Things I’ve Learned So Far as a Parent

So I have officially been a parent for 4 months! Crazy how fast it seems to be going! I thought I’d start a little blog series about what I’m learning along this journey.  For so long I’ve been working with children (and their parents) – 14 years professionally as a teacher and children’s pastor – but it’s totally different on this side. Back when I did my student teaching, my mentor teacher told me that she believed she became a better teacher after becoming a parent. I think she’s right. Not that people can’t be great teachers (and other things) without having children, I’m just learning that life with kids has a way of driving points home!

So my first lesson from parenthood is…

Phases are a natural part of life – just relax.

When Isaiah was itty-bitty he had terrible gas pains. We would have to hold him in the colic poses and walk him around until we finally heard him…um-hm…pass the gas. But that phase is gone and now he toots with the best of them!

We’re on to another phase…spitting up and drooling. I realize this won’t last long and just requires a bit more laundry than normal. And so what if I smell like milk for a few months from all the spit up – one day I’ll cuddle someone’s new baby and the spoiled milk smell will take me back. So I’m learning to relax and wait it out.

Life is just like that too. Whatever you are going through, just keep going – it will not last forever. My pastor says, “ You are either in transition, going into it or coming out of it.” Change is the only constant we have in life- changing seasons in nature and in our own life.  So enjoy the season while it’s here and make the most of it; it won’t be here for long.

And so what if it’s a little uncomfortable or inconvenient; I guarantee there are other people who have it worse than you. Living here in Africa has really changed my perspective. Whenever I find myself desiring items I think I need I just think about those who have even less than me. They are all around. We pass their little shanty homes on the way to the super mall in the suburbs. It’s surreal.

So I strive for contentment with little or with much. And pray that those who are struggling with little right now would find what they need- a job, food, health care – and I do what I can with the season I’m in cultivating contentment in my heart.

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3 Comments

Filed under Babies, kids, parenthood

3 responses to “Things I’ve Learned So Far as a Parent

  1. Judy Brown

    Excellent article. Thank you. We do have so much to be grateful for. Contentment! Your son is very handsome.

  2. Hey – I was so glad to hear from you on formissionarymoms.com…Excited to meet another missionary in South Africa and looking forward to learning from you! So cool our babies are so close in age as well! We will definitely be in Durban from time to time as some of my relatives live there; perhaps at some point we could get in touch?

    Leigh

  3. Great insights! What you said about phases is so true. Especially in the first few years.

    Whenever anyone asks about my baby’s sleeping/eating habits in the first few years, for example, I almost want to respond, “Last month? Last week? Or last night?” Things change so rapidly…

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