Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Biggest Challenge

When I was first preparing to become a mom, I thought a lot about the person I hope my little girl becomes. I want to teach her to be responsible and hard-working and generous. I want her to be driven by faith and love, not money and status. I want her to choose her friends wisely and make good, healthy decisions. I also thought a lot about the challenges I would face as a first-time parent... things like my method of discipline, fostering healthy eating habits, not being too strict or too lenient, encouraging independence, offering help at the right times, etc. I thought of every possible challenge and how I thought I might face it, but the biggest challenge hadn't even crossed my mind.

Through a lot of time spent praying and reflecting on myself as a person, I began to realize that the biggest challenge in parenting has less to do with the decisions I make as a parent and a lot more to do with the ones I make as a person. Which means that I can have this great image of the woman I hope Reese becomes, but unless I am striving every day to be that woman myself, how can I ever expect to be able to create that in her? How can I expect her to be thankful if I am always taking things for granted? How can I expect her to develop a strong faith if I don't read the Bible regularly and talk to her about its teachings? How can I expect her to embody virtues that I don't exercise daily? Those questions prompted me to focus less on making sure Reese becomes a faith-driven woman and more on setting an example for her of how a faith-driven woman should act.

It's been amazing to me how much my actions, attitude, and decisions have changed now that I know there is a child hanging on every word I say and watching every move I make. I'm trying to be more thoughtful, prayerful, and grateful in my everyday life so I can be the best possible role model for my daughter. That is biggest (and most important) parenting challenge, but I do believe that if I can handle this one, the rest will fall into place.

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing insight, Lisa! Thank you for helping remind me of how much my actions and words shape our little girl - who will be a woman in the blink of our eyes!