Parenting is never

Three years in and I still don’t know what I’m doing.

I would like to say that all the suggestions and advice (unsolicited included) have made an impact on my parenting journey but the truth is, it’s really wild out here. I literally almost found myself in the middle of an existential crisis while braiding my toddler’s hair. 

Sometimes I feel like my household is in a constant state of disarray. Dishes pile up quickly, the kids are sick every other week, my daughter’s room needs cleaning every hour on the hour, my newborn is colicky with no sleeping schedule yet, sprinkle in a few daycare incidents and parenting style clashes here or there. It’s a zoo.

A lot of the time I find myself in denial about how much of an unorganized mess my routine can be.  Everything was always okay. I was fine. 

Juggling the demands of parenting left me exhausted, and definitely not fine.

Between work, household chores, self-care, quality time with hubby, church life, and relationships with my family/friends, I could hardly manage to keep my ducks in a row. Well if we’re being totally honest, I was floating through each day until I either burned out or gave up.

Other times, I would go on autopilot. I ran around with my mind scattered, too much on my plate, and not one moment to breathe. What’s troubling was I would try to cram MORE into my schedule in the name of self-care or because I haven’t seen so and so in a while. Leaving me completely discombobulated.

It’s crazy how becoming a mom highlighted all the areas of my life that needed work.

I knew I needed a routine quick, fast, and in a hurry. I had little ones who would see this version of me and start to imitate those patterns. The cycle had to stop. I had to do better for them.

I realized quickly that it takes a selfless person to be a parent. 

My childhood taught me that. I grew up in a single mother household with an absent father. This dynamic taught me one thing, good parenting is a choice. For the majority of my life, my father was inconsistent and narcissistic. He constantly chose his own self-interests over spending time with my brother and I, then dared to throw scripture in our faces.

Yes, children are supposed to honor their parents, but parents aren’t supposed to provoke their kids to anger. Which he did a lot of. He was heavy on the discipline, but skimpy on providing godly instruction that wasn’t hypocritical or weaponized. 

The idea of discipline within the black community has always been controversial because some parents don’t care about crossing the line.

Some people equate “discipline” to beatings, lack emotional intelligence, are manipulative, and lack accountability for their choices, or simply take out their life frustrations on their kids. The sad reality is that we have a lot of emotionally immature and angry people who are having children with no intent of actually raising them in love. 

They see them as a burden or are incapable of looking past their hurts to see they’re hurting their children in the same way they’ve been afflicted. I grew up seeing our dad do that to my brother, firsthand, and considered him a bad parent for it.

There was a lot of unaddressed anger I didn’t realize I bottled up until he started reaching out to me in college. I would be easily triggered, quick to argue, and extremely defensive whenever he brought up my brother or our upbringing. 

In hindsight, I was lashing out from hurt and disappointment, but it wasn’t until I became more mature was I able to see that he was just another broken person working through his demons. 

I didn’t need to harbor anger about his impact on our lives.

I never realized the sacrifices my mom made to give us a stable home until adulthood. She always told me she had no other choice, even though she did. She could’ve chosen to do the opposite and look out for herself, but instead she chose to show up for us despite everything life threw her way. 

She attended every play and band concert, took us on vacations, had family movie nights, bought us childhood pets (took care of those childhood pets 🤣), and had patience with us when she was dog-tired from it all. We lacked for nothing, times were slim but we had what we needed and plenty of what we wanted.

The amount of love she poured into us felt like double, to the point where I didn’t miss having a flaky dad. Although sometimes it was still a struggle, she made raising two kids alone look easy; the epitome of a good mom. She was the first example I ever had of putting someone else’s needs before my own. True selflessness. She raised me to be a good person, in a way I will forever be grateful for and never depart from.

I could’ve never imagined the amount of pressure and stress she felt…until I became a mother.

My upbringing made me grateful to have a husband who’s present and actively involved in our kid’s lives. I believe people are capable of choosing to be better than their upbringing. We both came from single-parent households, and we both chose to come together and create a better future for our family.

Ironically, we also struggled with major daddy issues. The only difference between my trauma and my husband’s was that his dad went completely ghost. No contact.

My husband’s upbringing was entirely different from my own, so naturally we clashed about discipline.

It was especially hectic with our first. Looking back, the game changer was integrating God into the equation. The moment I started looking to God as my Father figure, my childhood hurts began to heal.

My relationship with Him deepened and I started truly seeing myself as his child. God is always consistent. He will never abandon you, and His love overcomes all. I started to shift my reliance on my physical parents to living in the comfort of my spiritual Father. This showed me the happiness, love, and grace that needs to be translated to my kids.

Presently, I’m healing my relationship with my father and extending a lot of grace by allowing him to be a part of his grandchildren’s lives. I forgave him for the past and I definitely hold him accountable when he reverts to old behaviors. I refuse to let certain cycles repeat with my kids and have boundaries in place.

My husband and I uphold God’s word as our foundation for how we’re to bring up our kids and it has brought a newfound peace into my life. Our home may be chaotic more often than not, but we’re building an atmosphere that’s loving and warm. God has helped us to create a space for our littles to thrive and know Him, through us. 

We are continuing to break generational curses in our families.

Regardless of whether you're a parent or not, we all have an inner child we need to heal. My prayer for you is that you break the generational curses that may be haunting your family. 

“Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love.” Colossians 3:14 (AMP)

🗣 Speak this affirmation when your inner child is scared and needs comfort.

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