had a vivid memory of our time in seminary. We were in Dr. Wellum’s Sunday school class and someone’s baby started to fuss. Before I had kids I was never around them and had NO experience. Not a clue. So this baby started to fuss (in her car seat and the parents weren’t right there) and I froze, totally inadequate to the task. Emily crouched down and soothed the baby like it was nothing, because to her, it was: she already had a baby.
I remember talking with Dan afterwards about how I just didn’t know what to do, and was kind of freaked out about my future parenting endeavors. Remembering this has been really encouraging to me this week. As now a mother of five, soothing a baby is no longer a daunting task. I’m no baby whisperer, but parenting little people IS my skill set now and though it was a process when we had our first baby, we figured it out.
Are you getting ready to have your first baby? Start a new job? Go back to school? Do a new thing? Or just parent an older kid through a new struggle?
So grow. Don’t fight it–rise to it.
Every single phase and season of life has new challenges and we have to be flexible, adapt, and grow.
It’s not about American ingenuity, it’s about God-given human creativity. There are things I do now that I would never have thought of then and aspects of life then that were critical that have no value to my life now. Kids need routine, it’s really important for them and good for their development; but they also desperately need to learn to be flexible and solve problems. And they should first and foremost see their parents doing the same!
Here are some questions that are helpful to me:
- What is going to be most helpful?
- What is the goal?
- What is going to accomplish this task?
- What do I need to learn about? Who do I need to talk to?
- What will set them up for success/help them navigate this issue in a life-giving way? (Parenting older kids)