Recently, my daughter didn't get invited to a birthday party for one of her friends. I knew the party was going on, but I didn't tell her. I was hopeful that she wouldn't find out about it at all. And, truthfully, I didn't want to be the one to rub salt in the wound.
She did find out about it, and her feelings were hurt. When we were alone, my other daughter asked me if I knew about the party. When I told her I did, she asked why I didn't just tell my daughter about it before she found out on her own. To her, that seemed the less hurtful thing to do.
I looked at my daughter, and I said, "You know, sometimes being a mom is hard. Sometimes I don't know what the right thing to do is. Sometimes I just make the best decision I know how to make and pray it's the right one."
That floored my daughter for a moment. I think our kids sometimes think we have all the answers. They think we always know what to do in any given situation, but that's so far from the truth.
Sometimes on this parenting journey, we have to make decisions that aren't easy. We have to choose between two choices that both look good, or we have to make a choice between two options that both seem bad. Sometimes, we have to make a decision that seems weird to those around us. Sometimes, we have to choose to swim upstream because that's what's best for our kids. Sometimes, God asks us to do something we never thought we'd do because that child requires things we never thought they'd require.
We recently made the decision to pull our younger daughter out of public school next year. Our plan is to use a virtual school option for a year to get her ready for middle school, then send her back in sixth grade. Never in this lifetime did I plan to homeschool my younger daughter. It's not a choice I would make on my own. But God was really clear that this is what she needs. It means a lot of reworking my life for the next year. It means a lot of time with the child I knock heads with on a regular basis. And it may not work. It might be a disaster. But even if it is, I know that we made the decision that God asked us to make.
When we're faced with making decisions about our kids and we don't know what to do, when we've shed all the tears there are to shed over a difficult child or a difficult situation and we have to choose, remember that we don't always have to be wise. Our wisdom isn't really worth squat. We simply have to rely on God's wisdom. His wisdom is perfect.
God knows and loves our kids more than we ever could. He wants what's best for them. And He has promised to give us wisdom when we ask for it. When the decisions are hard, when none of the options seem good, let go of the decision. Ask God to give you His wisdom.
And when the answer is hard, when the choice God wants you to make seems to go against the mainstream, remember that God doesn't always work in the ways we expect. Remember that His plan doesn't always look like we think it should. But His plan is always perfect. And you can trust Him -- even with the hard parenting decisions.