I don’t know what I’m doing. Really, no idea! But I am open to learning and find the answers to what I don’t know. And that’s made the world of difference when it comes to parenting for me.
Proverbs 2:3-4 says, “Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.”
Before we had kids, I felt terrified of the thought of parenting simply because I didn’t think I knew how- and was scared of screwing up someone’s life. Over time God changed my heart, and at least gave me the desire to have children. But, then what? Raising them is the hard part.
After I became pregnant, I began noticing babies, toddlers, and kids everywhere I went. I saw some that I liked, and others I didn’t. I soon found out that there was some similarities in the families with kids I liked- they were well-behaved and respectful to their parents, but also knew how to have fun and just be kids. One night after a leadership meeting at our church, I overheard two of these moms talking about some of their “methods” they were using. Later I found out they took the same parenting class at our church. I need that class!, I thought to myself.
The next spring Filipe and I signed up for a Preparation for Parenting class by Gary & Anne Marie Ezzo (I was about 4 months pregnant w/ Lily at the time), and it drastically changed my life. Since then we have taken the 3 classes succeeding the prep class (except Toddler Transitions because it hadn’t yet been released when we still lived in SC, but thankfully a friend let me borrow it last week and I am going through it now ), and have loved every bit of wisdom they offer.
With the help of this curriculum, I’ve been more confident and proactive- two things I believe are key to thriving as a mom.
Seeking out wisdom is vital in parenting. It give you new and creative ways to do things, helps clarify your goals, and gives purpose to your life.
In addition to the Ezzo’s classes, I have found other great resources to supplement and encourage me.
Books such as:
- Shepherding Your Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
- The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
- Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner & Carey Nieuwhof
- Going Public by David & Kelli Pritchard
Currently I am reading Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar’s new book, A Love that Multiplies, and wow! I highly recommend it.
What connects me to all of these books is philosophy, the “why” behind everything they do. Their (& my) #1 goal is to raise children to know & love God, and to love & serve others- emphasizing ministry as a big part of the family. I love that because on the days when sleep training, potty training, or teaching 1st time obedience seems to be a lost cause, it keeps me motivated to persevere and know that through it I can be an open door to share Christ’s love with someone else (maybe another mom that’s at her wits end).
Parenting isn’t an easy job, but I believe, one of the most rewarding.
Note: Some of these parenting books (especially the Ezzo’s & Duggars) have controversies surrounding them because of things said about them on the internet that are not true- even “credible” sites such as Wikipedia. My advice is to seek the truth from the source, not from a phony website.