Today, I'm writing in community at Writer's Workshop. The prompt I chose: 1.) Write about a time you were forced to step out of your comfort zone.
Being forced out of your comfort zone is part of life. Unless you are just vegetating, there is always something new coming along with potential for growth.
However, I don't think there is anything that shakes you up quite like parenthood!
Becoming a parent was uncomfortable for me right from the beginning. I had experienced 10 years of infertility and then it happened! Morning sickness that lasted all day long, every day, way up into my third trimester. This is what I prayed for?
Then came labor. Induced labor. I was on a Pit Drip that made me want to push every other minute for 3 hours. Umm... not comfortable.
It was totally worth it, though, when my little bundle of Elissa Joy was placed in my arms.
Little did I know what a bumpy ride parenthood had in store for me.
My first major meltdown was my first day home from the hospital. We had nursing issues. Baby's first bath was a disaster. (I couldn't believe she hated it!) I was nervous and upset, wondering if I could do this mom gig after all. Baby and I cried together as I held her in my arms. We fell asleep and somehow after waking up things went better.
Actually as time went on, and two more baby girls were added to the mix, I felt pretty confident as a parent. Babyhood, toddlerhood, even pre-adolescence - I seemed to take it all in stride. But nothing, and I repeat nothing, made me question my calling (and my sanity) as much as those teenage years.
For parents of teenagers, I don't think there is ever a day spent in the "zone" (comfort zone). I was always questioning our decisions - "were we strict enough?" or "were we too strict?" Or my favorite mantra, "Will it matter 5 years from now?" Questions of curfews, driving responsibilities, attending activities, hanging with friends considered bad influences - each one seemed to keep me up nights. Don't kids know parents can't get good sleep until everyone is home?
And now that we are empty-nesters, there are still things to make us wonder. How often do we call them? When should we give our advice? (I mean, since they don't seem to be asking!) Whenever they mention a money struggle, do we offer to help? How do we show interest without smothering?
As imperfect a parent as I turned out to be, I am so glad that I know the perfect parent, God, and can ask Him for help. I've begged Him to step in where I have failed and meet my children's needs in the way He knows is best for them.
I'm also reminded that He has had children who needed help. Look at Adam and Eve ...