Herding Kittens, juggling monkeys – yes that pretty much sums up parenthood, in the early years at least. Haven’t reached the teens or tweens years yet! Herding kittens I think sometimes might even be easier. As it is, gone are the days of deciding to go out and then merely grabbing your bag and keys and doing just that. Two of the boys may be the in the car ready to go, while I rush around trying to locate a lost shoe for the third. Find said shoe and third trots to the car, only to then have one of the others get out having decided he actually does need the toilet. Then the other decides that he needs a toy. As I said herding kittens!
Nonetheless, this stage of life is busy but immensely rich and fun! But what can undo the enjoyment of it, is feeling that you don’t measure up to other parents – the mums at the school gate or in front of you at the checkout queue. But parents aren’t all perfect cookie cut outs. We’re all different. We were all created by God to be the unique type of parent to the children we have. It is important to embrace who each of us are as parents and not to compare to try to imitate others.
You won’t see me baking organic broccoli muffins for my boys, but you will find me on the floor playing Batman and Robin with their toys or reading the (entire!!!) series of Captain Underpants to them. We are all different. We might all go through the same milestones of our children, but we will respond to them differently as will our children. And while I know I certainly don’t always get it right, I have a God who loves me and lets me reside in an atmosphere of grace.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. “(Isaiah 40:11)
Remember you are the best parent to your children when you are you!