I often get the overwhelming feeling that I am not enough…..not a good enough parent, not outgoing enough, not hard working enough, not focused enough to give each of my children the time they desire, not enough energy to care for myself and my family, not a good enough cook, not enough hours in the day to finish my to do lists, not smart enough to help my kids with their educational needs, not spiritual enough to guide them in faith…..the list could go on and on, Enough with not being enough!!!
I know that overall I am doing pretty good in most of these areas. But the thing that I have to remind myself of is that I am not supposed to be able to fill all of those requirements!! I am made to be reliant on others! This is crucial to learn especially when it comes to my kids! I have always loved the saying “It takes a village to raise a child” but even more I love the visual that Larry Winget gives in his book Your Kids Are Your Fault.
“….in parenting , you are the architect, the builder and the general contractor. There are some subcontractors in there, too. Those subcontractors are grandparents, family, friends, babysitters, teachers, coaches and others who will have periodic and temporary responsibility for your child’s development throughout her life. As the general contractor you are in charge of those subcontractors to make sure they do their job and help you keep the overall project on track.”
We are responsible for our own children, and part of that responsibility is knowing when it’s time to bring in a “sub contractor.” I would be lost without the people in my life that I call in when I just can’t. So here is just a brief (and I know that I can’t possibly adequately cover or mention ALL the subs) THANK YOU for helping me keep my child raising on task!
GRANDPARENTS, AUNTS and UNCLES
You have earned the honor of being the spoilers. I don’t mean this in the negative sense. You are spoilers with your LOVE and TIME. You are able to focus your time with my kids and fill them with the attention and affection I often cannot. You are gifted at taking time to play, imagine and be silly with them during your snippets of time together. You also spoil us, the parents, with your support, childcare and reassurance we need to make it through each day. I am so amazingly blessed to have ALL my family in my town to help raise my clan!
Where do I even begin with how teachers are crucial to my child raising!? Just the fact that you “educate” my kids in reading, writing and so on is amazing to me but does not even touch the tip of the iceberg! The life lessons that are taught in the classrooms go above and beyond any textbook! You teach my children how to cope in a world that does not just revolve around them. You teach them to trust adults other than their parent. You teach them how to treat and respect the diversity of their class. You teach them how to lead and help others. You teach them how to become a team and work with each others strength and weaknesses. You show them LOVE. You teach them structure, time management and how to finish what they start. You do all of this in a classroom with 20+ busy children with 20+ different learning needs. I attempt to read a simple passage with my struggling reader and almost pull my hair out!? Fifth grade math almost can’t be solved by me without a calculator so I NEED all of you amazing teachers as my sub contractors!!!
This is where I first discovered I had an entire village around me. I have so many childhood memories involving my church and its members. My church helped build me and shape me as a child and continues to as an adult. This village not only supports and protects me but it does the same for my children. This was one of the first places that if I didn’t know exactly where my child was a the moment I didn’t feel panicked. I knew my village would care for my child in my absence. Whether it be helping the child find me or keeping my child safe, these people I could trust. Those peeps now extend outside of my church walls and I know they will continue to help me watch over my kids where ever in town it may be. They also help raise my kids in their faith. As with so many things kids need people other than their parents to nurture them in their beliefs. My church was a big part in my faith upbringing and will no doubt be the same for my kids! What I lack in ability to teach and when my faith falters there will always be someone around them to help them through.
I never could have imagined the impact this particular group of sub contractors would have on my village! I know that Crossfit is typically an adult group but my kids have gained just as much from them as I have. You have shown them that fitness and health are worth fighting for. Fitness and health is a way of life and can be fun. You’ve shown them that having goals is important and that reaching them is something to celebrate together. You have provided support and encouragement when the work gets hard. When the work is hard you push them not to give up. You have shown them that there is no substitute for hard work. You have shown my kids that even adults fall short of the mark but with the help of others we push on to finish what we set out to do. You have shown that average is not the norm and to strive for better in our selves. Ultimately you have shown them what is possible when a community of people get together for the common goal of making everyone there better than they were yesterday!
I think you are starting to see that your sub contractors can come from many different areas. I could go on with FRIENDS, COACHES, THEATRE DIRECTORS ect. but I think you get the point. So in those moments in life when that feeling of “I’m not enough” begins to creep in, look outward toward your village and see what sub contractor you can call in to help keep your project of raising good adults on track! This in no way dismiss’ us from giving our kids our best. Keep in mind that in the end you, the parent, are responsible for the way your kids turn out and the subs you hire. So choose those subs wisely and keep close tabs on how your child is turning out! Take a deep breathe and know YOU ARE ENOUGH and with your village you can take on anything!!!