Parenting Through the Unexpected – Jen Kaylor
Parenting can be one of the most fulfilling and most draining things in the world. And sometimes the reasons why they are filling or draining is actually out of our hands.
Right now, we are in a “state of emergency” with the Covid-19 virus on the loose. Here in New Zealand, we are in total lockdown, bar the essentials. That means that the majority of parents have just made a TOTAL life change without much warning, or even being able to chime in their opinion (though many do, because lets face it, we live in a world where we all CAN give our opinion, even through sometimes I’m not sure if we SHOULD).
Parents who have made a lifestyle choice of working outside the home are now in a situation where they are either working from home AND having to take care of their children, or worse… they have the prospect of NO work from home, but are still having to parent in these unknown times. These are definitely unexpected times. Adults all over the world are having to learn to deal with their new emotions on this subject… but parents… parents still have KIDS!
I, myself, have four beautiful little girls, ranging in age from 3-10. I am an oddity, in that I actually spent the first 9 years of my parenting journey as a stay-at-home-mum (SAHM). I only jumped back into the work force in October of 2019. I have had the experience of LOTS of questions, hands, faces, HAIR, etc in my face ALL DAY LONG, lol. Being a SAHM (and we home schooled) taught us all MANY amazing things and I was able to watch my children flourish in many ways. But I also have had the opportunity to work outside the home and see my kids and myself flourish in different ways. Therefore, the prospect of these two worlds colliding, isn’t as daunting as it might be for some that have NOT had the experience that I have had. Yet it is still daunting
However, I HAVE had to learn how to parent through the unexpected… and even crisis.
See, my marriage went through a VERY rough time, that wasn’t my choice, and was completely unexpected. Another time, go and watch this video. During that season, it was HARD to parent. It was hard to even be a functioning human. But, we all made it through and we are ALL a better family for having to go through that season.
I know this season we are in is daunting. The unknown can be daunting for SURE. But we, as parents, have to make the best of it. I was listening to one of Ps Paul’s Instagram morning devotionals this week and he said, “There is an outcome to the way we respond.” That is SO true for us as parents. There will be an outcome in our family unit, and even the way our children see crisis and many other things, based on how we, as parents, respond to this situation.
This can be very stressful. This can be challenging. This can be filled with so many emotions that are negative… But all of that will produce an outcome that we probably don’t want.
On the other hand…
This can be a season where we grow closer together as a family, but more importantly, a season where we grow closer to GOD.
THAT is the key. THAT was what saved my family, my parenting, and even my marriage… it was because I chose to grow closer to God. It didn’t mean that all the days were perfect parenting days… Trust me, they won’t be. But how we respond to even those bad days can actually grow us closer to God.
Listen, I have been the parent that has yelled at my child because they walked into a room. Not because what they did warranted yelling, but because I didn’t have anything to give… But stepping back from that situation, coming to my kiddo, apologising, and explaining that mum was having a really bad day and that I was sorry… It helped my oldest to REALLY know how to read emotions. And now… she uses that. I hear ALL the time how my kids notice other kids at church and at school that are struggling emotionally… and my kids actively go and help them. That makes my heart burst! That God is SO amazing, that He can even use my BAD parenting for good… But it all is in the way we respond to that. If I hadn’t gone and apologised when I needed to, it wouldn’t have taught the same lessons to our kids.
Don’t beat yourself up if this new season has not had a good impact on the way you have handled things… Just DECIDE how you will respond. Go apologise, if that is what is needed. Let your kids know if you are struggling. I PROMISE they will understand FAR more than you think they will. And God can grow things in them through this.
*Check back on our Adventure Kids Online page for more resources and blog posts weekly.
Assistant Brand Manager