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I Was the Perfect Parent...Until I Had Kids

I couldn't help but remember the good old days, about, oh, four years ago, in which single Jenna had the market cornered on being the perfect mom someday. I'd seen many episodes of Supernanny. I was surely a pro. I was the one who always heard screaming children in Target and said, "Why can't they do something about that screaming kid! If it were me, they'd be getting a swat right now!" or "My kids would NEVER act like that." Oh, Jenna. You and your naive ways.
Don't get me wrong. My kid doesn't scream in Target for half an hour with me ignoring them completely. And even though she's tried it once, she never hit me again, like I've seen some kids do repeatedly. But aside from that, the whole "parenting" image I had before of me being the perfect mom went out the window the second kids came into the mix.
The thing of it is, you never, ever know how a kid is going to turn out. Even as a baby, you think that sweet little baby girl with beautiful eyes and sweet smiles would never manipulate you, or hit you, or say something to hurt your feelings, or throw a tantrum, or throw a toy, or bite, or yell, or whine incessantly. In your mind, you have silent car rides of wonderful music, silent trips to the grocery store, you just have a kid who, you know, is just perfect.
The thing is, parenting isn't an art form that anyone ever masters, even the best of us. Kids are just too unpredictable, too emotional, too unique to ever know exactly how to parent them the right way. Of course you set limits. Of course you have rules. Of course you have consistancy. But even those with the best-laid parenting plans are plans that are doomed to fail at one time or another. You think, I have no problem spanking and that will be my consequence, until you have a kid who doesn't care if they are spanked or not. And trust me, there are kids like that, I have one.
Now, I have changed alot. When I hear a screaming kid in Target, my first thought is, "I've been there, I wish I could help her!" or "I wonder how many times she's had to punish him today, that she is just ignoring him now cause it's all she can do..." It's amazing how different perspective can be, especially when it comes to parenting.
Has there ever been a situation that you thought you'd be one way but then changed your tune when you came out of it?


Don Jones said…
Hi Jenna,

When my kids got a little older, I had to confess to them that I had not been nearly as good at parenting as I had always thought I would be. I guess, when it's all said and done, we just do the best we can, and commit them to the Lord, trusting that He will work some magic of His own in what happens in their characters. And then we keep on praying that they will be safe and do well in their lives. Love your comments.


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