I could see the defiance in his eyes. A total meltdown was coming.
We were half a mile from our house, which was the furthest my son had ever walked with his toy walker. He was delighted with every step, but when it was time to go home I saw fire in his eyes. He defiantly fought me every step until I had to pick him up kicking and streaming and carry him home. He even bit me out of anger on the way! Completely defeated, I finally arrived home, made sure he was safe and then closed myself in another room to cry. I felt so much anger and defeat over such an intense moment with my son.
Whether your child is 1 like mine or 16, defeating moments come all too often. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs ever. You sacrifice so much and see only glimpses of your investment. You wring yourself out for this little life and they are rarely grateful for what you do. In moments of discouragement, you need others to speak life and truth to you.
When I shared about my hard parenting moment online, so many amazing parents shared encouragement. It helped me so much that I wanted to share some of it with you for those hard days.
“A friend once shared her mother’s advice on raising children: “When you think you’re failing at parenting, then you’re doing a great job. It’s when you think you’ve got it all figured out that you should be worried.” – Stacey
“The shift in ideology from your kid is giving you a hard time to your kid is having time. It helps me anyway so I can have more compassion and understanding. I’m far form perfect at it, but it really does get me to think about the world through his perspective. It is so hard for the tiny humans to navigate this great big world. And you’re right, God gave him to you for a reason. But he also gave you to him.” – Sandra
“Kids are overwhelming no matter their age. There are no ‘correct’ answers, because each child is different and unique. I have found taking a step back with a few deep breaths before re-engaging helps sometimes. Staying patient with them is so difficult at times, especially when they throw fits, but your patience will win in the end. Hang in there. Give grace when you can. He is just frustrated by something and can’t find the way to express it correctly.” – Stacy
“It can be overwhelming and I feel defeated a lot. I just try to always remember, that they are just tiny humans trying to figure the world out. They don’t know yet how to process emotions and feelings like we as adults do. Instead of being quick to fuss at them, I simply talk to them. I simply say ‘hey, it seems you’re having a pretty rough day. You’re probably feeling __________ (fill in the blank), let’s talk about it’ and I ask why they think they are feeling that way, what happened, etc. They will usually calm down and open up. Then we can figure out a solution.” – Casey
“Hang in there mama! The time training and disciplining that you put in now will pay off! These stages are so difficult and if we’re honest we all feel completely overwhelmed with parenting at times (over and over again). Praying and trying different forms of discipline until you find what works best for your child are my best tips. Praying that this stage passes quickly!” – Amanda
“DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND YOURS and FORGET ABOUT ANYTHING ANYONE ELSE MIGHT SAY/THINK! I did so many things because I worried what others thought/said. Once I started doing what worked for us, life got so much easier. I see you momma. I’ve been in those hard places. Give yourself a mommy time out when you need it and accept the grace you deserve!” – Stephanie
“No easy answers. But a short bit of encouragement given to me as I dealt with toddler problems in an angelic faced, smiling, easily distracted daughter… Don’t hold on to discouraging MOMENTS, for in the grand scheme of their life, our kids are gonna turn out alright no matter what we do. God is in control.” -Shell
“I once heard a preacher say that God gives the strongest wills to the people who have the biggest calling on their lives because they’re gonna need it. If your son has a strong will, imagine what he’ll be able to do for the kingdom some day. I know that doesn’t make the moment easier but it does give your heart a little more strength to persevere.” – Stephanie
You are doing an amazing job. The fact that you even clicked on this shows your desire to be encouraged so you can be better for your child. There is no tired like a parental tiredness. Find things that fill your cup and conversations with people who lift you up. Remember that God sees and knows how you are struggling. Talk to Him and ask Him to show you some encouragement in your child. It may be a very small moment, but He will be faithful to do it.
From one hot mess momma to you… You are doing great!