At the gym we were talking about our kids. The conversation turned to one of us having to do something that made us uncomfortable. Because we knew it was really going to affect our kids.
A young mother said she thinks we are uncomfortable when we are doing the most important parenting. And a light bulb lit up bright in my mind. Because she got it so right!
Parenting is uncomfortable when you have to tell your kid that he can’t do things the other kids are doing because you believe they are dangerous. Your kid follows along on foot or skateboard, while his friends whip through the suburban streets at top speed on their bikes, completely oblivious to the cars on the road. You know this because you’ve almost hit them yourself when they darted in front of you.
It’s uncomfortable when you let your kid suffer the consequences of an ignored assignment. Just because your high school student announces at 7pm that he needs to make an old-looking journal for his English project due the next morning doesn’t mean you need to whip up a batch of tea, start dying paper and stitching it together. You make suggestions and walk away. It’s hard because you could have done it. Except he knew about the assignment for a month and did nothing about it.
It’s uncomfortable when you have to be the grown up, be the voice of reason, be the example. It’s uncomfortable when you realize that you are responsible for the physical, mental, and moral health of this living, breathing human being. Parenting is a big job. It’s not supposed to be fun and easy.
Remember that when you’re tempted to say yes because it’s easier than saying no. Remember that the next time you’re tempted to step in and fix something so your kid doesn’t fail.