Wednesday, March 12, 2014

~When Parenting Gets Very, Very "Hard"~

"A Fall Hike Photo Op"

So often our parenting journey is a blend of the good, the awesome and the extremely challenging...

"You know the only people who are always 

sure about the proper way to raise children? 

Those who’ve never had any." --Bill 

Cosby, Fatherhood

I cannot recount to you the number of times I've experienced pure elation as a parent...the moments where I've felt the proverbial 'pat on the back' , all in an instant where my child has 'performed' well.

The moment where you sense that your 'blood, sweat & tears' have culminated together to bring about this particular success in parenting. Yes, I am truly an 'amazing' parent.

However, during other seasons of my life, those moments have felt far & few between. It's not that they weren't was that they felt outweighed by other more 'trying' experiences. 

The truth is this: more than likely, as a parent, you will go through seasons of difficulties. 
Trials...tribulations...and bumpy travels.

These challenges can originate from a variety of sources:

-perhaps a child is seriously ill 

-a child could be facing intense outside pressures that are, in turn, causing family tension

-sibling rivalry has invaded your home & you can't see an end in sight

-severe financial pressures are handicapping your parenting abilities

-a child is involved with seriously harmful behaviour (addictions, unhealthy relationships, etc.)

-your marriage is falling apart, & in response the kids are acting out

You fill in the blanks with whatever could be happening in YOUR family!

"Making the decision to have a child — it’s 

momentous. It is to decide forever to have your 

heart go walking around outside your body." 

--by Elizabeth Stone, appeared in Reader’s 


It doesn't matter WHAT the issue really is...the decision is now how YOU are going to deal with the fall-out...

How will you face this?? How will you find your way once again?

I've been some of the above mentioned situations.

I've experienced days where I seriously contemplated putting the kids up for adoption! hubby pointed out that not many families would take that big a sibling group :)

Okay, so to be honest, I knew that WASN'T the way out...AND it. never. really. is.

~Copping out is never the answer to ANY of 

life's problems~

In those difficult seasons, the answer lies in NOT giving up. It lies in getting back to this reality: our child is hurting in some way, shape or form AND we need to see things from their perspective to start the path of healing...

Can we take the time to try & see life through their eyes? Just for one moment...

I had to face the moment head on...sometimes you JUST need to 'stop the noise' & reflect.

For me that meant:

Crying out to the Lord for wisdom, direction & HELP! 
(see Proverbs 3: 5/6, James 1: 5)

Asking others to help me...

Looking for prayer, practical help, and encouragement...

Searching out quality 'outside' opinions to see what was really going on..

Sometimes life has a way of getting to you. Especially when we're talking about our call to parent, that oh so gut-wrenching, soul challenging, life-long 'calling'...

 A calling that can quickly break the confidence of the best of èm...

"We do not develop habits of genuine love automatically. We learn by watching effective role models - most specifically by observing how our parents express love for each other day in and day out. "
~Josh McDowell

I won't pretend to have all the 'right' answers for your particular situation. Pat answers that merely rub your face in a circumstance that feels like an epic parenting 'failure'. 

~However, I will share 5 questions to ask yourself in this season~

Five reflective questions to help get you through; here goes-->

~Are you taking care of yourself spiritually? 

In other words, if you are not being refueled than you will 'burn' out fairly quickly. In the season of parenting crisis, it is VITAL that you do not run on 'empty'. What worked for me? I made it my aim (not always successful, but aim) to spend my first few minutes in the Word, and prayer for the day. Especially about the situation. I also pray throughout the day, as needed :)

~Are you focusing on building supportive (and healthy) relationships? 

Friendships are included, but your marriage should be top priority. For single parents (been there, done that) --> find some surrounding emotionally healthy families that can bring in outside support & encouragement

~Are you having ANY time without the children? 

Sometimes it is a simple stroll down the road with the dog. Maybe you need a time to read for pleasure in the evening~ without interruption. A special bath time. For younger children, I'd encourage regular bedtime, so you have 'adult' conversation every evening. Even if only for a short duration...

~How about taking care of yourself physically? 

I find taking time to exercise, eat well & remember my vitamins helps me to cope better :)

~Who can you run these issues by?

 Do you need to talk to a trusted: friend, mentor, counselor, doctor, etc. ?? Often, running a problem by other trusted sources can bring in outside advice, that would be very HELPFUL in this season.

Whatever season you find yourself in, you need to remember that other Moms & Dads are going through the VERY same things you are RIGHT NOW!!!

...don't ever buy the lie that you are alone!. You need to focus on reaching out & finding some help. 

And don't EVER give up the fight. Your children need you to remain strong in this season.

“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you've done will have mattered as much.” 
― Lisa Wingate

~~~If you have some tips that have helped you through a difficult parenting season, please don't hesitate to leave them below in the comments box.~~~

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  1. Remember things will get better and try to find the joy in the moment your in. Children have an amazing way of seeing things.

    1. I think those are great thought to share...has gotten me through more difficult times than I care to remember :) Just keep on trucking forward. Thanks for sharing Anne, & believing that what you have shared will encourage someone reading today, Rach :)

  2. Such a good post! I find that when life gets so busy, that we tend to not get in The Word as much, then that causes our relationships to suffer - whether it be kids, spouses, friends, etc. But making the time seems to strengthen to relationship, then in turn makes life seem ok and we get thru whatever issues we are having.

  3. Awesome post and great tips; thank you for sharing these! As new parents, my husband and I are learning new lessons it seems every day from our son. Some are fun, some are frustrating... but, wow, has parenting been an adventure so far! I thank God for the opportunity to be a parent and raising our son is only possible with His guidance!

    God bless,
    Amy @

  4. Great collection of quotes. I enjoyed this post. Parenting is challenging and I think every one journey is different. It's hard but I just try to enjoy every moment. Visiting from #FriendshipFriday.

  5. Those are great questions to ask and reflect on! Thank you for sharing your insights.

    ...visiting from Missional Women.



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