Monday, April 9, 2012

Weariness and Parenting

A while back my friend, Carolyn, said something that has been rolling around in my head.

It was something to the effect that "this parenting business makes you weary."

Isn't that true?   How often do you find yourself feeling like you are running a marathon (which you knew it would be) but sprinting the entire distance?  Not necessarily because of crazy schedules or lack of structure but simply because parenting is a commitment that is all about the long haul.  It's about constant devotion and attention.

I don't mean that you are constantly paying attention to your child, entertaining him or playing with him.  I just mean that parenting requires diligence be it diligence in prayer, diligence in relationship, or diligence in discipline.  And that diligence can be exhausting.

It is so tempting to feel like once your child has reached a certain age, then the challenges will be over.  To think "I'm so glad we are done potty training because that has just been so hard."  Or to think "I'm so glad my kids are old enough to play by themselves for long stretches of time so I can actually get something accomplished."

But the reality is when our kids cross those thresholds, they just enter into another season of challenges.  As I squash down one challenge under my thumb, another jumps up to take it's place.  Or the very challenge I thought vanquished squirts out from underneath me and pops back up again...a bit like a crazy game of Whack a Mole.  A bit tiresome.  A bit of weariness.

Right now, that weariness has crept into our lives.  D and I have been left scratching our heads more than once, wondering what on earth we were going to do to get things back on track because apparently, our children have ridden their behaviors right off into the ditch.  So, it's press on, press in, press together time at our house, plowing through the weariness that parenting can bring.


Amber said...

You're right on with this post. I often feel the same way and have to remind myself to try and live more in the moment rather than just trying to "get through" something. It helps me to remember another time that I thought things were so hard and I usally find that I don't remember the worst of it.
Keep on keepin' on!

Kathy C. said...

With bio kids or any well attached kids, the challenges change. During the preschool years everything seemed so intense and earth shattering but now that I have three adult children, a teen (with porn addictions) and Jasmine with the challenges of getting ready for middle school, the problems are way more earth shattering but you can talk them through with the children and let them work toward the solutions.

With adopted children, sometimes it's the same old problems over and over again until you think you'll grow crazy. And it seems they only intensify as they get older rather than moving into a new stage and new issues. When my two problems boys were growing up the stealing and lying went on and on and some days I did not even want to get up and parent.

I know that wasn't what you wanted to hear but if this is true for you, the best thing to do is work together as a team, get some support from others, take time just to be you not only the parent of children with issues. It's easy to lose yourself in the muddle.