Not So Empty Nest Days

Cherishing the days past while moving towards the days ahead, BHG

When Is It Enough?

on June 8, 2013

Raising kids is a hard, some times draining, sometimes discouraging always rewarding job. My question is when does the parenting stop?

I answer my own question by saying never. Parenting has seasons just like the weather, a job, friendship, and life. From birth until they leave the house, training, love, encouragement and discipline should be the season. Once they leave, the parenting takes on a new form which carries over encouragement, prayer and adds new elements such as gentle guidance. Over the entire 23 years I have been a parent, I noticed small changes in my children’s environment that forced or warranted changes in me. I sometimes ignored these changes that should’ve taken effect in me, and sometimes I went in fully charged, determined to defeat an invisible foe that threatened to pull my children from me, leaving the very ones I aimed and vowed to protect harmed after all.

We have been through depression, bullying, addictions, homelessness, moral failure and even incarceration together. My children have watched me be physically thrown out of our home because of my choices, depressed and abandoned by one I chose to stay with LONG after the rush subsided, and even seen up close and probably too personally the pain of breaking out of a shell built around me in my childhood. They have seen me struggle emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually as I sought one remedy after another to be comfortable in this world.

I have seen them be hurt, be tormented, be made fun of, be torn down, make choices that landed them in both emotion and physical jail and be ignored and cast aside by someone who should have been there to guide them paternally.

Now that we are entering this new realm of adult and independent teen kid phase, I look back sometimes and go over where I messed up, I even entertain the spirit of regret about poison I poured into them, which has stolen a few years by itself. But I have finally gotten to a place where I understand what my role is, what my duties as their mom is, what it really means to RAISE children to be adults. I’m not looking so much on the failures anymore, I can’t do anything about them anyway but mend any hurts, so why waste precious time.

I have decided in these last few, or whatever, years I would spend time with my kids doing things I only wished we could do. Taking trips where we have never gone, seeing places we have never seen and saying things I felt were too awkward to say before. I have decided to love my kids where they are and leave the transformation to their Father, my Father who is the only One who knows their beginnings and their end. I only pray I live to see the fruit of some of our “labor” together and that our bond remains in generations to come.

When do/ did you stop parenting? It’s never too late to pick it back up. Not until the last breath is gone.

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