Motherhood is the toughest challenge women face, whether you’re raising a gentle soul or a tantrum-throwing type A personality. Part of this is because along with motherhood comes worry.
Jesus cautioned His followers not to worry about tomorrow because today has worry enough, but mothers spend many sleepless nights worrying about their children, whether they’re safe, and what their future will be. Add to this the many stages a child goes through, and you find yourself wondering why God thought you were up to the task of motherhood. (more…)
A sunny spring afternoon in 1941, two young women, sisters and both expectant mothers, were shopping together for baby clothes in the Kress 5 &10 Cent Store. Kate, the younger sister, was due anytime in the next 10 days. Dot had just recently learned she was expecting in October. The sisters had lived and worked together until their marriages the year before. In 1939 their parents had passed away. Dot married Frank, a successful local farmer. Frank had hired a young man named Jim to work for him. The four met and my family legacy began. That very afternoon, Kate began to experience signs that she was going into labor. A cab was called by one of the store clerks, Dot called their husbands, and the two women headed to the hospital.
A long night of labor lay ahead for 25 year old Kate. By early dawn on April 13th, Easter Sunday morning, she held a little (more…)
Do you remember Hagar in the Old Testament? In Genesis, we learn she was Sarai’s handmaid. Hagar is not the typical role model for motherhood. In fact, she’s usually viewed as the spoiler in an otherwise epic Bible story of Abraham’s life. Yet her life offers three reminders parents can (more…)
When I first heard this month the series was going to focus on parenting, my immediate reaction was . . . I’m not a parent. However, my lovely co-writers here at Ask God Today pointed out, “No, you are not a parent, but you have them.”
My junior year in college, I had the privilege of studying abroad in Winchester, England. Saying it was an amazing three months is an understatement. This was the first time that I had ever really made a life-changing decision for myself. I decided to go, and presented it to my parents.
Notice I said “presented,” not asked. They were skeptical, but willing to see me off on my England adventure. I spent those three months finding my way around, learning the transportation, grocery shopping and buying the necessities when they were needed. For the first time in my life I did not have Mom and Dad there to save me if something went wrong. It was invigorating, freeing, and something I didn’t want to let go of. Then the semester ended and I flew home.
The first few months of my return were some of the worst in my relationship with my mother.
At 21 years old, I had just come from living on my own and surviving . . . no thriving, back to “my house, my rules.” (I’m sure parents reading this know that saying.)
Well, I felt like I was not being allowed to grow as an adult. Coming home to answer for every single thing I did was suffocating. It may seem like a silly thing for a 21-year-old to rebel like a 16-year-old, but I did. This only made Mom grab hold of those reins more tightly. I was mean for no reason, assuming anything that came out of her mouth would be a new rule or punishment. We fought all the time. It caused a lot of tension in our relationship.
After a few months of this we finally broke and talked it out through lots of tears. I felt I was being treated like a child and she felt she was losing hers. She saw that I was more independent, and in a final attempt to hold on to that baby girl she loved and still saw sitting there in front of her, she latched on in the only way she knew how.
You may have a teenage or adult child still living at home who is rebelling. They may be acting out and doing things in a way that seems to be on purpose to spite you.
May I ask that you take a look at how tightly you are holding on to the leash? Are you holding them so close your kid is choking just to get a few inches of movement?
Yes, there are situations when a kid really can go AWOL, but in most instances your child is trying to learn how to do things on their own.
Your children need space to mess up. They need space to try, fail, and learn from their own mistakes. Space to grow. Yes, it may be hard to see your baby mess up, but you will be there to comfort them when it happens.
Wouldn’t you rather give them their space, than to hold on so tightly they resent you and don’t come to you when something does go wrong?
This was true for my mother and me. It is a vicious cycle that, until a conversation takes place, can go on forever and possibly hurt the relationship between parent and child.
Parents, I am not implying that you should not have boundaries for your children, but when they get to the late teenage/young adult years,
it is time to loosen your grip.
I promise they will respect you more for allowing them to try and fail in the long run.
You need not fear
because the Word says that if you:
‘Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.’ Proverbs 22:6
They may stumble and fall every once and a while, but their heart knows where it needs to go.
Comment below with how you have responded to your teen/young adult searching for independence?
February 24, 2017 at 10:04 pm Elliot Jane Morris was delivered into the world and placed in the arms of our youngest son and his tender wife. I remember my own experience and know the joy that was complete in their arms after nine long months of expecting the love of their lives to live and breathe moving from the womb into this world. Olivia was spent and very sedated. It had been a very long nineteen hours of intense but non-productive labor resulting in (more…)