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“I will always need parenting help…”
One thing I have learned in this journey as a momma is that I will never have parenting figured out. I will always need parenting help and that is ok, Friend. God, in His mercy, allowed me to let go of the belief that I could do this thing perfectly on my own. The journey to accept parenting help as necessary and vital to me and my family began with the adoption of my son.
Our boy rocked our world with his aggression, screaming, inability to focus for more than three seconds and his horrific insomnia. In that 4 year battle searching for answers, I finally realized that I am not in control. God is God and my job is to be a vessel used by Him to graciously point my kids to Him. To have parenting figured out would allow me to depend on myself and my own wisdom. He allows my limitations in parenting to lead me to Him. I’m grateful for this provision, no matter how hard I fought it (and still sometimes continue to).
Today I am honored to have a sweet momma share her story with you. Ms. Carol Parker, a mom of three, shares her perspective of letting go of parenting. Welcome to our community, Carol!!
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The other day, I saw a funny post by Simon Holland that read, “I didn’t realize I was supposed to know how to do everything by my second rodeo. That’s still a very low number of rodeos.” I laughed. As I kept scrolling I couldn’t help but wonder.
“Do I believe I’m supposed to have my parenting figured out by now?”
Third time’s a charm?
After my youngest was born, we had a number of extra pediatrician visits because he was struggling with jaundice. For some reason that day, I had a million questions for the doctor. After I was done with my speed round of “ask the doctor EVERYTHING,” I joked. “If you didn’t know any better, you’d think this was my first baby.” He laughed then assured me that my questions were welcomed. He graciously told me that he was happy that he got “nerd out” and explain it all to me.
The thing is, my other two children also struggled with jaundice. Not only did I feel silly because this was baby number 3, but also because this was the third time I’d been through this exact medical issue. My need for parenting help was still there.
What sparked my embarrassment?
Unfortunately, the knee jerk reaction I get when I tell people that I have 3 kids often the same.
“Oh! Well, you know what you are doing!”
“You’re a pro.”
Those comments leave me feeling like maybe I should be a pro, but really I’m figuring it out (messily) everyday. The reality of my life put up against their innocent comments makes me feel like a fraud. And who wants to be a fraud when it comes to parenting?!! And this further feeds my need to at least seem like I have it ALL under control.
But guess what – I’m not a parent who has it all figured out and all under control, and my guess is, neither are you. And that’s not a bad thing.
Embrace the truth
What if, instead of being embarrassed, we chose to embrace the truth that we’re not supposed to have it all figured out. Be ok with needing parenting help regardless of the number of children at our table or their ages?
This whole parenting thing is a journey – a learning process where every kid in your care is different, even when they experience the same things (like jaundice in my case). So, ask all your questions. Ask for and accept help (often). And surround yourself with parents who are not ashamed to admit that they are also finding their way.
Most importantly, let go of knowing it all and allow others to come alongside you to help you fill in the gaps. That’s what makes this journey great.
Thank you, Carol Parker, for being real and owning it! We need more mommas like you in our communities. Grateful.
“Carol Parker is a mom of 3 beautiful babies. She is headed full force into toddlerhood and can’t wait to see what she learns about herself as she learns to parent her kiddos.” To connect with Carol, email her directly at Hello@carolparkervs.com
Lindsay’s Final Word: Releasing Unhealthy Expectations
For more about releasing the unrealistic expectations that we moms often place upon ourselves, check out this post where I share how I came to terms with some unhealthy expectations that were sucking the life out of me as a mom.
As my dear friend, Beth Matheson of Roots Down Deep and Wycliffe’s Women of the Word, so beautifully reminds us of how desperately we need parenting help. “We don’t have what it takes. Motherhood feels like too much because it is too much. And that is okay… God’s calling is always an opportunity to learn to float, to be held up and carried along by Him.”
Let’s learn to float, Friends. Let’s seek help as we parent.
Recommended Reads for Moms
Below I have listed two of my favorite books that have been used by God in my parenting and faith journey. I am so grateful to embrace the fact that I am not expected to every master this mom thing on my own and that I will always need parenting help. Support in community and most importantly, from God Himself.
By far this is my number recommendation to moms and any woman who finds herself smothered by the to-dos and expectations of this life. I can not more highly recommend this book to offer you encouragement, Biblical truth and wisdom as to how crucial it is to accept the gift of grace and live in it. Life changing book!!
I read this book in one of my darkest seasons with my son. In my sleep-deprived, exhausted state, I experienced some rough moments of anger and rage at my son’s horrific behavior. This was one of the first times that I read a book where Christian mommas were being real about their own struggle with anger and how to navigate this natural (but often life-sucking) emotion. Grace upon grace.