I don’t hold my newborn baby girl, Lydia, very often. I find it a bit frustrating. Maybe that’s bad or maybe it’s not, but it’s true. It seems like something that I am not that equipped to do. Especially when she is crying I don’t really have the proper “equipment” to help, if you know what I mean. Making me feel a bit less useful and at times tempting me to step away.
I think there is a lesson in this, though. Even when I feel like my parenting skills aren’t matching the need of the situation, sometimes my presence is more important than resolving the problem or situation. Many times Lydia will cry and I can’t console her and so she has to go to Kari, but to not participate because I can’t offer her what I don’t have is to rob Lydia and myself of an opportunity to connect and bond.
I think this is a basic principle that can fit any situation in my parenting life. When I am not equipped to resolve the temper, crying, emotions, or situation it’s about being present in the moment not “fixing”. As a dad, I want to resolve the situations and problems, but when I’m not equipped to I struggle to be okay with that.
I think Lydia is showing me this through her crying. Sometimes just being present is far more powerful and important than resolving the problem. The parenting fail on my part would be to step away from the challenge. Not failing to resolve a problem. I’m choosing now to be a dad who is present and available even when I don’t have the skills to help.
My Parenting Prayer
Lord, help me to be more present and available, to not always concern myself with resolving my children’s problems. Instead, help me to choose to connect and bond with them.