I Used To Parent So Everything Looked Perfect On The Outside

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“I used to think the fruits of my parenting labor would show up in my kids’ behavior.

I’d have kids with clean rooms and good grades that used their nicest words with each other and would sit still in church, all lined up in their Sunday best.

But then I tried to wrangle 5 humans who had actual personalities and gifts and who were both different from me and given the same free will I was.

And it all went to heck.

And so often, I felt at odds.

Did I parent so it all looked good on the outside…the rooms and the nice words and the grades and the clothes and the church behavior?

So often it seemed easier to parent with my eyes out because the side-eye from humans around me was something my tender heart wanted to avoid.

And yet, I slowly realized I needed to parent so we were building relationships on the inside.

The outside doesn’t really matter…many things that look shiny and whole are rotten and dead inside.

The fruits of our labor are seen inside our homes and our hearts.

They show up when our child messes up and feels safe enough to tell us about it.

Or when they wiggle through church, or actually right now watch church on TV while sitting upside down on the couch, but want to talk about the big questions about the gospel and God and His love.

Or when they show others the same grace we show them and we see them walking the actual walk we have prayed for in their own relationships.

It is not in their grades or their accomplishments or their sports prowess or their clean and neat rooms and good looking wardrobes. #idontalwaysgettheirfashion

These things cannot ever measure the beauty and worth of our people or our love for them.

The fruits of our labor are found in their hearts.

So I’m here for parenting for the inside, every single day. Eyes on our people and don’t worry one bit about the side-eye or what your people look like to the outside world.

Get in there and know and parent for their hearts. Because what’s inside is everything.”

Courtesy of Amy Betters-Midvedt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. Follow Amy on Instagram here. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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