When we were new parents, the decisions seemed "monumental" at the time.
... to breastfeed or not to breastfeed.
... to use a pacifier or not to.
... to use cloth diapers or disposable.
... to be concerned about his speech delay or just be patient and wait it out.
... to home school or enroll in the parish school.
... to get a mini-van or go straight to the big12 passenger Econo van.
... to allow the children to read Harry Potter or not.
... to allow sleepovers or no sleepovers.
At the time, they really did seem like big/serious decisions. Now, after 23 years of parenting, they are easy. Oh how I wish, our current decisions were that easy. Now many of the decisions are serious, life-changing. They are decisions that often times take large amounts of prayer and contemplation to make.
For our teenagers
... when to begin dating?
... to get them cell phones or not; to text or not to text?
... to give them the keys to the car for a night our with friends?
... for our girls, how short is too short... how low is too low?
... To keep home schooling through high school or not?
... to go into debt going to a private, Catholic college or choose a more affordable state college?
... for our daughter to go 300 miles away from home for five weeks to a ballet school?
... to say no, knowing that their will be rejection and hurt?
... to go to bed before all your children are in bed or wait up until their curfew?
For our handicapped daughter
... to allow her to ride public transportation?
... to keep her at home or let her live on her own?
For our son
... to give five years of his life to the military in exchange for a great education and wonderful opportunities?
... to go Marines or Navy pilot?
For our adult children
... to loan them money or not to?
... to watch your children suffer the consequences for bad decisions/choices?
... to let go and trust them totally in their relationships, their spiritual life ... everything.
This is just the beginning of these big decisions. I see my own parents, now in their sixties still being faced with tough situations involving myself and my siblings. It can be overwhelming. The worry and stress can become a burden. It's during these moments that I remind myself that we are not alone in this parenting adventure. The Lord is with us every step of the way, guiding us. All we have to do is call upon him for comfort and strength.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
And always, in the midst of the big decisions, still comes the "little" decisions.
"Great idea! Let's go to the park today to figure out your big brothers' and sisters' big decisions!"