It all started when the PE teacher sent home a message from school that my daughter didn't know how to dribble a ball. And then that my son needed a lot of work on some other coordinated activity that I can't even remember now.
No wait, it all started when our daughter ran away and left a note stating that she didn't want to live with us anymore.
Actually, it was probably way before that, but the resulting factor is that I start to look at what I'm doing as a parent with a magnifying glass, because it is obvious to the world that I'm lacking somewhere, somehow.
It could be as simple as deciding to put my son in karate instead of soccer, or homeschool versus public, or trying meds to help my daughter get a slight handle on things. Everybody has their two cents, their wonderful opinion.
Night before last I was checking out Pinterest for some cool ideas and came across several posts with ideas on cool things to do with our kids in the fall. I was expecting some amazingness. But what I got was some basic things that left me thinking, somebody had to write a blog about that? Are we that separated from figuring things out on our own that we need someone to come up with the bright idea to take a walk with our kids?
But I get caught up in it too. Like my kids won't be viable citizens of the world unless they have such and such skills and speak three languages and play outside for x amount of hours each day. I'm all for great ideas and new ways of doing things. But somewhere in the midst of that I think that we push too hard. We set up these unrealistic meters for measuring our success that really doesn't matter at all.
I'm also finding that as I open up to real life people around me, people who have been there, done that, I get some really good, hard-earned advice. Whether its the anonymous mommy at the playground that reassures me that even highly successful people can't hang from the monkey bars. Or the women that see my struggle in the journey and come alongside with their own painful reminisces that assure me that things can turn out well.
Parenting is a lot like picking out a baby name. There is always gonna be someone with a story of how they knew someone by that name who was a such and such and did this and that. Follow the basic guidelines and your kid probably won't hate you when they grow up.
I have to remind myself that the guidelines are simple.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
The basics are written out in His Word. I need to follow His guidelines myself and teach them to my children. All the rest is just extra fluff.
Relax and go take a walk with your kids.