Parenthood isn’t pretty. So now what?

But we think it should be. Don’t we?

I wrote a few weeks ago, “It is infuriating to go through each day and feel as though you are not winning in any area. In motherhood, in fitness, in finances, in healthy eating, in laundry, in cleaning, in schooling… I often wonder if I can ever win. And I often wonder if I am meant to.” (Attempted Slaughter of the Down Hoodie)

We see the ugly. The poop smeared on walls, the sibling bullying, the tantrums, the defiance. We see our own ugliness. Impatience. Anger. Comparison. Lack of humor. Lack of imagination.

I’ve spent much of the last two weeks thinking on all this. Ruminating. Marinating even. And I am honestly sure I would not, no could not, love my kids without Jesus. Nearly every day I reach the end myself and He is there to offer himself. His strength and His hope.

Maybe this doesn’t resonate with you. That’s ok. I write it mainly for myself. I have to remember a few things. Like:

When I don’t know what to do, do the next right thing.

When my blood starts to boil, keep my mouth shut.

Parenting is hard. Harder than climbing fourteeners, running or climbing. But in the end it is that much more valuable.

I am not wasting my time or my energy. My kids are real people with real dreams and real eternal futures. And I am setting their course.

No kid ever benefited from mom and dad “looking the other way.” Discipline is often necessary in shaping their character.

Equally necessary is my love. Not just love. Everyone loves their kids. But they need my enjoyment of who they are.

A little time really listening to them goes a long way.

When I notice myself off in the wrong direction, don’t despair. Pray. Change direction. Get up and get back on track.

That unruly toddler will one day shock you to tears with their kindness.


6 comments on “Parenthood isn’t pretty. So now what?
  1. I really have to rem member to keep my mouth shut when my blood boils. I especially struggle with this when trying to deal with my boyfriends 11 year old daughter. I’ve come to realize that she is trying to set me off. She does as many things as possible wrong, even though she has been told a million times not to do them. I yell at her and the next day we battle over the same things. I need to take a time out get myself under control and decide if its worth talking about or if its small enough to ignore. I need to take back control of my temper and my control as a parent, and pray for patience with my kids. Anyone who says parenting is easy doesn’t really care about how their kid turns out. It is such a struggle sometimes but when you see the changes that come because you are trying to teach your children to become wonderful people and responsible people, every struggle is worth it!

  2. Absolutely. I better be praying all day long or it ain’t gonna be pretty! πŸ˜‰ Sigh…. The #1 reason I am outside more often than not – our moods are ALL so much better! πŸ™‚

  3. Aw, that part about the ‘unruly toddler’ brought tears to my eyes this afternoon. sigh. When you’re in the middle of it, yes, it is so hard to see beyond that. God does help us bring perspective into our lives.

    And you’re totally right, parenting is so much harder than climbing 14ers (or climbing offwidths!) My husband’s boss is very “anti-children”. We brought our kiddo in to visit with his coworkers one day and his boss said “Keep him away from me! That terrifies me! I jump out of airplanes but I’m scared of babies!” And I said “You should be. Being a parent is way more terrifying than sky diving.”

    • Kate, unruly toddlers have been shaking up my life too. And parenting is hard. Even harder cause there is little glory, few bragging rights, and most people seem to think we soy around twiddling our thumbs. πŸ™‚

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