Parenting = Planting?

I am a mother of two teenagers. 

I love both of my kids dearly and always will, but that doesn’t mean my parenting experience has always been easy. On the contrary, there were countless, all sorts of big and small challenges, along the way.  Of course there were many times I thought (and I still do) becoming a parent was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Then there were other times I have felt so helpless that I wanted to scream, run out, and not come back for the day.  I’m pretty sure many of you have had similar moments. Because parenting is not an easy job to do, however special and rewarding it may be.  It takes a whole lot of your time, attention, energy, patience, and many other things.

When my first child was a newborn, I desperately hoped she would grow fast and become a toddler so I could sleep through the night to rest my body and mind.  I thought parenting would become easier once she was a toddler.  Oh, I was so wrong!

When my children were toddlers/preschoolers, I could finally sleep through the night, but I desperately hoped they would grow fast and become more independent so they wouldn’t require so much of my time and attention for constant supervision from toilets in the morning, meals during the day, to baths at night.  I thought parenting would become easier once they were elementary school kids.  Oh, I was so naive!

When they started going to elementary school, they could handle personal care tasks, but they needed a great deal of academic, emotional, and medical support to tackle homework and peer pressure, injuries and sickness. 

Now, you get the picture.  The older they get, new challenges appear.  And if you have multiple children those challenges come at the same time or come alternately.  Either way parenting is a thorny path.  Now with my children being teenagers, do I not worry about them any more?  I still do!  I still have a handful of challenges everyday concerning my children at this rebellious stage. 

After 17 years of practice, an important lesson I learned about parenting is: it just never gets easier!!!

But I also learned this.  Children cannot and will not grow fast. They need time to grow at his/her own pace just like plants and there’s only so much parents (and gardeners) can do for them.  We do what we do – love, nurture, look after, and pray for them. Then we need to be patient and trust in God will take care of the rest. He will help a child grow, a parent become a parent, and a plant bloom flowers.

This is a reminder for myself and parents who are reading this blog. We can pat ourselves on the back for doing what we do.  Happy parenting!