My son Paul learned how to ride his bike last week.
This is seriously cool stuff for any 10 year old boy.
This hits the Amazing Meter when you consider where Paul started in life.
Paul was born 15 weeks early, at just 25 weeks into his birth mom’s pregnancy. To see him now walking, talking, running, and biking around is a testament to the ways God works.
The issue in this particular situation: I could easily focus on the wrong kid. Let me share with you the fantastic aspect of this story.
Paul’s 16 year old sister, Kiersten, taught him how to ride his bike. I didn’t even know he could do it.
My brain jumps toward two opposite directions in parenting situations like this one:
1. That’s freakin’ awesome! My kids are brave and independent. What a leader Kiersten is!
2. I feel guilty. I didn’t even know they were practicing, let alone Paul was this far along. Where was the camera? Where WAS I?
I’m choosing to believe #1.
Look, we all know there is so much guilt wrapped up in, intertwined with, shaken up and stirred into this deal called parenting. It can get to where we assume parenting = guilt and it just comes along with the territory. Hand me my newborn and I’ll take a huge helping of guilt along with the standard diaper bag and baby onsies.
Do you know that is the enemy whispering in our ear?
Guilt serves a purpose. When we sin and do wrong, we should feel guilty. We need to feel bad, come to God, accept his forgiveness, and strive to do better. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about pointless, unnecessary guilt that becomes a huge distraction from the joy of life and quite frankly, weighs down your parenting until it’s less effective. Why do you think Satan uses it so much?
Being the mom of a larger family, I could pull up my chair to the guilt banquet and feast endlessly:
- The kids don’t get as much individual attention from Mike and me.
- They don’t get as many opportunities since we don’t have as much money to go around.
- The older kids help take care of the younger ones.
The above are all true statements. The lie is believing I need to feel guilty about them.
This is the Truth:
He (God) placed me at his banquet table,
for everyone to see that his banner over me declares his love.
Song of Solomon 2:4
Kiersten is a seriously cool and amazing big sister for our 3 younger boys. She takes them to the park. She wrestles with them. She does crafts with them. She yells at them when they deserve it. She probably tells them things I’m better off not knowing, but will make them wise for the world. Having her (and their other big sister, Bekah) in their lives has given them so much more than Mike and I could have given them alone.
Our boys are blessed.
I’m letting go of the guilt.
Do you struggle with parent guilt? What blessings do you see in your kids’ sibling relationships?