We've been talking a lot around the house about how we help the children: making food, clean clothes, fun toys, helping with homework, driving places, etc. This morning Babs asked me,
"So, all these things you do for me, helping me get ready, getting me a snack, I see what I get out of it, but what's in it for you?"
And given the morning we were having, I was truly stumped. I finally muttered something incomprehensible about how you obviously don't get parenting, or understand having a child, and spent the rest of the day pondering what's in it for me.
It's my job, seemed to cold. I'm just in the habit, seemed fairly honest, but not very inspiring. This is what I do, seemed the most correct, but still missing something.
I think the answer is actually, parenting isn't about what's in it for me, it's about helping you be the best you possible, and helping you with these things is how we're doing that right now.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend. I was on a typical rift about how challenging Babs is at home, and how wonderful she is at school and church. My friend asked, "Would you have her switch behaviors? Be good at home and a pill at school?"
I immediately responded, "No. I love her so much, I will keep working with her no matter how challenging it gets. A teacher would just eventually say 'it's only a year' and suffer through."
And with that preface, I am trying to find joy in my children, every day. I am sure that some days that will be easier than others.
Kiddo got all A's on her report card, and was thrilled about it. We are too. She is a diligent worker and it shows. (It doesn't hurt that she's pretty smart too!)
Babs also had a wonderful report card, including praise from her teacher about being self-motivated, a good problem solver, willing to work hard, and always having a good attitude.
And the boy asks me for chocolate. The other day he told me he wanted candy, and I told him we didn't have any, which I thought was the truth. "No, you did buy some at the store," he contradicted me. What? "Chocolate." Oh yeah. My stash. So, I shared with him then, and today. My stash may be gone soon...