Enhanced – read by the author
Growing Relationships
Through Parenting & Education
Embracing the Roller Coaster

by Connie Albers

Ah the beautiful journey of parenthood! It’s like riding a roller coaster filled with highs, lows, twists, and turns. And let’s be honest—the weight of expectations in this adventure can sometimes discourage us. From maintaining a picture-perfect home to preparing nutritious meals and making sure our little ones feel the love, the demands can be overwhelming. Ever stop to wonder where these expectations come from? Social media, home decor trends, well-meaning advice—they all play a part, creating a constant comparison game that can leave us feeling not quite up for the job. Enter the notorious “mom guilt.”

But here’s the heart of the matter: you’re not alone in these feelings. Whether we say it out loud or not, every parent grapples with their own insecurities, no matter the age or stage of life. Even as my own kiddos have grown, I’ve found myself needing to align my expectations with what I believe God has laid out for us.

So, what’s the secret sauce for parental expectations? It’s about syncing up with God’s unique plan. Parenting isn’t a group project; it’s about understanding that God has a one-of-a-kind plan crafted just for your family.

This journey we’re on? It’s filled with joy, challenge, triumphs, and setbacks. We’re constantly navigating uncharted waters, all in the name of providing the best for our children. But the real game-changer? Setting the right expectations based on what God asks of us as parents. Our responsibility is to faithfully answer His call and parent our children accordingly, without obsessing over the end results.

We often feel the pressure to be the perfect parent with perfect kids—I’ve been there, too. It sneaks up on you, especially when the older ones hit the tween phase. Personally, I found myself carrying the weight of their behavior, which, truth be told, wasn’t mine to carry.

But shifting our focus from results to faithfulness is a game-changer. While it’s natural to want success for our children, it’s crucial to switch our gaze from tangible outcomes to unwavering faithfulness. God’s got the master plan for our kiddos, and our role is to faithfully fulfill our calling. Forget fixating on grades or achievements; let’s prioritize character. Cultivating virtues like love, kindness, and integrity equips them with the tools to navigate life’s roller coaster.

“Our responsibility is to faithfully answer His call and parent our children accordingly, without obsessing over the end results.”
Failure is part and parcel of life, and our children aren’t exempt. When they stumble, instead of being the judge and jury, let’s be a safe space for them to express their feelings and learn from their mistakes. Failures aren’t roadblocks; they’re opportunities. We get to teach our kids this simple truth.

So how do we accomplish this? It starts and ends with prayer and Scripture memory. This journey is deeply personal, enriched by understanding God’s purpose for us as parents. By infusing our kiddos’ lives with godly values and leading by example, we’re laying a foundation that stays with them, even when they’re no longer under our roof. And trust me, they don’t forget what you’ve taught them.

family taking selfie going up a roller coaster
And here’s the plot twist—their paths might not align with our dreams. Whether it’s career choices, relationships, or belief systems, they might take a different road. When that happens, approach it with love and respect. Their journey is unique, and our role is to embrace them and show unconditional love. Results? Leave that to God.

The toughest part? Trusting and letting go. As they mature, they’ll make choices that might not align with our expectations. It’s time to surrender control and trust in God’s plan, which is why I said everything begins and ends with prayer. And when your children are struggling? Hold on to hope. God is still at work, and your unconditional love is a powerful force. Don’t underestimate God’s ability to work in any situation.

So, here’s to the sacred responsibility of parenthood—a journey filled with understanding our calling, shifting our focus, embracing failure, and navigating challenges with grace and faith. On this roller-coaster ride, let’s guide our children toward a life that’s fulfilling and purposeful. Hold on to the adventure of a lifetime!
headshot of Connie Albers

onnie Albers is a mother of five and veteran homeschool mom who has used her public relations background to help shape the homeschooling movement for twenty-seven years. She has spent much of her adult life as a homeschool mom and mompreneur with an outreach and ministry to parents through her speaking, writing, and various leadership roles. More recently Connie’s newest book, Parenting Beyond the Rules by NavPress, outlines positive approaches to parenting today’s teenagers. Her enthusiasm for helping others navigate social media led to her taking a post at Social Media Marketing World. Connie’s mission is to equip moms to live their lives with confidence and joy.

Connie and her husband, Tom, have been married thirty-five years and have homeschooled their five children, all of whom continued their studies and graduated from the University of Central Florida, from the beginning.