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Freedom Living Blog

  • Writer's pictureAndria Seals

We Were Much Better Parents Before We Had Kids

Parenting has not been at all what we expected it was going to be. My husband and I tell people all the time that we were much better parents before we actually had kids and we are not kidding. Before we had kids, we imagined them to be disobedient one and only one time in each of their lives because we would have them perfectly disciplined. They were going to know we meant business right away and would have a healthy balance of respect, fear, and admiration for us. Behavior management? Easy. I mean, how difficult could it possibly be to get a tiny little person to just shut their mouth and follow simple directions, you know? LOLLL.

If your kids behave, you can quit reading right here.

Another thing our kids were not going to do was play games on our phones. This one is sort of a subsection of our first delusion that our kids were going to be perfectly behaved. We were not going to be those parents that let our kids play cell phone games at a restaurant or in the shopping cart. Don’t those parents know how to keep their kids under control without a screen? As it turns out, we’ll do just about anything to stop the public screaming long enough to lose the attention of Karen, who was probably ready to film our circus and send the video to CPS.

My husband used to “swear up and down" that he would never be caught dead leashing his children. (He also said our firstborn would have only 14 white onesies and 14 overalls and that would be enough. Again, LOLLLL.) Oh, it used to send him on a soap-box rant when he’d see someone tethering their child(ren) in a shopping mall or airport. I mean, c’mon - toddlers aren’t dogs. Again, this probably stems from the overarching delusion that we would always have our children under control. We still have yet to buy a backpack leash for our kids, but we have discussed it more than once and now both agree that we can more than understand why someone would purchase one. We have also since discussed the many similarities between puppies and small children. If this makes you think, “How dare you make that comparison!” I encourage you to make a venn diagram. They both pee when and where they want. They chew on EVERYTHING. They’re unpredictable. I could keep going. Kids can be straight-up insane sometimes, right? There have been many times during our short parenting journey thus far in which a leash or some other form of tether would have come very much in handy.

We were certifiably delusional.

There are many more flat-out lies of the enemy that we used to believe about parenting, but to sum the root of them all up, we believed we could do it and do it well purely with our own abilities. We were perfectly capable of raising competent children all on our own. It’s not that we explicitly thought that we could do it without God, but we certainly never actively ruminated on the fact that we were going to need God’s help. We definitely never anticipated that we would need His help nearly as much as we have. If we are being totally honest, I need the Father’s help to get out of bed in time to make the kids breakfast a lot of days. I need His help to not let them wear the same clothes for more than one day and to brush their hair so they don’t look quite so feral when we are leaving the house. That sounds ridiculous when I say it (and let’s be real - my kids kind of are feral, which is mostly endearing. LOL.) but our biggest lesson in parenting, far and above the specific ways that are best to discipline or not disciple, how much screen time to allow, what kind of places and people we will let them experience, is that we absolutely cannot do a single solitary bit of it without Him holding our hands. God the Father has to walk us through each day, each moment, consistently pointing us to His word if we will simply have ears to hear and eyes to see. He has never failed us yet.

There's never a dull moment with these precious, fearfully and wonderfully made baby girls!

Parenting is the most humbling experience I have ever had. It’s somehow wonderful and aggravating all at the same time. When having to repeat myself for the eighty-millionth time, I often find myself thinking, “I’ve said this a gazillion times. Why the heck am I having to say it again?” It has given me a little glimpse into what God must go through all the time. He told us all we need to know in His Word quite a long time ago, yet He has to give us endless reminders of what He has already said. He does for me, anyway. Parenting is HARD. It is not for the faint of heart and it’s certainly no walk in the park. No one’s parenting journey is the same, either, so what works for one family may now work for another. Becoming a parent, whether for the first, second, or fifth time can be scary with all of the expectations that we and others put on ourselves but Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are indeed a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.” My children are a gift to me, even on the toughest of days, during which He sustains me. He will do the same for you!


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