Embrace Parenting

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

children235I recently watched a TV segment called, "You Can Love Your Children
but Hate Parenting." It was based on an article that appeared in New York magazine about this concept of loving your children but not parenting.

I think there is some truth in that statement, even though hate is kind of a strong word. Most parents would never admit to it—publicly at least. It seems almost unthinkable to confess that you don't always like parenting. I mean what kind of parent doesn't enjoy every minute of changing diapers, stepping on toys, cleaning up vomit, listening to a temper tantrum or running after a two-year-old with a fork in her hand? The answer is every kind of parent! There are minutes, hours, days, weeks and even months where parents would trade their role of caregiver for sewer cleaner.

What's important to recognize is that having these thoughts or feelings does not make you a bad parent, it makes you a very normal parent. If those feelings linger and grow into an unhealthy attitude towards your children, then seek professional help, but for the majority of parents, it's simply part of the package.

When you are faced with these kinds of emotions, the most important thing to do is talk about them with your spouse or friends, because I guarantee you'll discover you are not alone. It's critical to also talk about why you love being a parent. That way you'll have a balanced perspective.

Parenting is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. It can be emotionally and financially draining, but it can also be rewarding and fill you up. This constant pull of both positive and negative energy when you parent can feel like you're continually on a roller coaster ride—a mixture of exhilarating and scary moments. For example, the author of the article in the New York Magazine wrote about how 71% of moms wish they had more time for themselves and yet 85% of moms felt like they didn't spend enough time with their kids.

I was surprised to find this article laced with studies about the downside of parenting and the declining level of satisfaction in marriages where children are involved. It painted an unflattering picture of the perils of parenting without highlighting the joy and delight that comes with the privilege of raising individuals to contribute to society. If someone considered having children and read it, I think they'd probably decide against it.

But I'm here to tell you that while parenting isn't always a piece of cake, most of the time it can be a sugary-sweet delight if you approach it in a positive manner and take the right steps to building a good relationship with your kids.

It's important to set boundaries between your kids and your spouse, ensuring that one is not neglected for the other. It's imperative to still make time for friends too. It won't be as frequent as before, but you also don't have to cut friends out of your life. Remember to treat your child like a human being and not a project. This will help to balance the number of activities your child gets involved in over the years. Your goal should be to help them become the person they were created to be and not the person you think they should be. Treasure your role as parent for all the rewards it brings not just the disappointments. With that attitude you'll win at parenting and win at home.
Author Information
Dan Seaborn
Dan Seaborn is the founder of Winning At Home, Inc., an organization designed to assist and encourage people of all ages and stages of family development. As a featured speaker at churches and large-scale events such as marriage conferences, corporate functions, and university assemblies, Dan Seaborn has earned recognition as a powerful and passionate communicator. Through practical illustrations and memorable real-life examples, he encourages individuals and families to lead Christ-centered homes.

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