Original post appeared in Integrated Catholic Life
Most of us would do anything for our kids, right? We give birth after hours of labor, sometimes without pain medication just so those kids will have “the best” start. We struggle through those early, sleepless weeks, tending to our babies’ every need, checking on the them five times a night putting our fingers by their noses or our hands on their little chests just so see if they are breathing.
We try to find the safest car seat, the most nutritious food, the best crib, blankets, clothes. We sacrifice our time, talent, and treasure for these, our offspring. As our children grow older, we research to find the best school (or maybe even decide to educate them ourselves). We schlep the children here and there, research best opportunities for their personal development and growth: soccer, baseball, piano lessons. Or maybe we deliberately decide to clear the plate of activities and bubble their childhood for the kind of experience we feel is best for them. Over time we don’t think twice despite inconvenience or hardship to meet with teachers, administrators, coaches, to team up and bring about the best experiences for our children. We read the parenting books to discipline with purpose, love, and with the kids’ best interests in mind. We try not to be too hands-on…or too hands-off. Finally, we discuss the goals and dreams, and colleges and eventually careers with them.
But are we doing the most important thing for our children?