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The Balancing Act Of Parenthood

A couple of months ago, my family visited Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. It was quite the adventure. My sweet sister-in-law purchased our ride photos for us and when I saw this picture, I couldn't help but smile at the parenting symbolism represented. 

an even distribution of weight enabling someone to remain upright and steady.

Becoming a parent has been one big lesson in balance. My two little boys are 8 (almost 9) and 7.5 and they are just about as different as two little boys can be. This makes life interesting for their daddy and me. Would I have it any other way? Of course not! I absolutely love the unique personality traits, interests and passions of both of my boys. They are different enough to argue about everything but close enough in age to actually be quite inseparable. It's a mystery to me but I'm pretty thankful for their friendship. 

Their relationship has always been something that I found important to foster, from a very young age. I want my boys to understand the significance of their brotherhood. It is my hope that when life does bring about various trials, they call one another and know that no matter what it is, the other will be there. 

Finding balance in parenting these two boys is a challenge. On the one hand, I think we all would agree that we want to protect our babies from every harmful thing. Just as quickly as that thought passes through our minds comes the idea that we do not want to coddle our children to the point where they cannot deal with life. 


When I saw the above photo, I had to smile. Me, the protective mama bear providing almost a pillow like embrace around my son's head, ready to shield him from every bad thing he may encounter. My youngest son, burying his face in his dad's arm, an arm that he knows will protect him from anything that may try to hurt him. 

As parents, it is our job to love, protect, nurture, teach and raise up human beings that will be productive people in this world. I find myself praying that my boys will be kind, compassionate, loving and just. I pray they will be responsible, respectful of women and brave. I pray for their heart condition daily! To me, this is of utmost importance because kids do stupid things all the time. If we can have eyes that see the condition of their heart, it will help us as parents to weed out the immaturity and silly behaviors that are just part of being a child and know they are trying their best. 

It all comes back to that word: balance. Do we give our kids too much freedom? Are we acting like helicopter parents, hovering over every choice they make? What if we loosen the reigns and they fail miserably? What if we are holding on too tightly and the slightest gust of wind knocks their entire life off course? 

What if...
What if...
What if...

What if we all just give ourselves a breather for a minute and recognize that we will never be perfect. We are all going to mess this up at some point and I am here to tell you that is OK. Our kids are going to be adults one day soon enough. Let's just embrace the here and now and choose to accept  that every now and then life is going to be out of balance. 
You'll feel it. You'll know. When that happens, gather your crew together, sit down and have a real conversation. Refocus your family and get back on track. Find that balance again. It starts and ends with love- God's love for us. He is ALL IN. His love NEVER fails. 
What a beautiful example to try and follow as we go out into the world and parent these little ones. 

No, we won't always get it right. Some days my little boys will argue over how blue the sky is. Some days they will cuddle up together on the couch, giggling in pure sweetness. Balance. 
Today, be the protective pillow, ready to cover their eyes from a scary dinosaur. Tomorrow, drop them off for their first day at school, encouraging them to be brave as they hesitantly turn to look back at you with fearful eyes. Today, rescue their bad day at school with ice cream and laughter. Tomorrow, blow a kiss as they back out of the driveway alone for the very first time. 

Start and end each day with sacrificial love for your children the same way God did and still does for each of us. Remember- on the difficult days, they need it the most. 


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