Find serenity by realizing that being a parent is harder than being a friend to your children, but it is so worth the effort.
It is always fun to listen to people give advice on how to raise children. I avoid it as much as possible. I share my ideas, thoughts, and philosophies on child-rearing, but I rarely offer unsolicited advice on parenting. Even in this article, I am not giving advice on parenting, but having a conversation with myself about an idea that I often hear from other parents.
I have no desire to be friends with my children. If they were not my children, I would not hang out with them. We would not meet for hot chocolate, go out for meals or meet at the library to chat. They are years upon years younger than I. We don’t share a significant interest in current literature, music, art or politics. This is not to say that they are not smart, brilliant, wonderful children. In fact, they are all that and more. My children are indeed fascinating children that any parent would be indeed fortunate and blessed to claim them.
However, my children are not my peers. We don’t have a shared volume of life experiences, professional experiences and personal experiences that would be the basis of a good and lasting friendship. My children are a blessing from God. The church girl in me sees my children as precious gifts from God that I have a responsibility to be a steward over and to raise to be good and productive citizens.
Stewardship is not a role that friends play for one another. Stewardship is commonly defined as management or care for something. As a parent, my job is to manage my children’s growth and development. It is my job to care for them. Fortunately for me, it is a joy to do the work I must do in order to raise my children. Parenthood is a joy and a source of great happiness. I am glad I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a parent. It is something my husband and I dreamed about for years before it became a reality. In this case, reality has been far better than the dream and again, it is a blessing.
The following is a list of things I do for my children on a daily basis:
- Pray constantly that they grow up to be the kind of people God would have them be
- Prepare three or more meals a day
- Wash and prepare laundry
- Review homework assignments
- Attend parent-teacher conferences
- Arrange playdates
- Manage health care
- Supervise activities online
- Approve or deny requests to interact with friends
I have no responsibility to do these things for my friends. In addition, if I am to be honest, I must add that I have no desire to do these things for my friends. I enjoy having friends and I enjoy having children. In my world, the two are not the same group of people.