All of us have been teenagers and can recall some of the challenges of that season of life. Some of us now sit in the role of mom and get to watch our children as they grow and develop through those same stages. Many of us, including me, don’t have a longing to go back to those teenage years. Once is enough. It had its freedom and lack of responsibility… but, personally, I’ll take “adulting” over ever being a teenage girl again.
If you live in the mom world, you’d probably also agree that motherhood isn’t filled with an abundance of compliments coming from your children. There are more days you get pouty lips, rolling eyes, and stomping feet. Rare is the occasion when you’re doing the victory lap because your child has walked into your kitchen and said, “Wow, I’m so blessed to have a mom who constantly prays for me and thinks about my well-being, and sacrifices all of her preferences so that I have the best opportunity possible to become a godly man or woman!” (Ever heard that???)
I’m 43 years old and I have a lot of life left in me. But I’m also beginning to realize that I’m farther along in the parenting spectrum than some. As we prepare for Highpoint’s first parenting conference in May, I’m super excited and I know that the event will be out-of-the- park good. Weirdly, however, I realize I’m almost done with going to events to teach us how to raise our kids. These days, I’m looking to focus more on resources that teach me how to become a coach to my adult children.
A few weeks ago, Annika and all 5’8” of her asked me to pick her up. When I declined, she pointed out that I’ll never be able to pick up either of my children again. I’ll never have to spank a child or cut up food on their plate, either. Both have been in the rearview mirror for years now. I think you get the point…
For those in the middle of the battle, I thought I’d encourage you today. When you wonder if it’s worth it and you’re still waiting to see the harvest of your investment, please just hang in there.
One night a few weeks ago, Chris was out of town. Mark was late getting home from football, so I decided to take him out for a quick bite. While we were out, I told him that his typically non-spontaneous mom was actually going to join Chris out of town the following day. Just 48 hours earlier, I’d decided that I’d drop what I was doing and radically check something off my “mini bucket list.” We left dinner that night and went our separate ways.
A bit later, he walked in the house with a smile on his face and relayed that he’d just told his girlfriend about our dinner adventure. He reflected on how they’d talked about our marriage… and then he said to me, “I told her I want to marry someone just like you.”
Those words might be the sweetest gift he could ever give me. There were so many years when I felt like I was losing the battle of motherhood… but in that moment, every decision for 18 years, no matter how hard it was at the time, felt worth it.
If you’re in the thick of it, take hope in knowing that I’ve heard a whole lot more pushback in my parenting than I ever expected. But there will be a day… it just takes a journey to get there.