They’re growing up, and I’m OK with it.

30 Aug

We are back to school this week.  Two of my four kids are officially at school from 8:30 – 3:30 five days a week.  We’re tackling the big world of second grade and Kindergarten.

I know a lot of moms out there bring the kleenex with them and weep and wail as their big kids march up the steps and into the big brick building.

I am not one them.

It isn’t that I don’t love my kids, because I do.  And I’m thankful everyday to have them in my life.

But for some reason, raising them and watching them grow up just doesn’t tug my heart stings so deeply that I morph into depression.

You know, there are moms out there who end up actually needing medication when their children go off to college.  They just hurt deeply and need help coping.

I don’t know if that stems from  a loss of control, a realization of not being needed daily, a fear of what might happen in the world out there, or just dealing with change period.

Let me toss a disclaimer out there, just incase you’re a mom who cried her head off when your Kindergartener marched into the school this year or your college student moved into their dorm….

**I do not think there is anything wrong with crying! And I don’t think because I don’t cry that I’m a bad mom, or because you do cry that you’re a bad mom.  We’re both good mommies!!

I just want to speak to the Moms out there who might be dealing with guilt that they don’t cry or grow terribly sad during big moments. In fact, they may even be excited to watch their children grow up and become more independent.

Things to consider if you are not a mom who cries: (Again, please do not assume I am saying those who cry are failing in any of these areas, that is NOT the point I am making.  But I do want to encourage those moms out there to let go of any guilt or shame that they may be experiencing unnecessarily.)

~ Your children belong to God.  He is entrusting them to your care. It is a very healthy way to parent to keep that perspective in all situations.

~ Your job as a parent is to train up the child in the way they should go, and then allow them to leave and cleave as a married unit to someone else, or as an independent adult. Children are ours to love and nurture, but to teach to go off on their own and leave the nest.  It is very healthy to be excited as they grow in independence, and rejoice that they can apply what you’re teaching them.

~ Your life in Christ is bigger than just raising your children.  It doesn’t mean you’re wishing their childhood away or that you don’t want them just because you have joy in your heart about the next season of your life.  You’re a child of God first, a wife second, and a mom third. It’s OK to be joyful about different opportunities to explore in your first and second roles and that doesn’t mean you’re failing at role number three in the least!

~ Being a mom is very hard (but extremely rewarding) job! God designed us to need rest.  I don’t condone spending time trying to find more ways to rest and neglect your very important job, however, I think it is perfectly acceptable to rejoice when rest is available.

Basically, I just want to reassure you that you are not the first mom out there to leave the kleenex at home when her children grew in their independence.  And guilt is a trap of Satan.  If he can convince you to wallow in guilt and shame, he will have a foot-hold at actually being able to negatively affect your parenting out of manipulation and not off of any real failure or short-coming.

Practical Application-

Review your goals in your parenting, and make sure you’re accomplishing what God has called of you as a mom.

Let go of the guilt.  I am confident in saying the Word of God doesn’t command any mom to cry a certain number of tears nor does it say she must feel sad and depressed when her children grow up.  The guilt just isn’t needed.  You’re not doing anything wrong to cheer them on and be glad about it! So tell Satan to get behind you and be proud of your smile!

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