On December 6, 2006, the doctor handed us an 8lb ball of pure fury that sounded more like a baby pterodactyl than, well, a human baby. Filled with romantic notions of being the perfect mom and dad (always calm, always gentle, always smiling), we headed home with our first born son. When he wasn’t sleeping (which was scattered) he was screaming. Within two weeks after our son’s birth, everything that we believed would be our parenting experience shattered. Our patience and energy levels were depleted, and our frustration and exhaustion levels were sky high. Rather than feeling nurturing, we felt resentful and angry; rather than going to him when he cried, I (Lauren) would crawl under the covers and cry. We couldn’t do it; we couldn’t be the perfect parents. We were plagued with guilt and convinced of our failure. We were failing, and our failure would be our son’s undoing.
But the Gospel told us something different: that it wasn’t all up to us or on our shoulders, that we were forgiven and justified apart from our actions. The Gospel put the lie to the equation that perfect parents = perfect children (or that perfection is possible in either party). The Gospel gave us freedom…freedom to be the parents we were–faults and strengths combined–with the freedom to fail.
In recognizing our own failures and faults in parenting, we were able to begin to forgive our own parents–who are (it turns out) as human as we are, faults and all.
This breakout session was developed out of this experience of feeling like a failure in parenting and the freedom that the Gospel message brings. Come and hear our experience; more importantly, we would love to hear yours.
To register, click here.