It hasn’t been an easy transition for our family since making the seemingly sudden decision to move from Texas to […]
ate moving. I hate change. But over my lifetime it has brought me experiences and friendships and understanding of the world around me that staying in one place would have never given me.
Motherhood will always be one of the greatest joys in my life, because I pray that it will continue to offer a fullness far beyond the moment my children are officially grown. But it is not the only joy in my life nor is it the only vocation God has called me to.
Parenting is an imperfect science in which we are constantly trying to replicate our own parents’ successes and fix their mistakes, only to make our own. And while each family has to make decisions about how they gauge what their children are exposed to, we should do so with the knowledge that we won’t be able to protect them forever and teachable moments can be had even as we snuggle in front of the television with our kiddos.
Thriving is not achieved through the relentless pursuit of success. It is achieved through time and the freedom to explore. It is achieved through emotional and financial security. It is achieved through support and nurture. We know this and yet it is still one of the most difficult parenting pursuits for Americans. Some of us face very real roadblocks which need to be removed by changed policy. Some of us are so focused on our missed opportunities that we struggle to see how our desire to make sure our kids also don’t miss out might be impacting our kids. Some of us just don’t understand the systemic pressures that are weighing down our adolescents because that pressure just wasn’t there when we were kids.
I believe there are important lessons in having our kids play but not making it the central focus of their lives or the lives of the entire family. We still need to make space for family vacations, summer jobs, worship, academics, and yes, general leisure. I believe that one of the reasons that we struggled so much as a society when everything initially shut down due to COVID-19 was that we had been running ourselves ragged, and nowhere was this more true than in our overscheduled family lives.