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Parenting Mistakes I’ve Made

Parenting Mistakes

Regrets.

I’ve had a few in my parenting journey.

So, what if we talk about those? What if we bring them to light so that you might avoid the mistakes I’ve made? I believe I have made enough to make this a series, so grab some popcorn, sit back, and don’t do what I did.

Thinking I Could be the Perfect Parent

I know this one seems like a no-brainer, and intellectually, I knew I couldn’t be absolutely perfect, but part of me thought if I tried hard enough and followed all the right experts, then I could pull off making no major mistakes.

I mean, sure, I figured I would occasionally make the standards. “Oops! Sorry Sally. I called you Suzie again didn’t I?”

No, by major mistakes, I mean the type that your grown or nearly grown children still cry bitter tears over years later. The kind where you would do anything if you could turn back time and get a do-over.

If you are a new parent, still thinking you might be able to pull off perfect, like I did in those years, I am truly sorry if this news is coming as a shock to you.

You will make mistakes.

You will not be perfect.

You will be so far from perfect, you will wonder what God was thinking when he let you reproduce.

The beauty in this, for me, the only redeeming factor in screwing up so royally, is that God’s merciful grace became crystal clear. I had known before, because I had been told and I had read it, that Jesus came to save me because I couldn’t save myself. I could recite, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

But until I knew, really knew because I lived and breathed it, that no matter how hard I tried to be perfect, I was still messing everything up, and not just messing it up for me, but for little people who trusted me to do the right things for them, until that time, I didn’t really know grace.

And once I began to realize how pathetic my feeble attempts at perfect parenting were, only then could I understand what a precious gift the redeeming work of Christ is.

So, I’ll say my first mistake in my parenting journey was thinking that by being an intentional parent I wouldn’t make any big mistakes. In the coming weeks, I’ll add to this series and we’ll see if this can be a kind of Land Mine Map. A warning of sorts. A “Do It Any Way But This Way” manual.

What do you think? Is this something that would be of interest to you?

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Comments

  1. I love it and can’t wait to read more! Brining home baby #3 with a 2 and 3 year old at home has had me seriously wondering how many mistakes I’ve made that I didn’t even recognize. Why did God let me reproduce….that quote made me laugh and then cry too! Ugh….this parenting gig is by far the hardest thing I ever have done and I’m pretty sure ever will do.

  2. I’m right there with you! So thankful for God’s mercy & grace!!!

  3. Yes! Preach it sister!

  4. Um, yes please! This sounds so much like me when I started my parenting journey. I have since been very humbled by my children

  5. Wow, what an incredible God we serve. Your timing on this is amazing. I would really appreciate hearing more. My husband and I were just crying over this the other night. I grew up in a broken and abusive home so I am almost paralyzed with fear over the mistakes I make in our family. It seems to me that for a family to be healthy it has to be (or at least the parents have to be) perfect and while I know in my head this isn’t true I don’t have a grasp on what struggles a normal healthy family faces. All mistakes seem earth shattering to me (well, not the I mixed up your name ones but the I shouldn’t have yelled at you ones). My husband grew up in what I consider a very healthy family and tells me that my struggles are normal for mothers everywhere and while I believe him I still have a hard time understanding how that really works. I fear that all my failures are deal breakers which leads to a lot of stress, guilt, and well, fear. So I am left feeling like I am ruining our children and my husband is heartbroken because he thinks things are going well and he is saddened that I have a hard time seeing that. We decided that him trying to help me understand “normal” would be good… and then I saw a friend share this post on FB and I couldn’t believe it. This is what I need to hear, if you would be so brave to share. <3

    • Hopeful, I could have spoken your very words. God is opening my eyes daily to reassure me that I am “normal” and my parenting woes are “normal”. I look at it this way, yes I make mistakes but I am always doing my best and learning a nd improving. That’s what makes a great parent! God is good. Keep your chin up. You are doing great!!

      • I’m not in the exact same boat for root cause, but sure share your feelings and struggles. I’m learning to lean on God’s transforming power in the midst of ‘those’ days. Acknowledging to my kids things aren’t going well, and then hitting our knees together makes a difference every single time. Not always drastic, but a real difference.

  6. Definitely of interest to me. I need to know that a veteran mom makes mistakes, yet keeps on truckin’. Also, knowing you and the way you write, these posts will have a bit of humor thrown in, and I do love that.

  7. This is of definite interest to me as well. I have a 2-almost 3 year old and already feel the pressure to be perfect.

    It’s interesting when we got married my husband and I clearly stated and understood that we were marrying imperfect people – sinners even. Somehow I never thought to convey that into my motherhood… this may be a really good series for me to hear!

  8. Thank you for this series. I appreciate your willingness to tell the way it really is/was, not the version after you’ve learned how to do it right. I have 4 children and I have made a ton of mistakes. Biggest being getting angry and acting out-lots of regrets. But God gives me grace and He is teaching me to give grace too.

  9. Please. I just know I need this.

  10. Yeah, I thought so too. I could I could parent pretty near perfectly. I mean, that is our hearts, as moms, to do it all right for our children’s sakes. (Okay, maybe also a little bit for our reputations as moms). But “Love covers a multitude of sins” and my children have been quite forgiving. Similarly to how we are forgiving of them as well. Being able to say “I’m sorry” to our children is key.

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