Parenting is a great responsibility and honor. There is nothing more precious than the opportunity we have to raise our children and to invest in their lives. We should consider it sacred and special, especially when others who desire to have the same honor cannot or other parents who have lost their child, no longer can. Because of this, it truly saddens me when parents I know make remarks about how they can’t wait to get their kids back into school or who choose to put their work above their children when they don’t have to – all for peace, a piece of the pie, or for convenience.
Kids truly are a blessing even when they are hellions.
There is no doubt that at times, parents want to pull out what little hair they might have left when raising their kids. They can be demanding or needy. They can make some serious stinkies, distract us from our work, or color on our Tommy Hilfiger wall paint. But they are a blessing and it’s important that we make them feel loved and cared for. We should want to be with them because they grow fast and become very independent sooner than we hope for. One day they won’t want to spend time with you anymore. And then there are the times some parents encounter the tragedy they would never hope for and the death of their child becomes a reality.
A WORD TO ENTREPRENEURS
I always encourage entrepreneurs and business owners to really count the cost of working all the time while raising their children. Telling your kids that daddy has to work a little longer to build a successful company is not a goal one should strive for. Telling yourself lies that it’s “for my kid’s future” or “we may not spend quantity time with them, but it is quality” does nothing to help your child who wants and needs you today. Believing in these false ideals only hurts the one you claim to love the most.
A WORD TO SINGLE PARENTS
This post is not directed to you, unless of course, you spend all of your free time at bars or spas trying to get away from your kids.
The reality is that there are millions of single moms or dads working their tail off to provide for their children and have to sacrifice time with their kids in order to make ends meet. I applaud you and I pray that someday you won’t have to work three jobs so you can be there every moment you want to be with your children. I have the most respect for you because you are trying your best.
A WORD TO ALL PARENTS
If you are working all the time to provide more stuff for your family, that is truly not important to your kids. If you are working all day to build a successful company, your kids don’t really care. How do I know? Because I worked in a jail with kids who committed murder, rape, grand larceny, and violent acts against others who didn’t have their parents love. All they wanted was love; a parent who cared for them and was there for them. And it wasn’t just the poor, black kid whose mom was on crack. There where the white, suburban kids whose parents provided the finest they could offer too.
Then there are the other tragedies. Parents who lose a child to death.
I have friends who have lost their children and they would give ANYTHING to hold and love their baby (or teenager) one more time. I have family members who have lost babies due to war or ailments who were devastated from these tragedies. None of them would ever tell you they would wish for school to start so their kids would be out of their hair. They would tell you how much they begged God for one more moment with their child.
I APOLOGIZE, BUT I DON’T REALLY
I realize that sometimes parents say things tongue in cheek because they have been tested by their children and there are those times we want to scream. I’ve been there, believe me. But I’ve also been on the side where I’ve watched my friends be buried while their parents stand devastated. I’ve talked with kids who have done unspeakable things because they weren’t loved by mom or dad. I ministered to a family whose life was torn apart when their ten year old son was suddenly killed in an accident and the last thing to remember was the fight they had right before. This is why I am passionate about this topic.
Cherish EVERY MOMENT with your children that you are able. Be careful what you say and what you communicate through your actions. Kids observe these words or behaviors, even when you don’t mean them. Today could be their last or yours — and you don’t want to end it leaving with regrets.