One of the striking things about each child is how strong they are as individuals. A baby that you think is easy going and chill grows into a toddler who is anything but. A toddler who is serious and quiet blossoms into an elementary student who has stage presence like you wouldn't believe and a huge sense of humor. You can call it a phase, you can call it whatever you want - but sometimes it's just... that child - that unique person.
I can't pigeon hole these people. They're always changing on me. Sometimes I really do think they're trying to confuse me. Just when I think I have them down, they switch it up. It's musical chair parenting. I feel like I have the rhythm, I've got my stride down right, and then BAM just when I'm in between chairs the music stops and I have to scramble to figure out which direction I'm going to go.
I've read so many posts and articles based on the type of parent you shouldn't be, or the things you should (or should not) say. Bottom line? It often overwhelms me. Am I that parent!? Am I ruining my kids?! Are they going to hate me forever and ever because I said no, made them do chores, yelled, didn't bake cookies often enough? Blah blah blah.
The thing is, I can read every article, book, blog post out there and they're all going to claim to offer me some useful tip. Often, it's not something I'm interested in, sometimes it is. But, as I've known for some time - there is no straight up formula.
We want there to be. We want to get it like we get a math problem. OH THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT! And then, it clicks, we'll be good. Everything will run smoothly. We figured that one out. Moving on.
The thing is, parenting never works that way. Because, musical chair parenting, folks.
People always say that God sent these children to you for a reason. I believe that sentiment to be true. Does that mean that you're the most perfectly suited parent to this child? I don't necessarily think so. I actually often believe that other parenting styles would better jive with one or more of my children. But, that's not really the point.
The point isn't to look at how we're parenting incorrectly. It isn't to judge ourselves harshly. It's not to judge our children harshly. I honestly think we're supposed to have a heaping amount of flexibility, grace, humor, and prayer thrown in.
So you had a bad day? Tomorrow will be better. So you struggled with that child again? Pray about it. So, you aren't sure what to do about the issue that keeps cropping up? Find a different option. Be flexible, have grace, laugh, and pray. Realize that there is *no* formula and yes, perhaps someone could do it better than you, but you're the one doing it, you're the one working it.
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."
2nd Timothy 1:7
Those situations where we're thrown for a loop they're going to happen - a lot. The more kids you have, the more it's going to happen.
When the music stops and it's time to grab a chair we can give up and let everyone else grab a seat - OR we can throw down, clear the way, and keep dancing while we get that chair.