Before being a parent I pretty much made choices based on what I wanted and what I thought was best for me. My needs came first, I could do what I wanted, I would do things without thinking too much about what the consequences would be for my actions.
Fast forward 3 1/2 years my life has made a 180-degree turn. I shall say a turn for the better. Without my child, I would be jacked up right now. The direction was going down was just that, downhill and downhill fast. My life was heading for disaster and I was planning on stopping anytime soon. Yes, I had got married in 2012 but to be honest my focus was on nothing but myself. No matter if I was dealing with a lot of mental difficulties at the time I still had a choice to choose myself or to choose others. And I can tell you straight out I was choosing myself. It was destroying me and my loved ones.
Even as a Christian I was being disobedient. I was blessed with a child in 2013. She is now three years old. Looking back through the years since she was born I see how my life has changed. Yes, I still face struggles. Yes, parenting is difficult and sometimes I feel like breaking down. In all of it, though, your child can teach you so much. My life has been impacted greatly by my daughter and I would like to share what you’re learning too without realizing it.
I can tell you that I am a very impatient person. I am sure there are many just like me where in a world that teaches instant gratification we are taught to not have to wait. When we want something we should get it now. We desire to have things be just the way we want them and if they aren’t then we have a nervous breakdown.
I have not perfected patience but I can tell you that with being a parent my patience is always being tested. A testing of your patience is not a bad thing but rather a way to build and shape you. With having a child you are now caring for another person who is new to the world, who has no idea what it means to act a certain way unless you teach them how. So for me to expect a three-year-old to want to do everything I want her to I got news, she won’t. At least not at first because I have to teach her.
At three, a child needs to learn how to listen, communicate, and act. In the meantime, while teaching them these things you will learn how to be patient. It’s a process and won’t happen overnight but know that as long as you are aware of these changes in you then you truly are learning from your child.
Once I was on my own taking care of my daughter by myself that’s when I learned to be responsible. I had two choices. I would either provide for us or cause us to go unfed and homeless. Of course, with no thought to it, I chose to provide. By the grace of God, I am grateful that he provided through many avenues financially, spiritually, and mentally.
When being a parent it seems almost as if there is no other way then to make wise decisions. When you slack it affects not only you but your child as well. I was chosen to be the mom so I am responsible for doing my part.
I used to be so selfish and at times can still be. I feel like a twenty-six-year-old child at times throwing a tantrum like a two-year-old. What kind of example is it that I am setting?
When having a child it is no longer about you and your needs. Your decisions now need to be made based on what is best for this other person too.
Sometimes you can forget you’re talking to a little person. You’ll be sitting there trying to have a conversation with a three-year-old and not understanding why they aren’t listening. You have to constantly remind yourself that they have only been in this world for only a few years and rely on you to teach them.
Keeping a low-key attitude is challenging at times when your patience begins to wear out. As your child expresses their frustration us as parents learn that we have to be slow to anger and have a gentle response. Fueling the fire only causes your child to get more frustrated as well as yourself. Stop yourself right in your tracks.
Making no record of wrongs
Although you may not understand why your child does some of the things they do you realize that they are children and do things that are sometimes not going to be understood. You desire for your child to make the best decisions and sometimes they decide to do the opposite. Sometimes I look back at my younger years and see that I did just that. What else I remember is that my mom and dad showed great mercy towards me and I am to do the same with my own child. How would I have felt if I was condemned and judged for my choices? It makes you feel as if your loved only based on conditions.
Your child will always be growing just as you are as an adult. Forgiveness and mercy allow room for improvement. It is not being judgemental and I like to see it as not keeping a record of one’s wrongs. Before having kids it was so easy to judge others and think of yourself as all knowing. Those people just didn’t get it and needed to follow in your league. People are human and they sometimes will learn only when they are ready. It is the same with children. Looking at my daughter who is only three decides to talk back then she is going to learn what the consequences are. It doesn’t make me love her any less but rather teaches her to see right from wrong on her own and allows me to practice showing compassion as it has been extended to me in my life.
In 1 Corinthians 13, Jesus speaks of what love is. When becoming a parent I see the characteristics that are being built in me. The characteristics that represent love.
There are no more conditions as love is unconditional. I am constantly falling short and by all means am not perfect. Although while raising a child you have every opportunity to grow and be built up with these characteristics. They are not only good at being used for parenting but build you up as a person to have a different outlook towards others you meet and other relationships you have. It’s darn awesome how much you can change when becoming a parent for the better. Being a mom can be challenging but believe the reward is much greater.
How have you changed since becoming a parent?