As a parent there are many times when I fall into bed at the end the day feeling happy that in this quiet space I don’t have to walk that fine line anymore for today. I will often think through my day, of my words or my actions wondering should I, or could I have handled that situation better. As I fall asleep I pray that tomorrow I may do better.
There are days as a parent when I feel like I constantly walk a fine line between:
- Saying too much and saying too little.
- Speaking up or letting it go.
- Doing the job myself or making them do it.
- Addressing the tone and attitude or putting up with it.
- Initiating conversation or wait and listen to them hoping that will one day they will ask your advice
My Mum always says to me, “You need to choose your battles.” Boy, this is good advice. I just wish that I could PAUSE sometimes in the midst of the battle and remind myself of this before I walk OVER the “fine line” and say things that I can’t take back.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I seem to always have the best responses.......... in HINDSIGHT.
My experience has been that just when one battle is over, another one appears. Each year a new boundary is crossed, an old rule is pushed and so the line needs to move. The “fine line” I feel I am walking is constantly transitioning to a new position as the children get older. No wonder I slump into bed at the end of some days! In 1 day my Son turns 18 years old. Wow, where did the time go? The line will be moving yet again. Am I ready for it? I’m not sure! It feels a little scary.
If “choosing my battles well” is the advice I adhere to, then this may be the time when the “battles” really begin to count. It feels like the stakes are getting higher as he ventures out in the world as an adult. OR is it rather that the BATTLES we have already fought up to now are what have really counted? Either way I lie in bed wondering, “Have I done enough and am I prepared for the next challenge?”
At this time I could focus on what I am NOT and the times I haven’t played the role of the wise adult OR I can choose to rest in the knowledge that there is always forgiveness, grace and love. I know that the love we have for each will get us through those challenging times when I have let my kids down. I find my kids very forgiving. They have heard us say sorry enough times that they are able to say the same back. In fact some of the greatest times in our battles over the years have been when we get to say sorry, share the love and forgive each other. It comforts me to know that FAITH, HOPE and LOVE in all things ....really is the answer.
I wake each morning and CHOOSE to have FAITH that God is in control and believe that sometimes all we can do as parents is model that FAITH in God to our children and that this is enough. I CHOOSE to HOPE that they know He is always there for them and we are too and HOPE that there is always a way through any battle. I CHOOSE to LOVE my children with a LOVE that says sorry, that laughs in good and bad times, and that chooses never to give up but believes the best in each other whatever the next challenge looks like.
Yes, I need to keep learning to CHOOSE my battles better, but mostly I CHOOSE to take with me into each battle; God’s promise of FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE.