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You’re holding that beautiful cuddly baby in your arms. What does it feel like? What thoughts race across your mind as you cradle that little bundle of joy? A baby’s arrival certainly creates a certain sense of excitement and radiates the energy needed to care and nurture. Motherhood does not mind the sleepless nights and additional chores of laundry and sterilization of baby stuff. The warmth and joy it gives you just diminish the physical tiredness as you look forward to every moment you spend together with your infant. All you desire is to protect and provide for whatever he or she needs. Welcome to the journey called parenthood!
Parenting is Not an Easy Task
Let’s face it. There’s a sharp contrast between parenting today and 20-30 years ago. Before, parents did not have to bother about limiting screen time and handling stress-related habits and behavior. As long as their kids were eating enough, getting proper medication, sleeping well, dressing appropriately, and sitting up straight, they were content. Modern parents have to add ‘self-esteem’, ‘anxiety’, and ‘crisis’ to their vocabulary. It has been observed that once the child is capable of reasoning and talking back, the parenting challenge begins. Since today’s parents face this challenge earlier in the child’s life, no doubt, it’s a new parenting era!
The experience of paternal and maternal care for a child necessitates the presence and involvement of both parents as this is crucial to a child’s developmental years. For you who have chosen single parenthood, you need to multitask even more to get the job done. This could be overwhelming most often than not.
The standards for “good parenting” have radically changed. There are way more threats nowadays that you have to watch out for to protect your child from getting exposed or from being hooked on. This brings us to the thing that tries to paralyze you as you strive to be a good parent.
Fear. Fear of what? First of all, fear of not becoming the best parent as you think you should be. No parent has it all together yet in the back of your mind you wonder, “Did I do enough?” The thought of how your kid will turn out haunts you making you frantic thinking how you’re doing as a parent. Perhaps your pursuit of success sucked up most of your time and energy leaving your relationship with your child bereft of the affection and intimacy necessary for his or her growth. The formative years are foundational so much so that when your child’s emotional health suffers, it could lead to a lack of healthy communication, trust, concern, sense of caring, and commitment. Second, you fear that your child might not grow up as what you want him or her to be. You have your own plans laid out and so you decide to enroll your child in many classes in the hope of future success. Or you nag at your child which may hamper the harnessing of his or her potential. Control gets tighter and anxiety wells up higher and higher. Third, you may simply fear that the world might crumble down on you. So much is happening in your life and oh, you cannot have your ‘me’ time. Bills are piling up. Your social life is elusive. Your marriage could need a helping hand. Fear’s got a grip on you.
Faith to Keep You in Track
What would you do then to counter fear? Faith. It is equivalent to trust. When you say you trust in God, you are putting the weight of your whole being, your life, your family, your parenting into His care. It is what you need before you mess up, while you’re messing up, and even after you’ve messed up. You need faith in God to put you on track.
As you parent your child in faith, you are reminded that you are not alone with your child. God is there watching over you and your child. He is there in the bedroom standing with you as you diaper-change and as you feed your baby in the wee hours of the night. He gives you strength in an already-exhausted morning as you wake up. He is with you as you drive your child to school as you trust Him to protect your child. He bestows you with wisdom and grace to discipline your child who might be exploring the boundaries and is tempted to go beyond them.
The child’s world out there could be dangerous, scary, and unpredictable. But you cannot let your fears control your decisions surrounding your child. You need to trust God to keep your child safe and protect him from evil and bad influence. He loves your child much more than you do. You can trust God during the easy rides as well as the turbulent ones.
Happy Parents, Happy Child
They say, “happy wife, happy life”. This is manifested when husband and wife love each other and your child catches that love and feels safe and secure.
Five Key Points that Matter in Parenting:
- Remember that before you are a parent, you are someone’s wife. Nurture your love for each other with God’s love.
- Let your child grow up in your presence for instruction and guidance.
- Affirm your child through encouragement and reassurance of your deep love and pleasure.
- Show delight by admiring and enjoying your child, not just correction and instruction.
- Pray for yourself, your marriage, and your child; daily.
Living in a world of a different culture than that of decades ago, it’s necessary to have your moral compass pointed at the “true north” and teach it to your child. [RMC1] With the waves of confusion and trying circumstances tossing you to and fro, you are assured of a steady and satisfying supply of strength and wisdom in your journey as you realize and decide that faith matters in parenting.