I have known my children every little minute of their little lives. I understand their chemistries and their hearts. I know their nooks and crannies. I know their moods, their joys, and the precise locations of all of their freckles.
I know my kids. I know what my kids need. I’m Mom. And Mom knows best.
Except, of course, when she doesn’t.
Take one of those “fill in the blank” parenting problems-the overwhelming, exasperating kind of problem. The kind of problem with a variety of possible “solutions” from experts and friends. The kind of problem that comes with a lot of opinions.
I know that problem. And I know how it feels when I can’t fill in the blank. I know furrowed brows, tears, and a lot of guilt. I know times when I put my head in my hands and say I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know what to do. I. Don’t. Know. What. To. Do.
Sometimes Mom knows best. But sometimes Mom doesn’t have a clue.
There’s an expectation for parents to get it right all of the time because there’s an assumption that we have this special kind of knowledge.
Not only do we know our kids, but we are the grown-ups. We have decades of life experience on our sides. We have an understanding of the end game. We have learned from our own mistakes.
We are the Yodas to these young Jedis. Great knowledge we have.
But the truth is, we don’t.
Despite my decades of real-life years, my parenting years are pretty limited. I’ve only been a mom as long as my kid has been a kid.
There is still a lot to learn and a lot of ways in which to grow. Not just for my kids, but for me too. There are a lot of I don’t knows still to say and a lot of bad choices still to make. Not just for my kids, but for me too.
Kids grow up. But along the way, so do parents. And no one gets through it without a few scraped knees.
Moms may know best most of the time, but certainly not all of the time. We try and we try and we try. We pour and we pour and we pour into these kids.
Sometimes we hit it out of the park. Sometimes we swing and miss.
But we have this beautiful gift called unconditional love.
It’s a love with room for screw-ups, second chances, and forgiveness. It’s a love of duration without expectation. And it’s a love that knows we can’t possibly know best all of the time.
It’s also a two-way street.
No matter how often our kids get it wrong, we love them no matter what.
No matter how often we get it wrong, our kids love us no matter what.
In the end, that’s all that really counts. And that’s a better kind of best to know.
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