It’s so easy to say everything we are not going to do as parents.

Insert the variable: the children.

“I will never give my child a device to play on just so I can get a few things done or to take a shower in peace.”

“My daughter will never have a temper tantrum like that.”

“I will never let my son be that loud.”

We’ve all heard it. Done it. Said it.

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Now, I probably pee my pants laughing a little at those comments as a mom of two toddlers and a new baby due in just four months.

Our house is loud. There is no easing into the day. My son wakes up going a mile a minute.

Our children have emotions. They feel things in big ways. They don’t always know how to process it. Just like us.

It’s so difficult to have a phone conversation of any kind while my toddlers are running around.

We discipline, but discipline is a process.

We love hard. My children are sweet and constantly hugging and kissing one another. But they also fight over toys and get jealous of one another.

My children still don’t sleep well. And never have. We have come to peace with that reality. We take coffee seriously for a reason.

We make mistakes. We are not perfect parents and will never claim to be. I waved that white flag after I became a mom of two (which was way too late to wave the flag).

Our children have big personalities, and we are perfectly OK with that. I know God can use those big personalities for good.

Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all. Children are different. Personalities vary. It’s more about adapting to your circus and making it work.

Our world needs a little less comparison and a lot more compassion and encouragement.

To the mama who is feeling defeated because her children do not always appear “perfect,” I’m right there with you.

I think we need a little more real as we continue our parenting journeys.

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Our children are not broken.

We are doing the best we can.

Let’s raise includers.

Let’s raise compassionate children.

Let’s raise children who are allowed to feel and be real rather than bottle up their emotions and put on a facade.

Let’s raise children whose parents never gave up on them.

Let’s raise children who know their parents loved them with every fiber of their being.

Love those big personalities your children have. I know they can make the world a better place.

They sure have changed my world and made it a better place.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Lizzy Christian

Lizzy Christian is a toddler-chasing, coffee-sipping, firefighter wife, and vacuuming enthusiast who has a passion for writing. She is the founder of the Fire Wife Chronicles, which is geared on topics of motherhood, marriage, faith, & first responder family life. Lizzy received her undergrad in Crisis Counseling from Liberty University and her Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling – Crisis Response and Trauma from Liberty University’s Graduate School. She is a two-time NYC Marathon finisher and avid runner, and former School Counselor and Athletic Director. Lizzy married her high school sweetheart and together they have two sons and a daughter. Visit www.lizzychristian.com for additional resources and upcoming projects.