I had a magical parent moment. One of those very few moments where a lightbulb goes off in your head, and you put different concepts together.
I believe that each one of us is a child of God.
I believe that God gave my children to me as a gift.
Hence, God gave me THESE specific children for a reason.
I hope hope that it goes without saying, that I do NOT think that children who got horrible parents who beat them, NEEDED those parents. This post is about figuring out why THESE kids came to you and how you can best help them. My heart goes out to any child in a violent/hurtful situation. I am a mandatory reporter. I have reported, and I wouldn't hestitate to do so another time.
Have you had those moments where you just can’t figure out a certain child (and for me, I seem to rotate amongst the 3 of my kids, the older ones more than the younger ones)? You wonder what’s going on in their heads and why they can’t figure out certain, easy for you to understand, concepts?
I have one child that is SO bad at organization. It makes my mind spin. I have no idea how this child could be so horrible at something people think I excel at. I just want to shake him and ask him where his brain in where he puts things down willy-nilly all the time, only to be in tears hours later because it is “so important.”
And then the lightbulb came on. He was born this way. His spirit was this way for a VERY long time. He was given to me for a specific reason.
I don’t always know the reason.
There is a big picture to the whole situation.
There was a reason that you are their mom, and there is a reason that they are your child.
It’s just part of the “fun” to figure out the reasons for both of those things.
I talked about this during my in-person prenatal class a while ago. I have a section on “advice” — I just state that you will get a LOT of opinions (it being up to them, if they welcome those opinions or not, I say there is nothing wrong with listening to opinions) but it’s up to you to figure out what YOUR child needs.
One of the moms actually said, “wow, that’s good.” It is good. It also reminds you that YOU know what is best for your child, regardless of what anyone else things (and also reminds me when a child is driving me nuts, and I wish their parent would change a thing or two about then — that they know what’s best — it works both ways).
Related: Every Child is Different.
So, what is the reason that your kids are yours? Have you figure out the reason? Do you think this is true? If you liked this post, be sure to sign up for my practical parenting challenge below:
What a lovely, naive, yet highly delusional thought from someone who obviously has lived a fairly privileged life and knows nothing else. Are you serious? Do you know how many children are neglected and abused around the world at the hands of their parents and/or supposed loved ones? They got the parents they were “supposed” to, the parents they deserved? “God” gave them to these people on purpose?? It’s great that you feel you’re a good mom and probably had a good mom as well but, it wasn’t by some holy assignment.. Seriously, Wake UP!!!
I think I was 100% lucky to grow-up in the United States with parents who love me. I am well aware that there are children out there who aren’t nearly as lucky, but honestly I’m not their mom. I have to look at MY kids and wonder what I can give them.
I held a drug addicted baby last week at work who cried and coudldn’t even suckle it was so messed up.
Life is very unfair, but that’s not what this entry is about. It’s about me and MY kids. I know other moms struggle with what they can teach their children.
And yes, I do think God put every child in each place for a reason. But that’s my belief, and it is obviously not yours.
Wendy Rosen says
Wise words from a wise woman. Thank you Hilary!
I guess you found this post Ms Wendy. 🙂
My child is so much like me, it’s scary. In fact, she is a magnified version of me. I understand her, so I can help her, but I think that one day she will also test me in ways I don’t yet comprehend.
In response to some other comments, I believe that parents who accept the gifts they have been given in their children can experience personal growth as well as meet the needs of their children (this can work the same way for spouses) in the way that God intends….if we CHOOSE to accept that challenge. God doesn’t force our hands. Unfortunately, not all parents see their children as gifts. Not everyone looks at challenging situations and asks themselves how they can learn and grow from it.
Thank you for sharing your point of view, Hilary. Your children are blessed that you are able to reflect on your parenting in this way.
Carrie, I think that’s true – I certainly cringe at my kids doing things that I do too. I think sometimes you get a “why me” attitdue towards stuff your kids do — this idea has always given me perspective. 🙂
MJ Fitzgerald says
My dear Hilary, as the mom of 3 now adult children, I am so relieved to find someone who agrees with me. Of course I am probably old enough to be your mom, but I have always felt the way you do. As for the first comment, !. I had what many if they knew the truth, would be called a bad Mom. To put it in prospective: All but one of us is considered a baby boomer, the first time the state took custody away from my Mom was with my 3 slightly older sibs, that was in the mid-50’s, second time was mid-60’s. States just did not do that back then. Especially and give custody to the father. Anyway I am grateful my mom was, my mom. Because I am stronger as an individual, a very good mom (and it is my adult children who say so), and believe me there were times when we went hungry as kids, and homeless. It made me want better for my children. I waited to finish my education before getting married, and having them. They have all graduated from High School, they have all gone on to do wonderful things. Are they perfect? Am I perfect? NO! But I appreciate what life has given me (and I am not talking about material things). Maybe those other children today who suffer from bad parenting. Will grow up to be super parents of super children. I could go on to tell you how my children all have high IQ’s, one of whom is considered a super genius (despite living with medical conditions that interfere daily with quality of life).
