The Unbearable Weight of Freedom

To-do lists = power food for my ravenous, performance-driven soul. And check marks beside tasks accomplished? Nothing quite so sweet.  Right?

And so, I want some sort of daily to-do list for my parenting. Mmm, really, more of a list of responsibilities for the job of parenting. And I want it to be standard. “As a mother you will _______.” And if I follow the list, I will get it right. I really want to get it right.

And that’s my problem with freedom…with grace…with listening to the whisper of the Holy Spirit. Makes me shudder just thinking of the vulnerability of such a path. And yet, as a parent who follows Christ…I find myself crushed by the unbearable weight of freedom. I cannot look on my neighbor’s paper for the answer to this one. Her answer is different.

And different is not wrong. It’s just different.

Does that thought unsettle you like it does me? My insecurities demand that my way is the right way. It is the way. The. Way.

To be a good mom I must do A, B, and C.  And you must too. Because if you do X, Y, and Z, how will I know if I’m on the right track? I am looking at YOU and the way YOU do things, because I have no idea of what I should be doing. And I really need for us to do the same thing. Okay? Because if you do it differently, that means one of us is doing it wrong…and my greatest fear is that it is me.


And so, I am wrestling with the unbearable weight of freedom. I am willing to embrace the notion that my way is not wrong just because it is different. Willing. I am willing to lovingly look at what you are doing and rejoice in your day’s work…though it looks and smells and tastes quite different than mine. I am willing to entertain the idea of a blank sheet of paper…each day…blank. I am willing.



3 thoughts on “The Unbearable Weight of Freedom

  1. Ahhh…we can never be the same. We are each different and so our kids. Matter of fact, each of us will need to be something different to each of our kids. LOVE is the key. If we love our kids and give them what they need physically, spiritually, and emotionally then we are measuring up to the standard (God’s standard). I think a blank page is best. After all, every day is new and different.

  2. As always, friend…perfect words. Freedom will become less weighty…but it’s such a learning curve isn’t it?? The great thing is, Eden will come out of it blessed no matter what because you are you.

  3. I think this is the time in your child’s life when the doubts in yourself really rise up (or at least for me, my doubts really multiplied). Your child is more and more (and more!) her own person. Don’t let the doubts drown you. Do your best. You’re a unique individual and can only bring what _you_ can bring to your child and the world.

    Also—please learn from me! This was a big thing for me to learn, and don’t wait to learn this!—Your child really is not a reflection of you (not all the way, anyway). She is not a product that shows how bad or good a parent you are. She’s a person in her own self. She makes choices (good and bad) that are influenced by you—and that’s a good thing. I was continually embarrassed or ashamed of how my son acted at school during every single elementary school year. Nearly every day!!! Ug! My little heart could almost not bear it. I begged and pleaded, punished, talked, etc. Things got better, and the same traits that were problems in elem. school will be strengths later on. Hopefully!

    I felt judged—and I was!—-by other parents and teachers, but if I could go through all that again, I’d do what I knew was right in my bones. Forget the judgmental people and stop judging others myself. There is no secret formula. Public school/homeschool, TV/no TV, immunizations/none—-it can drive you crazy. Don’t let it. Go Jan!!!

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