Thursday, May 5, 2016

Professional Parenting, Part 2 of 2

One of those comments that we get fairly often is, "Wow, you guys are professional parents."  And my answer is No, and Yes!  I am not professional parents in the sense that those people mean, that I have it all together and I've "arrived" as a parent and "have it all down".  Not at all.  I am learning and growing every day in learning to parent our children and in developing my own character as well as theirs.  Parenting is not something that people can have all the answers to or do well at all of the time ~ we can only do our very best.

However the answer to the professional parents comment is also a Yes!  Because I pursue it as my "profession".  When I think of the aspects of having a career - what that looks like, how people pursue it, how they view it, how they respond to it - then parenting to me is much the same thing.  

This post is part 2 of 2. Here is Part 1.  

In this post I continue exploring what it means to be a professional parent and will cover:

               8. Budget our finances

               9. Study to improve skills and knowledge
               10. Requires our whole person
               11. Practice team unity
               12. Don't just survive it but embrace it to achieve success

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

8. Budget our finances

All companies have to work within a budget or they would fail.  Finances need to be carefully allotted to make sure they cover the bills, to have some for savings, to purchase necessary items for future needs.  We need to budget our money for our family as well.  We can't just go along and hope to have enough; we need to work smarter and more responsibly.  Moms can do a great job of shopping frugally for their families.  This can be a huge blessing for our hard working husbands, to not have the wife draining the supplies but rather purchasing what is necessary and saving a lot of money by shopping wisely and not extravagantly. 

Before becoming wives and mothers we needed to manage the money we earned, or possibly that which a company we worked for earned.  We are able to be good managers of money when it is important to us, or to learn to do so if we need to.  So we should choose to budget for our family as well. 

Here are some posts I've written that go more in to the "practical how-to's" of budgeting our finances for the family:

     * Becoming a Master Used Clothing Shopper!
     * Large Families on Budgets - Making More Out Of Less, Part 1 of 2

9. Study to improve skills and knowledge

There is so much to be learned about being a wife and mother.  Many moms begin our parenting experience by reading about what to expect during pregnancy, and maybe going to a class or a few on pregnancy, delivery, car seat safety, and how to feed, bathe, and care for a newborn.  Then we learn how to help a baby sleep through the night, how to help a toddler learn to behave, learn how to homeschool.  We can learn about and implement skills in nutrition, science, economics, veterinary care, finances, medicine, law, physical education, sewing, cooking, the list is endless.  But we should pursue and be ON PURPOSE in learning all the time skills to benefit our families.  *smile* (Not reading novels, in my humble opinion.)

Before becoming wives and mothers
we were students and then often times employees, and we studied to be successful in school (learning the skills to do so, and proving our ability to do so) and often times studied to become more successful in our work.  We study things that we are interested in or deem valuable such as school and work, and even for hobbies.  We should give even greater value to our families.  *smile*

Here are some posts I've written that go more in to the "practical how-to's" of studying to improve our skills and knowledge in parenting & family:

     * My posts on: Over 27 of our family's favorite recipes, plus healthy eating habits, recipe organization, meal planning and large family grocery shopping.
     * My posts on:  Organization 
     * My posts on:  Schedules & Routines 
     * My posts on:  Time efficiency 

10. Requires our whole person 

Parenting requires the commitment of our entire person:  physical, emotional, and spiritual.  Not just the physical commitment alone, of carrying and delivering babies, and then the upkeep of one's home.  Not just the emotional commitment alone, where we may go to an outside job all day and drop our children off at day care or public school, but then try to connect with them emotionally when we are home.  And not just the spiritual commitment alone, where we try to teach our children about the Lord after we've been away from them all day and are therefore emotionally disconnected.  We must commit all 3 parts of ourselves together to get the full investment and "fruit" that the Lord would be proud of.

Before becoming wives and mothers
... we probably were never actually required to invest all 3 parts of ourselves like this ever before.  *smile*  It is a very new discipline to us when we do become wives and mothers then, and it requires a lot of prayer, reliance on our Heavenly Father, self-sacrifice, trust in the Lord and in His plans for us from His Word (the Bible), patience with ourselves, perseverance, and learning together with our husbands.  But even when it may feel hard and new... we need to do this anyway, because we love our children with all that we are.

Here are some posts I've written that go more in to the "practical how-to's" of applying our whole person to the task at hand:

     * Choosing Thankfulness 
     * Motherhood With Vitality!, Part 1 of 2
     * Large Families on Budgets - Making More Out of Less, Part 1 of 2

11. Practice team unity

It's important that we recognize and understand that we are a team member with our husband and children.  *smile*  We shouldn't try to carry the responsibilities of marriage and family and home life all by ourselves, it burns people out eventually and really cannot be done alone.  And most importantly, the Lord did not intend for us to do everything by our self.  We are to be managers of our homes.  We work together and play together.  We serve one another, connect as friends and companions, work towards goals as a family or as a married couple, learn together, worship together.  People thrive when they can work as a team with others, feeling motivated, valued, needed, and enjoyed.  Our husbands need this, we need this, and our children need this, too.  The world tells us that we should raise our children to be independent; but the Bible tells us that we are to be interdependent, relying upon one another, serving, building one another up, and needing each other. 

Before becoming wives and mothers we most likely worked as a team either in our own families, or in a job or career we held.  We need to consider ourselves part of a team at home as well.

Here are some posts I've written that go more in to the "practical how-to's" of practicing team unity within the home: 

     * Family Participation:  Chores for Kids 
     * Marriage - Our High Priority 

12. Don't just survive it but embrace it to achieve success

We need to embrace the gift of children.  *smile*  God has honored us with these little lives, and has entrusted them to us.  We need to celebrate that, and let the children know that we celebrate them.  Every one, including children, knows when they're just being tolerated but not enjoyed.  And I can guarantee you... if children do not feel enjoyed and invested in - they will go else where to find someone who does enjoy them and who will invest in them.  A teacher.  A coach.  A youth group leader.  Their peers.  We need to keep our children's hearts and not let them be lost to someone else.  For who ever has our children's hearts disciples them.  And "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher" (Luke 6:40).

Before becoming wives and mothers I'm sure we had great dreams and visions as to how romantic parenthood would be.  *smile*  We saw only of the sweetness, the tenderness, innocence, and smiles.  And there is so much of that with our children!  But there's that little person's sin nature, too, which can bring out the...well...not the best side of us.  *chuckle*  And that can be so very disheartening for us.  We have our own character that needs developing as we learn to be better parents, and our own faults to face.  But the Lord desires us to have freedom from our own faults!  *smile*  And He can bring freedom as we learn from Him and do the hard work.  But we need to not run away from the difficulties, but rather to hold Jesus' hand and let Him teach us, so that we can teach and disciple our children.  One of my favorite scripture verses is Isaiah 41:13, "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to, Do not fear; I will help you."

Here is a post I've written that go more in to the "practical how-to's" of embracing parenting for greater success:

     * Motherhood with Vitality!, Part 1 of 2

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In the mid-1940's, a father was questioned about his decision to spend his daughter to college since she "Would probably just marry and raise a family."  Her father's response:  "Educate a man and you educate an individual; educate a woman and you educate a family." ~ From a letter published in Focus on the Family magazine many years ago.

Blessings on your parenting efforts,

Recommended resources:

Our entire "Recommended Books List" on our blog home page!  *smile*


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