Growing Through Parenting Stress

I'm a parent of three young children. In one of my overseas trips, I felt a tug at my heart, wishing I had done more for them before I left. Or, there had been times in the past when I felt remorse at comments I made. I wished I could somehow take them back!  I'd think of ways to make up or remedy previous neglects. It's never too late, I believe.

Here are some things I've learned and gained from going through the stress of being a parent:

*  I learned patience, endurance, and sacrifice;
*  I learned to tap into my unsuspecting strength within myself when I had to nurture my kids when I myself was sick or internally distressed;
*  I learned I need to learn and practice empathy, for in trying to understand my child, I had to put my self in his or her place;
*  I learned how to listen not just to my child's voice but also to his/her hidden feelings and thoughts;
*  I learned to set aside what I prefer to see or hear from my child, so I can understand what he/she is expressing to me;
*  I learned what responsibility means as a parent;
*  I learned the joy of giving to my children without expecting any thing in return;
*  I learned what God's love can do to shape me to be a better parent.

Yes, children can put stress on us. But it can also be one of the most rewarding and fruit-bearing  experiences possible. Like you, I'm a parent. Both of us, we all, can grow through our children ... and the stress of parenting them.