I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in that “tired of parenting” space. Homework that even I don’t understand, or an attitude that makes me want to do something that I would most definitely regret, or undone chores, or a bedroom that needs to be condemned can drive any parent to a place of crazy. Overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, embarrassed, and a host of other emotions can make us want to quit parenting at times as we feel we will break under the pressure.
So what do we do when we get to the point of wanting to quit? How do we keep up the endurance and pace when we’d rather just leave our kids to their own devices? After all, they won’t listen to us anyway.
There have been times when my teen has been having a meltdown that I just want to fold them into my arms and let them know that everything will be alright. But at other times, when the attitude and mouthiness seem to spoil the entire family environment, the only thing we can do is take a deep breath and get perspective.
It’s times like this that have trained me to become aware of how quickly my emotions can be triggered by something my teen says or does or doesn’t do. When that happens, and I want to walk away from it all and never look back, I know that it’s time for a break–a me and God break.
So here are some questions I begin to ask myself in these moments. Questions that will turn my heart in the right directions.
- Why do I endure what my kids dish out?
- What do I want them to say about our family when they grow up and move out?
- If their attitude and behaviors are not pleasing, what do I need to be teaching them?
- Am I modeling a pleasing attitude and behaviors?
- What do I need to do for me to be persistent in building the relationship with my teen?
- How should I be handling my interactions with my teen?
- What is God asking me to do?
Our why is the thing that will keep us in the game. Having a goal–not for them to move out–but a goal that says, “I parented well”, is what will motivate us when things get tough. Knowing what we want our relationship to be at the end of their time under our roof will give us the energy and strength to endure the difficult seasons that are part of parenting.
I want to encourage you as I know some of you are dealing with much bigger issues than attitude or dirty clothes left on the floor. If your teens are dealing with peer issues, alcohol, sex, or drugs, they still need mom and dad in the game. It isn’t too late to lay the burdens at the feet of Jesus. Stay strong. And reach out for help. Sometimes the issues are so much bigger than we can handle on our own.
Know that I’m here to talk if you are a parent who is struggling. I’ve been there. When things keep piling up and there seems to be no end in sight to the heartache, sometimes reaching out to someone who’s been on the path can give you comfort and help you get back to your why.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Praying God’s best when you want to quit.
“Let go…and Let God”,