Sometimes the pressure of having kids is really overwhelming to me. I try to take it day to day, but sometimes I get almost panicky when I think about all the responsibilities involved. Today was such a day.
Les and I are responsible for their entire well-beings. We are responsible for making sure they eat healthy, making sure they are bathed and brush their teeth, have clean clothes that fit them, getting them to bed at decent times to get the rest that they need, teaching them right from wrong, encouraging them when they do right and disciplining them when they do wrong. We are responsible for what they watch on TV and we dictate how they spend their time and who they spend it with.
We are responsible to lead them to faith, to teach them to keep an open mind, to not be judgemental, to love even their enemies.
We are responsibile to teach them honesty, respect, courage and kindness. We are responsible to teach them responsibility.
Aside from all of that, we are also responsible to get them to school, teach them the value of money, assign them chores around the house and teach them how to interact with others. We need to give them guidance yet teach them independence.
W-H-O-A-!-! What a job! And we have to do this for how many years? I don't know about any of you other parents out there, but some days I really feel the pressure!
Sometimes I dream of a s-i-m-p-l-e-r time. When all I had to concern myself with was me. When I only had to make sure that I made my car payments and that I got to work on time. When it was up to me to go to church and when I could decide for myself how much money I could spend going out to eat or buying clothes at the mall. When I could sleep in as long as I wanted on Saturday with no other obligations during the day. When I could turn the TV on at any given time in the day and not worry about younger eyes and ears seeing and hearing things too mature for them. When I could sit down to a meal and not have to cut food up for anybody or blow it to proper temperatures. When I only had to worry about my own bodily functions.
Yes, I often dream of when things were easier. But were things necessarily better? Maybe some things. But definitely not all.
I didn't have a husband to help me make the car payments or someone to wake up next to (even if it's earlier on a Saturday than what I would like!). I didn't have chubby little arms wrapping themselves around my neck with little voices saying "I love you, Mommy." I didn't have silly 'knock-knock' jokes at the dinner table, and I didn't have kids belting out beautiful songs (however off-key they may be) to Jesus in the back of the car.
Yes, there's a lot of pressure in raising children. And yes -- I'm e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d. But my life is full of love and laughter and I choose to concentrate on that when the days get a little too overwhelming.