Hilary you are exactly right! They are chosen by God for us for some reason only he knows the full truth.
Thanks MJ — it’s true all parents have struggles. Some are, obviously, far worse than others… but we all need to find our purpose. It sounds like you truly found yours!
MJ Fitzgerald says
As have you Hilary! God Bless.
Thank you! I needed this reminder. I have a 17 month old and one more on the way. Even with both children so young, they are still full of personality (one I have yet to meet) and stories that change me every day, showing me God’s love. All parents are blessed. Sometimes it’s just hard to see it beyond our regular fears and anxieties. Thank you again! Have a blessed day!
Thanks Melinda — I think it’s a great reminder for us are parents. I know FAR too many children got a bad lot as far as parents are concerned… but for ME — my kids are lucky to have me, and I’m lucky to have them.
I find the title of the post thoughtless and rude and cruel. EVERY child does not get the parent they deserve . And regardless of if you wrote the article about YOUR child. Your title says EVERY child. I have a very hard time believing kind merciful heavenly father thinks any of his children DESERVE the abuse, neglect, and cruelty many children here at home and across the world deal with.
I have added an addendum…. this really is figuring out your own parenting, I’m sorry you took it another way.
No child derserves abuse, but God can take the ugliest situation and turn it around for good. We live in an unjust evil world. God doesn’t intend for children to be raised by abusive parents. God gives us the freedom to chose right from wrong. He has a plan for each of us and unfortunaly some of us go through trauma at the hands of evil but God can turn that trauma into good. We may not understand Gods plan but that’s why we are called to live by faith.
I believe that our children aren’t just here to learn from us, their parents…but, that we learn from them!! I have definitely learned patience, in many different ways, from all six of my kids! I can’t imagine my life without any one of them =)
Yeah, I think we are both learning from each other — that is for sure!
Perhaps because my daughters were adopted through the social service agency of my church, I too believe they were sent to me specifically by the hand of God. And when my first daughter’s behavior had me at my wit’s end, she was just so stubborn and naughty, I flat out told the Lord that he had made a mistake. He had sent her to the wrong family. And His reply came very clearly and firmly, “You are the ONLY ONES who can raise this child.” We couldn’t very well return her 🙂 so we muddled on – and the teen years were pure hell – but now at 34 she’s an amazing woman and a better mom than I was.
And while I was waiting years for these babies, I too questioned why horrible, abusive people were allowed to have children and we were not. I still don’t know why that is; I just try to do the best I can with my own.
I think so few people believe in God that they can’t believe that there is a purpose to everything. It’s hard to explain that… i love your story. I am sure you were a wonderful mom. You obviously have great perspective!
katy allred says
I was going to say exactly what Tori said! I even look at my husband in the same way as my daughter… there are things I know I’m teaching him, and things I can learn from him as well. What are the lessons? What are our strengths and our weaknesses? How can we all be better together?
I loved this post so much, because having the awareness to even ask that question in the first place is the sign of a conscious parent. I can’t wait to read more about what you’re all learning from each other!
Conscious parenting is the hardest kind. Going with the flow often seems so much easier! I like the idea of looking at my husband in the same way. I’ll have to try that next time I want to strangle him (which doesn’t happen frequently, but DOES happen). 🙂
Thank you for this post. So sorry you got a negative post on what I found an insightful post about life. keep on truckin’ mama.
Oh well, negative is part of the game. 🙂
I’ve had 5 children. The first three are grown, the last is only 10 and still at home. She is an exact copy of her dad. (Who I love very much btw, but don’t understand much. LOL) As such I have a harder time understanding her then I did the others. I often find myself not “getting” her or her thought process and the two of us become so frustrated with each other. I knew she was given to me by the Lord. I had prayed long and hard for her but sometimes it is overwhelming. I read your post and a light bulb went on. She is a gift as I knew, not only that but it’s my job to work with the gift I was given. It’s a gift being able to figure out how she thinks not a trial. I just had to change my thinking. As to the negative comments you received, I did have another child and when he passed away I was devastated and I wondered why God would allow people who didn’t want children, who abused them and didn’t care for them to continue to have them and keep them when I could not keep my precious son. The boy I wanted more than my own life. What I do know is I don’t have to understand His plan. He has one. My son is with Him. I don’t know why the children are with the parents they are but again it isn’t my business. Lean not unto thine own understanding but trust in the Lord and He shall direct thy paths. Thank you for helping me appreciate the differences between my daughter and myself.
Renee, I’m glad this article helped turn on your lightbulb. Thanks for sharing! I feel warm and fuzzy! 🙂