1) a person who has control or direction of an institution, business, etc., or of a part, division, or phase of it.
2) a person who controls and manipulates resources and expenditures, as of a household.
I just want to point out some key words…control, direction, manipulates.
I spent far too many years managing my children than I did mothering them. Because when I hear the word mother, I attach other words to it—such as nurturing, loving, and giving. Not that I didn’t do those things! Let me be very clear that I’ve definitely nurtured, loved and given to my children. But at certain stages and seasons, managing seemed to overrule mothering.
If I were to guess when I began to see this truth, it was probably during the time my daughter became a teenager. The challenges began almost immediately, causing quite a shakeup in our family and in my heart. And then one day I found myself sitting in an emergency room because she had taken a dangerous combination of pills.
That moment changed our family. But it also changed me as a mom. I couldn’t manage this one. I had managed everything else in my children’s lives. I had controlled. Directed. And yes, I had manipulated. Now I was helpless. As crazy as it sounds, I’m not sure I would go back and erase what happened. I believe God used that time to make a significant difference in my daughter’s life and in the way I would parent.
I truly believe that if I had continued to manage (instead of mother) my daughter during that difficulty, we wouldn’t be where we are today. A relationship that was once shaky became solid. Communication that was once nonexistent became open.
Although I am so grateful to have learned this during a critical time in my daughter’s life, it would have made a significant difference in my earlier years of parenting. I would have been less frazzled, stressed and frustrated. My children would have seen more patience, grace and kindness.
Mama…don’t get caught up in managing your children. Mother them. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when it’s hard. The rewards you reap are worth all of it.
© 2015, Stephanie Romero