How I’ve Screwed Up Parenting and Other Idiotic Mistakes

I hate the expression, “If I could do it over again, I would….” because, well, we CAN’T do IT OVER AGAIN! Sad, yet true. But a little introspection never hurts either. That’s what this post is about: the raw emotion of coming to terms with mistakes I’ve made; good ideas done with wrong intentions or motives and a fair bit of kicking myself squarely in the arse.

Mercy me. At this point in my parenting, I can assure you that, whatever I thought I knew before, I now realize I knew nothing of the complexities I would face and if I did, I may have just run off into the sunset as a DINK (dual income, no kids) with the hubby.

Who signed me up for this job anyways???

It began with breast feeding only and organic homemade baby food. Yep. No feeding on demand though. No rocking my babies to sleep. No siree! That would “spoil” them, make them too dependent on me and make our home a child-centered place. Assinine me bought into these ideas hook, line and sinker. {Just for the record- I am still a HUGE fan of breast feeding-  total La Leche mama over here.}

God laughed at my foolishness and gave me a first born with a will like iron, who has pushed every boundary from the get go. I read a few books that were so misguiding, I can hardly contain myself thinking of them. “Spank them till they break.” Oh, o.k. 5,000 spanks later, no will broken, just fomented anger in my child and in myself. Great idea. NOT. Stupid, abusive idea. Not what God’s intentions were when He tells us to “withhold not correction”.

Sending them to school daunted me. The idea of my kids being surrounded by a bunch of trash talking heathens for 6 hours a day?! No way! Home schooling would be the insulating blankie we could wrap them up in. Yes, no prob. This way, I can teach them my worldview AND make darn sure they don’t hear the “F” word.  (At 7, my oldest comes home and blurts “FUK” out after playing at a church friend’s house-oops.) Foiled again.

For all the good it was having them at home 24/7, it had its down falls. One thing for sure is, my strong suite is not patience. I am a tiny bit “Tiger Mother” by nature and that is not a quality of a great teacher. I tended not to look favorably on childish behavior or the inability to apply oneself to the glories of handwriting and computing arithmetic problems. My hypocrisy was such an ugly thing and I modeled it for them like a pro at moments- teaching them the Bible one minute and yelling at them the next!!

Presently, I am coming to terms with the fact that in two years I will have 2 “adult” children. OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!!!  Just recently, I realized that somehow, somewhere along the path, I had overlooked something so important, I have pretty much been doing continual face palms since it dawned on me- I neglected PRAYER- the everyday, without ceasing for each and every situation kind (not just in moments of crisis or peril). And most of all, unceasing PRAYER for God to save them! I was too busy believing that if I just taught my kids the gospel message enough, they would in turn embrace it whole-heartedly and never look back. Wrong again. For all of man’s efforts, do not change the heart of a child. Only God does. Plain and simple.

You see, I did some right things, very good things even. Teaching my kids at home had its sweet, memorable moments and I do know they heard the truth of God from the beginning. BUT, my motivations were a bit askew and definitely wreaked of spiritual pride.

Yes, I DID pray for my kids, but not nearly as fervently as I should have. I should have spent concerted effort on bent knee before the feet of Jesus and less time applying the rules.

I am majorly humbled as I write this; saddened by idiotic mistakes I’ve made and by seeing the folly of my own prideful ways.

If I may be so bold, I would shout it from the mountain tops: “PRAY, PRAY, PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN!” Don’t trust in human efforts: in organic eating, or clean living, or home schooling, or spanking, or church programs, or being a godly example even, or anything- BUT GOD. Check and recheck your motives for everything you do to make sure that pride has not crept in in place of true humility and utter dependence on God each and every day.