I don't worry about my kids. It's not worth it to me.
Now that you've thought 'what is wrong with this mother?!? Who says that about their own children?' let me explain...I started doing an online bible study through Proverbs 31 called Am I Messing Up My Kids? by Lysa TerKeurst and as I read the chapter for today, I got all teared up...because it's exactly how I feel but fear that other moms would take it the wrong way...that I don't care about my kids...which isn't true.
My parenting philosophy started well before my kids were here...back to when Jon & I were engaged and I was working in the NICU. I had the privilege of taking care of this beautiful baby girl, Jentry. She was born with an omphalocele and I had her over a weekend. On Saturday, her parents, Carrie & Jeremy, came in to see her and get an update. As I'm updating them on how Jentry's night was and how her labs looked, Carrie turned to me and said, "We can't do this to her just because we want to be parents." And just like that, looking at these two most faithful people, my parenting philosophy changed completely. These two people showed me so much about parenting and faith, all in a few short hours. They showed me that while I love my children with all of my might, I can't control what happens to them....I can't control the plan that God has already made for them. I will protect them to the best of my ability, with all of my might...I will teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, talk to them about water safety, talk about stranger danger and will do everything I can to keep them safe. I only send my children with people that I trust. If I don't trust them whole heartedly with my children's life, then I won't do it. It's part of doing my best to keep them safe...to the best of my ability. Because that is my job as their mother. So when I read this, it just hit home!
It's okay for us moms to be protective over our children and watch out for their well-being. That's one of the most important aspects of our job. But it's not okay for the fear of the unknown to paralyze us and stifle our kids in the process. The reality is that God has assigned a certain number of days to our children, and nothing we do or don't do will add to that number.
It is exactly what I've been thinking and feeling, yet too scared to say outloud, for fear of being judged. I still struggle at times and it hasn't been an overnight, worry-free life. I struggled to let anyone else drive my kids, but with time and prayer, this has gotten easier. Because it has everything to do with trust...if I trust that person with all my heart, I will be ok if something happened to them in their care (well, not ok, but not angry). If I don't, then I won't send them. God knows how many days each of my precious children are needed here on this earth to fulfill His purpose. I can hope and pray it is long, but there is nothing I can do beyond that, so why worry?
So I'd like to leave you with this thought (also from this devotional and slightly modified but powerful):
They are God's children. He gave them to us, and if He chooses, He might take them. But whether He leaves or takes them, we have to stand here today and say we love Him no matter what. We're not saying we love what He might allow to happen, but we must love God for who He is, not what He does.
There is no greater earthly love than a parent's love for their children. Only God loves them more. And I can say that with all my heart, I put my children's lives into His loving hand and know He has a plan for them. So being an overprotective, can't let them out of my sight, helicopter-like mom doesn't honor that love and respect that I have for this God who loves me and choose me to be their mother...because I am exactly the mom that my children needed. And for that, I thank God!