“Never delegate to someone else the job that belongs to you.”
I once heard these wise words at a conference, and they have impacted me ever since. Initially, this applied to my teaching career. But it has also impacted my work as a parent.
During my years as a teacher, I learned there were many ways to raise children. I knew parents who were on every detail. They checked backpacks, made nutritious lunches, sent frequent notes and questions and studied with their child before every single test.
I also knew parents who were stressed and busy. They worked long hours, adored their children, wished for more time and supported the work we were doing with late night reviews and conversations in the car.
And, sadly, I knew parents who believed that every part of schooling, every bit of extra studying, every single thing that had anything to do with their child academically, was wholly and entirely my job as their child’s teacher.
As a momma, I am reminded nearly every day that children need parents who will support their academic lives by working alongside the teachers, the schools, on a daily basis. The job of raising our children is not to be delegated to anyone else. Not to school. Not to church. Not to any organization or individual. You are the expert on your children. They need you today and tomorrow, on hard days and on great days, in struggle and in success.
And sometimes, this can be overwhelming. Sometimes, we do not know the way. So, we build a team of people who can come alongside and speak life and truth into the lives of our kids.
We connect to teachers in a positive way, trusting them to do good work and supporting the lessons they teach. We get to know youth workers and Sunday School teachers, and make ourselves aware of the content they are covering so we can talk about it at home. And when times are tough and we need more help, we do the same with doctors, therapists and educational experts.
We build a beautiful team. And we help them while they help us, all the while understanding that the job of raising these children is not to be given away. It is not the teacher’s job alone to teach your child to read or to add or to interact with other children. Yes, it happens at school, but it also happens at home.
Tonight, I will tuck four children into bed and pray over them as they fall asleep. Tonight, I will think about their needs and I will remind myself again that this job, however hard it may be, belongs to my husband and to me. And we will take that seriously as we study for tests, talk about sermons, and storm the gates of Heaven for them every day. We will continue to build our team and we will appreciate and honor their contribution toward the growth of our sweet kids. We will thank them often and stay in contact and communicate clearly.
Because that is what it takes to do the job we love.