I’m a Terrible Parent . . . and Other Fears

Ruth Davidar Paul   |   September 22, 2020 

Parenting is hard work.

As my daughter and son grow older, I am challenged each time I teach or correct them. Every time I think I have gained ground on one issue, I realise that I have moved two steps back in another area. Over the past few months, I’ve been fighting small fires – and sensing my own inadequacy in dealing with all of them.

Some days I feel like throwing my hands up in despair and giving up disconsolately. I wish it was easier! I wish I could make them understand that I’m only saying these things for their good. I wish I didn’t sound like a fishwife when I try to correct them. I wish they could see that behind my punishments and scolds is a heart of love that wants the very best for them, always. I wish they could understand my fears and insecurities – the concern that I might mess their lives up in some way, that I’m not doing this parenting thing right, that they will see me as the enemy.

As I gloomily eyed the future, wondering at my abysmal lack of parenting skills, the Lord spoke to me in one of those crystal clear ways of His –

“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” (Isaiah 54:13)

You can’t get any more direct than that!

I wrapped myself in the warmth of those comforting words, I remembered that He is a Father too so He knows a bit about parenting – especially pessimistic little worry warts like me! Instead of scolding me for not trusting Him, He lifted my spirits with love, addressing the root of my anxieties. I can learn a thing or two about parenting from Him!

So, as a spring returns to my steps, I look forward to this parenting journey – knowing that the burden is not solely on my shoulders but rather I have Someone far more equipped, who’s got my back! As He teaches and corrects me, gently, firmly and in love, I can in turn, extend that same grace to my children.

Finally, I’m beginning to understand that parenting is heart work.


Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

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Ruth Davidar Paul is a freelance editor, writer, and recently, an artist. She has lived in several cities across India and currently calls Chennai home, where she lives with her husband Abhishek and their children Abigail, Jordan, and Amy. She blogs at https://inkhorn.home.blog/ and paints @quaintstains on Instagram.

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