Parenting with Perspective {hard work pays off}

Parenting is a lot about perspective.

I’ve heard it before, but after almost five years I’m finally starting to own this little piece of wisdom. P-e-r-s-p-e-c-t-i-v-e.

It’s what I held on to during my pregnancy with Stryder: mothering two small children, hot california summer, husband working 80 hours a week. It’s hard now, but the years ahead will more than repay us for this struggle.

And it’s how I dealt with morning sickness, that horrible devil: I’m sick for three months, but this person I’m growing might live to be seventy, eighty, ninety years old. What’s three months compared with decades and a life lived? Nothing. It’s nothing in comparison.

This boy you see pictured above who is starting to look so grown up–like an actual school boy–this boy used to give me so much trouble. When he was younger, just like any kid, he refused to obey, yelled “NO,” even hit his momma in the face a few times. Potty training was (and still is) the. worst. thing. I’ve. ever. had. to. do. Emotionally draining, discouraging, and maddening.

Of course, he was always still the sunshine of my day. He’s always been loving, sweet, fun. But there’s no denying that at times, parenting him was hard.

Yet here we are and my oldest son, this beautiful bit of wayward humanity, has become something wonderful. After less than five years of work, I’m seeing it pay off.

We went out on a “date” the other day and I was struck by how easy he is to be around. So engaging, confident, polite and helpful. There is nothing “squashed” about his personality and yet he is obedient to me and kind to others. He’s an amazing older brother, he really loves us and is interested in other people. I’m always receiving complements on him.

It’s amazing to see his raw material shaped into something so special. It’s powerful seeing how he learned so quickly. Don’t get me wrong–God is the only one who can be attributed with the success here–but I take so much comfort in knowing that I was obedient to His voice, consistent in my parenting and my son has benefited from this. 

What do we want, more than our children’s good? Isn’t this what we are working for? Isn’t it reassuring, knowing that repetition, consistency, love and acceptance really do work? Isn’t it a relief to know that your hard work will one day pay off?

I can’t wait to enjoy the years ahead with my son. He is one of the most wonderful, beautiful, fascinating people I have ever met, along with my husband and our other two children. Truly, he is one of the greatest miracles of my life.

The night he was born, with fireworks outside our hospital window in Honolulu, I could not have fathomed the truth about parenting. Not just caring for a child, but shaping him, encouraging him, and helping him forward in life. It’s the single most challenging–and rewarding–task of a person’s life. And the hard work pays off.

So the next time Abby throws a fit and Stryder wakes me up three times in the night I will remember: even though it’s hard now–perhaps, because it’s hard now–there will be good later. I will hold this perspective and it will give me patience with my daughter. I will grant her the grace to learn bit by bit, I will love her now and look forward to who she will be later.

I will parent with perspective.

Thanks for reading, friends! How have you learned perspective through parenting? I’d love to hear your story! Let’s encourage one another to keep moving forward with our children and not lose hope during those hard parenting days. They last for such a short time