Let’s start off by taking all of the extreme tragedies off the table. We can all agree that they collectively win the award for “Biggest Parent Fears”.
With that aside, my biggest fear as a parent is that my kids will feel/think that they were ever a burden on my life.
I can totally act like they’re a burden, mainly when I am around other people.
Fun fact about me: Personally, I am terrified of being a burden on other people.
I have struggled with this people pleasing fear of being a burden since forever, and to a degree I figured out how to make it work. Eh, or at least how to function with it.
But then God blessed me with twin boys.
Twin boys who notoriously hit two years old with a giant firey wrecking ball. They were emotional rollercoasters, stubborn, and did I say stubborn already? Which meant there were countless times were I had two uncontrollable toddlers causing chaos all over the place.
I didn’t handle it well at all. I would get super angry and saying some pretty mean things. But here’s the best part, I really wasn’t that mad that they were throwing a fit! I was furious that they were making us annoy the people around us. They were making me a burden on people and I had zero control over it!
The very few times we actually had a babysitter I couldn’t stop wanting to get home. Not because I was worried about the kids, like most moms. But because I was worried that they were driving the sitter crazy. It was frustrating and exhausting.
God knew what He was doing. What a better way to chip away at this fear than to take away all control. I say “chip away” because I can’t say I’m completely over it. At least I am at a place where I’m aware of my unhealthy motivation and ready to go to battle. I battle it by resting in Gods love for me and the knowledge that I have never been a burden to Him.
I know what it’s like to feel like a burden on people that you care about. It really sucks. I remember recognizing it when I was about the boys age. Even though my kids are still young, I know they can sense when I am just tolerating them.
So now every day, every outing, it a purposeful choice to put my kids over my pride. That doesn’t mean I won’t correct my kids when we’re out in public, because that’s for sure happening. But it does mean that I try my best to check my motivation before I say or do anything. My children are not a burden, they never have been. It’s been my fear and pride that are the burden, thank God for grace.