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.