Ahhh, parenthood. The joy of raising children into young men and women of this world. There really should be a manual by the way.
Parenting isn't easy. I remember being in my 20's and meeting a mother that didn't give her children any sugar. That means no gum, candy, soda pop, etc. None, NO sugar. In my mind I thought how that could be rated as child abuse, no doubt. Again, in my 20's, before I started having children, that was my thought, my judgement. Now, being 43 years old with 3 boys ages: 21, 18 & 14......that woman was a frickin' genius!
Sometimes we look and yes, judge, other parents for their choices they make raising their children, but in all honestly, it's hard not to judge. Remember that saying "WWJD" (What Would Jesus DO)? Well, I always wonder what I would do in their situation. But again, being honest, we never really know what we would do until we are IN THAT SITUATION.
Recently I had to make a parenting decision. It wasn't an easy one either. I try and think of what my mother, sister or friends would do, but in all reality every situation, every family, every person is different. There isn't one answer for each situation.
As parents we don't have a manual. We have to make decisions and live with the consequences. My husband and I try to teach our children that EVERY decision you make in your life there will be a consequence of some sort. From a college or schooling decision to a work related decision to a personal friendship decision, they all have consequences. But you know what? It's ok to make mistakes. We aren't perfect, as parents we WILL make mistakes. As children, teens and young adults.....we WILL make mistakes. The important thing is that we LEARN from these mistakes and don't make them again.
I have made many mistakes as a mother. If I make a mistake, I claim it. I tell my boys that I was wrong. Always admit when you are wrong. It's not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength, wisdom, maturity and most important....accountability. Some many children don't take accountability for their mistakes or actions these days. This behavior has to be taught....by someone. When my boys do something wrong, they must acknowledge it and take accountability for that wrong doing or they won't learn to be responsible, good citizens in life.
Recently I did something I shouldn't have. I was called out on it. I could have lied and honestly, no one would have known about it. Well, no one but God. I owned up to it right away, told the truth and boy did I get my butt reamed out for it! But you know what? I apologized, took accountability, repented and moved on. It wasn't easy, but it was the right thing to do. What kind of parent would I have been if I lied? As a mother, I need to set a good example for my boys and even though telling the truth, taking accountability was the right thing to do, it wasn't the easy road. Doing the right thing isn't always easy. In fact, it's usually the hardest bumpiest road in our path......but it's the right one.
So even though being a parent isn't easy, we need to move on and pat ourselves on the back for our accomplishments in our children. Quit being hard on ourselves and think about the good things we have taught our children. They learn from us. They see our every move, decision, action and reaction. I'm blessed to have 3 good, well rounded boys who love the Lord and are respectful to others. In life, they don't always make the same decision I would make in a situation, but that doesn't make them wrong. They also need to make mistakes to learn from them. Encourage them, love them and remember, there is NO manual for parenthood.