If anyone ever told us the truth about what being a parent is really about, I think our world's "overpopulation" problem would solve itself.
A good friend told me once that being a mother is like "walking around with your heart outside your body." At first I thought she was being a bit dramatic--she has that flair, but then I had my twins. So, that makes it two hearts walking around outside my body....and she is dead on.
Being a parent is so much more than providing physical things like food, shelter, clothing, trips to friends houses, piano lessons, rides to the mall, soccer, last minute items for a school project and help with homework. It's also about helping our daughters to have positive self-esteem and how to navigate "girl world," and helping our sons understand that it's OK to show emotions and that there's more to sports than winning. It's about giving 110% of yourself on days you'd rather crawl back into bed and pull the covers over your head.
I am by no means a perfect parent. I taught my four-year-old a not nice word on the way to preschool this week when someone cut me off. I get that tone just like almost every other parent when I am frustrated. Yeah, you know the tone, even if you won't admit that you do it too.
For me being a parent requires much more patience than I was given, but I am learning. It requires long hours of prayer, worry, frustration which in many cases leads to overwhelming joy, satisfaction and relief. It ticks me off when some people view parenthood as trivial or think that staying at home to raise children is beneath them. I was asked the other day if I worked. Before I could answer my friend TJ said, "Of course she works. She has 5 kids." I was relieved at her answer and grateful for her support.
Being a parent means you are responsible for a piece of the future. You are responsible for teaching patience, understanding, tolerance, responsibility, virtue, honesty, integrity, kindness and love. If you don't possess these qualities they can be learned, although sometimes painfully. If you aren't willing the learn the lesson, please do the world a favor and don't have children until you are ready to take on the challenges of parenthood.
It's all about finding a balance, but if parents give up on their children it will affect more than the family, it will affect the world. Think about the "butterfly effect." It is important to take a minute and evaluate our lives, make sure we are making a positive influence on those whom matter most.