I always had this idea that when you’re a kid, teenager, and even young adult that you’re just learning everything you need to know to be an adult so that you can share all of your knowledge with the next generation.
As I’ve become an adult, though, I’ve been very disappointed to find out that I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. Wasn’t I supposed to know everything by now? Being a mom makes that even more apparent. How am I supposed to teach these kids when I’m a complete mess?
I had a friend that, because of circumstances beyond her control, had to leave her 12 year daughter in charge of her younger siblings pretty often. I felt so sad for this girl that I felt was “missing out” on her childhood. Also, she didn’t know what she was doing. She was doing her best to help her little brother with his needs, but she was just a kid herself. There was something about her situation that resonated with me, though. She was totally unprepared to take care of these kids. I felt exactly the same.
I think as parents we like to imagine if we could just get the right parenting philosophy, or if we could just stop yelling, or if we could just feed our kids better, then everything would run smoothly and our kids would grow up to be perfect adults ready to teach the next generation.
I would like to propose that this is all turned around. God is the Father. We are the older siblings. Yes, we’ve had some more experiences than our younger siblings, but we still don’t know what we’re doing. We’re still trying to figure it out.
I used to think God sent us these little beings so we can take care of them and teach them everything they need to know for when they’re grown. But now I think it’s the other way around. I think God lets us have an opportunity to have these little siblings in our lives because He knows that they will teach us so much. They will stretch us beyond anything we thought was possible. We’re just watching over them for a short time until they’re ready to have their own relationship with God and he can really get to work teaching them all that they need to know before they come back to Him.
We’ll all get the perfect opportunities in this life to prepare us to go back to our Heavenly Father. For those who are parents, a vast majority of those opportunities come as we watch over some of our younger siblings.
There was a time when I wanted to have more children, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Sometimes I felt like maybe it was because I wasn’t worthy for some reason. But now I know it’s just because it is another opportunity for Heavenly Father to teach me something.
I’m not really their mom. I’m just the big sister.