Yes, that’s right…the best mothering decision I ever made was before my boys were even born.
It wasn’t their name (Andrew IV was a given anyway). It wasn’t related to a particular parenting philosophy. And it had nothing to do with immunizations, circumcision or sleeping arrangements.
Before I ever got pregnant, I decided that my babies would never belong to me, they would belong to God.
I grew up embracing the belief that my money belongs to God, not to me. He is the Source. My clients and projects are the channel. It doesn’t belong to me, which is what makes it easier to give Him back the 10% He asks of me. It’s easy to release what was never mine.
I realized that children are the same.
My kids are God’s, not mine.
I prayed, “Lord, if you grant me children, they will be Yours.”
It has helped me hold things in life more loosely. If you squeeze a living thing too tightly, you squeeze the life right out of it.
I don’t obsess about my kids. I don’t worry about them. I’ve never been a helicopter mom and I choose my battles.
The battles are few, trust me.
I don’t place my fears and expectations on them. If they want to become a surgeon, an artist, a park ranger, a stay-at-home dad…fine by me. They’re not mine.
Marriage, kids, college, where they live, how THEY choose to parent…that’s their decision. I’m not going to let all my hopes and dreams ride on that.
I started long ago protecting against “empty nest syndrome.” I’m not going to turn their bedroom into a sewing room the day they move out (I don’t even sew but I hope to learn) but I’m going to live up to my potential and pursue my own interests instead of letting their hobbies and activities take over my life.
I’m so glad my boys aren’t mine.
Knowing they belong to God means I do try my best to steward them with grace and wisdom, just as I do with my money. And when I had a miscarriage in 2008, I revisited the idea that my children are not mine and it made the grieving a little easier. Trying to get pregnant to no avail for over three years is a little easier, too, knowing He is in control, not me.
True confession…our boys are incredible. I won’t be so audacious as to list all the reasons I think so but
I truly believe that because I’ve been obedient in turning over my control of them to God, He honors that.
I know it’s not because I’m Super Mom–I gave that up The Day Super Mom Died.
So I know it’s God.
He is guiding them, directing them and making their path straight because I’m not prodding and driving them obsessively myself.
It’s amazing what can happen when I let go.