Monday, July 31, 2006

The Sweet Agony of Parenting

I always tell people that I write parenting books, because I like to tell people what to do. That is only partly true :-) The MAIN reason I write them is because I want to let people know that there is no perfect parent . . . and there is no list of ten things we can do that will guarantee perfect kids. Don't we wish!

It's an easy thing to give people advice . . . to organize it and analyze it. Anyone can do that. But the harder part is agonizing with others. To understand a parent's struggles, to listen, and to share my own.

Too many times we like to appear perfect in someone else's eyes. But perfection never helps anyone. In fact, instead of drawing people closer, it pushes them away. After all, who wants to hang out with perfection when it just makes our own mistakes even more obvious?

So what do I struggle with? Currently, it's trying to balance writing and parenting. I struggle with not getting frustrated when I'm working on my computer and one of my children wants to talk about things like computer games or which whale is biggest (which are current topics of choice).

It's also not getting frustrated when the words don't come fast and when the prose isn't perfect . . . so I can have more time to play (whatever that is). Or when I get the royalty statement and the $--or lack of--cause me to question why I'm spending so much time for so little financial return. (Yes to further God's kingdom, I know . . . but I'm being honest, right?)

The things you agonize over are different, but the emotions behind them are the same. So where does that leave us?

I can share with you. You can share with me. Sometimes we'll have suggestions. Other times we won't. But either way . . . I write parenting books because I care, and I want people to care for me. It's not about having all the answers . . . but by encouraging others to Whom to turn for the Answer and being reminded of the same.

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