I'm discovering that with parenting, it actually does get harder as they grow older. Sure, it's easier in the reduced physical demands; I'm no longer carrying a toddler or chasing a mischievous preschooler. But in the mental arena it is exhausting. I am racing to a finish line I don't want to cross, and as I protest the passage of time, I am expected to run this race with wisdom and the intent to win.
I constantly wonder if I'm doing the right thing, disciplining correctly or too strictly (or lenient, depending on the day). Am I preparing them to be good mothers and wives, to love God and to think of others? Or am I creating narcissistic over achievers, who will find their value in accomplishment or approval?
Am I showing them the way, or making them want anything but that which I teach? When do I intervene and when do I let them make their own way? What is right and what is fair? Does fair matter, or should I teach them to accept injustice. Aaagh... it is a never ending conundrum of decisions, and I feel perched on a tight rope of indecision.
Then, when I feel myself teetering, a friend prays and lets me know she understands. My Mom listens and validates my feelings. My Dad gives me a break from carpool and shows up with laughing, happy girls.
It is then that I hear God's still, quiet voice, reminding me that He is still here. The same God who carried me through colic and a host of other childhood maladies, is the same One who will get me through this. Not just endruing but prospering in His amazing will. His ways are good, He blessed me with the gift of mothering, and His grace is sufficient for each day and stage.