Every once in a while I find myself telling parents with younger kids that it's okay to admit that sometimes the diaper-changing stage of parenting is miserable. Some older parents may remember that stage fondly. Not me. I far prefer the "I-can-do-it-myself-but-I-still-think-you're-the-best-Dad-ever" stage. Or the "look-at-me-I-can-ride-a-bike-without-training-wheels" stage. And especially the "hey-16-year-old-driver-please-pick-up-some-groceries" stage. Call me selfish — you'd be right!
Wednesday morning I read an article entitled "When Parenting Isn't Enjoyable" by Kristen Wetherell that helped me put my selfishness in perspective and (more importantly) point me to Christ. I'd encourage you to read the whole article, but here are some excerpts I found most helpful...
Enjoy every moment. These years fly by, and before you know it, you’re an empty-nester.” Every moment? Do you remember...the tantrums, the carseat battles, the poopy diapers, the 5:30 wake-ups? Not enjoyable moments. Sanctifying and rewarding, yes. But enjoyable?
Wetherell then goes on to describe some concrete scenarios in which trusting in (and enjoying!) Jesus transforms our parenting. So again, I'd encourage you to read the whole article. But here is her conclusion that really struck me as something we all need to hear (whether we are parents or not):
"True enjoyment isn’t loving every moment with our kids — that’s impossible for sinners parenting sinners in a broken and cursed world. Instead, true enjoyment is found in Christ and is then shared with our kids. Even in the most unenjoyable circumstances."
Amen! May our enjoyment be found in Christ. And may that spill over into all other relationships in this life.