This Isn't Babysitting

By Rhonda Ihrig

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Recently my husband and I went on an 1800 mile motorcycle trip up the California & Oregon coast to Bend, Oregon and back to the Bay Area. The scenery was beautiful and we were able to share it with good friends. The last leg of the journey was about 10 1/2 hours (but only 8 1/2 on the bike). At this one stop we made to get gas and a snack, we entered the store, picked out our snacks and proceeded to the cashier who was engaged in a conversation with a co-worker about children. They were talking about how many she had and all the work it was. And then she said something that made me perk up to listen a little more. She said that sometime back she was talking with someone about her kids, and how much work it was and how tired she was at the end of the day. This person responded to her and said, "Yeah, it's like babysitting!" The women shot back and said, "It's called parenting, not babysitting!"

The truth is, children can be exhausting. Some need more attention, some are mischievous and some are very active. They all come wired differently. As they grow their needs change. It's an ongoing journey that will have a lot of bumps and potholes along the way. When we begin this journey called motherhood, it is definitely parenting, not babysitting!

Babysitting means you come in once and a while to watch someone else's children for a few hours. You feed, entertain and put them to bed. Parenting is a full-time job and with many aspects that no one tells you about. (They do that on purpose to suck you in! Lol.)

What they don't say is…

  • You will never get a good night’s sleep till they are about 40.
  • How demanding they are.
  • That it's all about them.
  • How you won't get to wear nice clothes until they stop spitting up formula or pooping in your lap through the diaper.

Just as we are parents to our children, God is parenting us. He doesn't come for a few hours and watch us, play with us, feed us and leave. The Lord "parents" us. Hebrews 13:5 ...I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." This is God's promise to us as our spiritual Father. He has an overwhelming task because we don't listen too well sometimes. We can become cranky and demanding. But ultimately He loves us, is patient with us, and "parents" us just as we should be with our children.

Remember it's not babysitting, it's parenting.