Home and Family

Reflections of parenthood

It’s been much too long since I wrote anything to share here.  Life is chaotic and busy, and time gets away from me. I can hardly believe we’re already face to face with the end of May.

Still, as we’re nearing the end of what was for me a much more successful homeschool year, I found myself reflecting on the differences that made it a success. It largely was, for me, simply letting go of this idea of perfection. That standard I hold myself to because I always feel I’m being judged.

Then today, I came across this little list on the Hands and Voices Facebook page. I loved it, so I wanted to share it here for posterity.

What I Wish I Knew When I first became a Parent:
I’m nearing the end of my parenting journey with my last kid about to graduate from high school. The husband and I are shifting gears and learning what it means to be parents of adult children. 

The other day I was looking through baby albums and wondering how it was possible that the years flew by so quickly. My mother-in-law warned me of this concept when the kids were toddlers. “The time will fly by when the kids get older and before you know it, they’ll be grown and gone.”
She was right. I blinked. And poof, the kids became adults.

The other day, I was thinking back on the mistakes, the fumbles, the inexperience–and all the things I wish I knew when I first became a parent. So I sat down to write all the things I know now–and wish I knew at the beginning of the parenting journey.

-You’re wiser than you realize. You are perfectly capable of making decisions that are right for you and your family.
-You’re gonna mess up. It’s okay. Sometimes you have to go down the wrong path to discover what the right path is for your family.
-Let go of perfection. Aim for perfectly imperfect instead.
-Don’t lose your passion–ditch the time-suckers and go play. 
-Take time for YOU.
-Parenthood is a season. Like all seasons, it ebbs and flows. Enjoy the season you’re in.
-Parenthood is not a race. Comparison robs your kid of their own journey.
-Don’t follow the crowd–just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean it’s right for your child.
-When you’re stuck in a rut, do something new. Take action.
-Pick your battles carefully. Will this matter ten minutes, ten months, or ten years from now?
-You’re a lot tougher than you think. You can bounce back from anything.
-Laugh. Laugh some more. Laugh even more.
-Responsibilities and independence are gifts. Give them wisely.
-Let yourself feel. Kids need to know that parents are beautifully human.
-The laundry never ends. As soon as they can load the washer, teach them to do laundry. Ditto the dishwasher.
-Take pictures and videos, but make sure you put the camera down to experience the moments, too.
-During the tough times, look for the gift in the experience. Sometimes you won’t find it until enough time has passed by.
-Learn all you can about what you need to know–lean on people who have wisdom to share.
-Listen within. Meditate. Pray. Ask. The answers will come.
-When in doubt, love. Love your kid.
-Every child is freaking unique. Honor that.”
~Karen Putz


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