My children have learned to speak these words with caution around me, "That thing I learned in school today, I'll never use it in real life!!" Whine, whine, complain, complain. There is an automatic button in my brain that, upon hearing these sentiments, or anything closely resembling them, causes my feet to step up on a soapbox and the speech to begin.
"NO knowledge is wasted knowledge, dear children! You very well may use that piece of information in the future so learn it well! Who knows what your future holds! You have to opportunity to learn right now, to understand, to have the questions of why and how answered in ways that many people can't. And if you never actually use that nugget of information, you're still benefiting from learning it...your brain is expanding and growing, learning how to learn and becoming something it wasn't before by learning that thing! So go forth children and LEARN for the sake of learning!! Find the value of X, Y, and Z, memorize vocab words that you've never heard before, find out who commanded the army that won the deciding battle of the Pacific Theater during World War II! Learn, I say - LEARN!!!"
So it's no surprise that I started reading and learning about parenting long before Scott and I were married or we even had a twinkle in our eyes! In college, I chose my research topics for papers in Psychology class carefully for the grade and to get me ready to be a great Mom. My plan was to be the most well-read, well studied, well sermoned, well conferenced Mom out there, because that's just how I do things. I was not about to do this thing haphazardly.
Then I got married and we started paying bills. Then I got pregnant and got tired....really tired. Then the baby came and I got even more tired and real quick another baby came and the diapers piled up and the babies kept growing and getting past the developmental stage I was ready for and then they were totally different personalities and people and then they needed laundry done and then I had to take them for checkups and to the grocery store and then someone had a birthday and then another and then I had miscarriages and worried about if I'd ever have another baby and then the boys used Sharpies on the walls and then we talked about adoption and then I got pregnant with twins and I was so happy but I was more tired than I had ever been before.....and then..... the panic set in.
The learner, the seeker of knowledge that had been parsed and researched by people wiser than I, was out of the loop....set adrift without what I thought was my most important resource. I felt my kids growing up faster than I could research and learn about them. It scared and depressed me. Without the input I had come to depend on from experts, I seriously doubted my ability to be everything I hoped to be for my kids.
Lucky for me, I doubted myself out loud with one of my dear sweet friends who has an intuitive way of reading my heart, pointing her finger in my face and speaking words of life to me. She said something that I will never forget and has defined my parenting since.
"YOU are the expert on your child!
Experts can teach you general stuff about kids but even Dr. Dobson can't know what YOUR child needs as well as you can.
God gave this child to you.
With a plan for you to be the one to parent them.
The Holy Spirit will only speak to YOU about this child of yours.
So who cares if you don't have the time or energy to read the experts anymore.
You do have the time and energy to listen to the Holy Spirit and He WILL speak to YOU about this child."
So if you're a reader, read. By all means, enjoy the fruits of the expert's labor and learn stuff because learning is valuable and important. But if you're tired, if reading stresses you out, if life is outpacing your resources right now, let me point my finger in your face and remind you, sweet friend.....
"God gave that child to YOU.....you are the expert.
Ask for the wisdom God's promised you and then trust Him to guide your gut.
You've got this."