Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Raising the Future

Nearly every time I go out with my children, I'm told by a stranger in passing that they don’t know how I do it. I’ve given different answers in response, including:

“Lots of Jesus and coffee!”
“Chicken nuggets and prayer”
or my personal favorite, “Very carefully.”
I get a smile in return and we all go on with our day. They don’t usually care to know that I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in years, that I have sixteen loads of laundry waiting for me at home, or that I rage stepped on a toy earlier that day and my foot still hurts. I’ve never once looked the person in the eye and said, “I have no freaking clue. I’m completely overwhelmed.” But that’s how it feels sometimes.
I’m not being critical of the people who ask this question. It’s almost always harmless and 100% not their problem that my kids leave their toys out and I’m bad at laundry.
But I have to admit, it does sometimes leave me feeling strange that I brushed off my role as a parent, such an integral part of my life, with a quip about chicken nuggets.
The truth is, this job is kind of a big deal.
Parents are important. And not just to our own households and the kids inside them.
Parenting is a truly essential thread in the circle of life with an impact that carries over from generation to generation.
Raising tiny humans isn’t just for us. It’s for the world.
And it's a heck of a lot more than just keeping everyone fed and clothed.
It’s about bringing up good, productive, and kind humans to release into the world.
Parents, raising kids means you're raising the future.
If it feels overwhelming, that’s because it is.

It’s making sure that you’re exhibiting good habits and character traits because they’re watching.
It’s filling your home with positive words and good music because they’re listening.
It’s having difficult conversations and giving tough love because they need to learn.
It’s helping them through academic hurdles, talking about world events and politics, and encouraging them to find their voice.
It’s doing your best to teach them everything they need to know in order to not only survive, but to thrive without you.
It’s ensuring that they become productive members of society.
It’s training them up to be good friends, outstanding employees, and helpful co-workers; devoted husbands and wives; excellent parents and so much more.
It's equipping them to know, love, and serve God and to love their neighbor, no matter what.
It’s preparing them for the ugliness they’re bound to face and encouraging them to be a light for other people.
Being a parent is so much more than just providing income, keeping everyone alive, and running the household. It’s more than the playdates, the grocery shopping, the cooking dinner, the LAUNDRY.
It’s the responsibility of sending good people out into the world to change it for the better.
That’s a huge, gigantic responsibility. Rewarding and so worth it. But it's freaking hard.
Don’t sell yourself short. Keep up the great work.
You’re raising the future.

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