My mother was not excited when I began having babies. She was excited for the babies, not the fact that I was raising them in the crazy life of baseball far from our family farm in North Carolina. I was the black sheep of the family when it came to rebelling against living ‘at home.’ I had no intention of living in my hometown, nor my home state. I had ‘ants in my pants’ as my mother would say. I was always on the go looking for another adventure. I believed, and still do, in living life to the fullest while embracing every opportunity that came my way.
Raising my children in baseball wasn’t the script my mother had so carefully laid out in her mind about her family. Actually, it wasn’t in my playbook either. My plan to raise children, once I chose to have them, was to try to be as perfect as possible. In my mind, I was filled with fear of failure. The goals I wrote were a list of characteristics of a perfect parent, something I could never accomplish.
Many questions swirled through my thoughts raising my kids in this baseball life.
“Am I messing them up?”
“Is this torture for them?”
“Should I be living in one place?”
“Is there 2 am bedtime wrong?”
“Would it be better to put them to bed at 7 pm and they not stay up to see their father?”
“Does moving four times a year mess up their feelings of belonging?”
“Should I move closer to my family?”And so many more questions.
And so many more questions.
When I began to throw those questions at God, because I don’t know how to ask submissively, I felt a peace from him. As a Christian parent, I thought I had to be perfect. We cannot be perfect, only he can.
There is no book, blog post or opinion from others (even your mother) that is the ‘right’ way to be a mama. That baby God has picked you to raise for him is unique. He/she may not sleep 8 hours on day three of life. They may not walk at 9 months. They may not read well in Kindergarten. They may not mature in a way others do. They are unique and develop the way God has intended them to grow.
Not only is that little angel unique but you are too. You have an ability no other mother has. God has given you the perfect gifts to bless your children. You will never be perfect in others’ eyes but you are perfect in his. Your style of parenting cannot be exactly like someone else. You are unique. Be you!
In all of our off script parenting, there will be times that we fail. In those times it is easy to point our children to the heavenly perfect parent, the one that never fails.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” (Romans 15:13).
As we trust in him, God gives us hope, according to his power. We can mess up, do things wrong, and still succeed with his blessings.
Go off script mama. It’s ok. You are doing a great job being you!
Nice. Your gift of encouragement overflows.