#2 Are We Getting It Right?
Are We Getting it Right?
How many times did I ask myself, “Are we getting it right?” Raising three boys seemed like an overwhelming responsibility at times. Our goal was always to try to give them the foundation that they would need to become men of integrity, faith and strong character. Sometimes that meant disciplining them or disappointing them; always that meant loving them unconditionally.
As a working mother, I remember often having feelings of guilt. Being a speech therapist afforded me the luxury of working the same hours that the boys were in school, but when they were infants and toddlers it meant dropping them off at a baby sitter’s house. Thankfully I had precious caregivers who watched them in their homes, but there were still mornings that I went to school with tears streaming down my face because one of the boys had cried after me as I pulled away. Some evenings I was so exhausted from working with my school children that I felt I had little left to give my own.
Most of the time, however, weeknights and weekends meant family time. Cuddling with a good book at bedtime, driving along and singing songs at the top of our lungs, and dinners around the table became more than simple every-day events. They became treasured moments. Teachable moments. Moments that I never once took for granted. And summers and holidays were the best times of all!
Now that the boys are all adults, I have taken the time to ask each of them if it bothered them that I worked outside the home throughout their childhoods. Perhaps they are just being sweet, but each of them has assured me that they never felt neglected in any way. It was all they had ever known. They always felt loved, always felt secure. And each of them expressed appreciation for the things we were able to provide for them.
Which brings me to the “empty nest” part of this blog post. As we consider our past, it’s important to glance back- but not to linger. It’s the past. We all question decisions we’ve made along the way, and undoubtedly have regrets as well as gratitude. We have things that we would change, and things that we cling to “just the way they were.” We are older and hopefully wiser in this season of life, and owe it to ourselves to take our knowledge and use it as we venture into the future.
Our children are out on their own now. Gone are the days of constant parental teaching that used to happen in the nest. Now it is up to them to take the tools we have prepared for them and begin working on their own nests. It will continually be our job to support them as they make decisions, give them honest feedback when they ask for it, and above all continue loving them unconditionally as they live out their purpose in this world.