The Truth About Parenthood

Last week, I was interviewed about parenthood by a friend for one of her college classes. The questions were thought provoking. I wanted to share them, as well as my answers. Please share your thoughts and answers to any of the questions in the comment section, too.

1. Given attacks from the world on marriage, families, gender, and the role of a father/mother, are there specific challenges for you in maintaining the role of a father/mother?

I think the biggest challenge is letting my kids, extended family and others around me realize that I love being a mother and that I believe it's one of the most important roles I will ever hold in my life. There are many who try to put other titles (work positions, etc) above that of being a parent - but in the long run, anyone can take your job and do it as good or better than you can. But no one can replace you, your personality, and the impact you can make on your children's lives. I wish more people understood that.

2. What are some of the most important contributions you believe you make to your family through your role as a father/mother?

 The biggest contribution I make is showing my kids I can be me (relaxed, fun, stressed out, whatever) and that they still love me. Just like I will always love them no matter what choices or challenges they face in their future. I hope my children realize that no matter what their individual personality or future journey brings, that they can be themselves and lead incredible, valuable lives.

3. From your perspective, what are some of the most difficult challenges or demands associated with being a father/mother?

The most difficult challenge I face right now is figuring out when to stand up for or help my children versus giving them the opportunity to figure something out and possibly stumble on the way. Letting them be independent is sometimes so hard!

4. What specific counsel from your church leaders to fathers/mothers do you find especially meaningful

 To find balance in life. Church leaders who emphasize reviewing your priorities, daily schedules, etc and seeing if they are in accordance to what you truly value is the best advice ever. Every few months I do a personal review and my husband & I do a review together twice a year.

5. Will you share a couple of things about your role as a father/mother you would want a young father or mother to understand?

 Parenthood is a journey. Each stage is unique, with different challenges and blessings. No matter if you're raising typical kids or kids with special needs, enjoy every step. When life gets overwhelming, take a deep breath and move forward inch by inch. Have a constant prayer in your heart for guidance. Most importantly, be each other's best support. Love each other, take care of each other, and laugh together often.

6. What are some meaningful ways you like to be supported by your spouse in your role as a father/mother?

I love it when my hubby takes care of dinner clean up and getting kids ready for bed so I can take a hot bubble bath. A 20 minute soak can be so rejuvenating! Another thing I love is that we have quiet time when the kids are sent to bed. This is when they are still settling down for the night (reading books, etc). During that time, my hubby and I will play board games, snuggle on the couch while we talk or read, or put on a comedy show while we fold laundry together. We take time each day to reconnect with each other. I love that so much.

7. What is one thing husbands and wives can do to support one another in their roles as fathers and mothers?

 First, talk to each other about your family's expectations, family rules, possible consequences for misdeeds, etc. Be on the same page. Then NEVER contradict the other parent in front of the kids. If dad says they lose TV time, Mom backs him up - and vice versa. If you have a problem with a consequence or the way something was handled, then talk about that in private so you can be on the same page in the future. If the kids see respect between mom & dad, then they show more respect as well.

8.  Relative to the role of a father/mother, what are a few important lessons you have learned?

Lesson #1 - Parenthood is not at all what I expected. So whatever you were thinking it would be, throw it out the window and go with the flow of reality! Lesson #2 - Being a mom is amazing and the absolute hardest, most emotional role ever. Prepare to survive by stocking up on chocolate, bubble bath, Advil, Kleenex, and an unlimited minutes cell phone plan. Lesson #3 - Each child is individual and unique, but each is a beautiful child of God. He loves them so much. Treat them with love, respect, and compassionate guidance.

Would you like to comment?

Anonymous said...

hmmm- I am going to have to spend some time thinking about this one... as a mom of multiple High Functioning Autistic kids, and wife of another- my life is very much out of the norm/outside the box. I'll get back to you on this one.

The Damsel in Dis Dress said...

Wonderful questions and answers. Thank you.

kbrebes said...

Ditto!!! Well said.

Valerie Ipson said...

Wow. Just loved all your answers!

Connie Sokol said...

Love your comments:)