I am realizing how many regrets I have about my parenting skills with Leah her first few year's of life. I look back now and wish I had been a lot more patient. I wish I would have relaxed more about so many things. I mean, I realize how much I was concerned with my own agenda when she was younger. I sometimes think I wasn't ready to have a child yet, when she arrived. I was young and unprepared...completely! I never even read 1 book about child-rearing. Didn't even think about it. Obviously, no mom ever knows what to expect with her first child, but I felt completely unready. I never really liked kids growing up. I rarely gave my name out to babysit. I didn't really interact with kid's much when I was older. I had my own agenda, a selfish, prideful one. No time for kids. In fact, I always said I wasn't having kids...ever. No desire too, I guess. Well, along came Leah. My vivacious, lively, social, smarter than her own good, witty, energized, curly red-head little girl! A child who I chose to give up time with to focus on building my business more. A child who I got disgusted with when she made a mess that I had to clean up and interrupted my 'work.' A child who I rarely allowed to get dirty because it got in the way of my time. A child who I would get so angry with when she refused to nap (I must add she was not a great napper, and still isn't) so that I could workout. A child who I would allow to ruin my whole day when she woke up early and cut into my workout schedule and triathlon or running training. A child who I loved with my whole heart and soul, yet would get so upset with, about every little thing.
These are the questions I constantly ask myself:
Why couldn't I have seen my selfishness?
Why couldn't I have realized that not getting a workout in everyday wasn't going to ruin my race day performance?
Why couldn't I have realized that a messy house was 'okay?'
Why couldn't I have realized that I had plenty of time to focus on my 'work', someday?
Why couldn't I have realized that I only had one chance to shape her in her young years?
Why couldn't I have realized I was creating all kinds of insecurities within her by getting angry with her every mishap?
Still today, sometimes that girl can just get under my skin. And sometimes she dumbfounds me daily with her wit, observations and questions I have no answer for. She loves and NEEDS to be around people, constantly. She is not a cookie cutter kid, she questions everything, refuses to be content with a vague answer, digs deeper, is determined to perfect everything, and has an old soul. She has a lively spirit within her that is contagious to everyone around her. She is a spirited child, and no self-help book can define the best way to handle her.
But like I said before, I am praying for lots of lots of grace. And telling Leah that Mommy needs Jesus just as much as she does when she is naughty. And that I am thankful for His continuous mercy and forgiveness. That we are all being molded and shaped, and humbled into His image. Constantly. So I am hoping she and I can work through this together, and that she is as resilient in this area of her life as she is in everything else. And someday will forgive me.
In the meantime, I'm working to forgive myself. And attempting to make up for lost time.
|Photo courtesy of Megan Hein|