“Hard Days of Parenting”
By Lindsay Bell
The hard days of parenting are going to come. If you don’t believe me, live for a week at my home. Before my kids were born, I thought parenting would be all fun and games, all smiles and very few meltdowns. That, of course, isn’t reality. Yesterday was a hard day for me. My oldest is in school now, so it was just my youngest and me.
The difficulties began when I wouldn’t allow him to have any candy from the candy bowl at the front desk of our local Y. That led to him throwing himself on the floor (in front of everyone, I might add) and refusing to walk to the car.
At this moment, I did what any self-respecting mom would do…
I picked him up and lugged him, along with my over-packed gym bag, to the car. By the time I finally wrestled him into his car seat, my previously clean body needed another shower. I didn’t get one, though, because I’ve learned the hard way it’s not a good idea to leave an ornery three-year-old unsupervised in our home.
The hard days of parenting are going to come…but the question is, how will we handle them?
Will we have a meltdown of our own, right beside our fit-throwing child…or will we regain composure and figure out a way to make a bad day better? In order to do the latter, I’ve found it’s important to remind myself of a few things.
3 Things to Remember on the Hard Days:
1. This too shall pass. In the midst of a rough day, it sometimes feels like the seconds drag by. The truth is, though, when we look back on our lives twenty years from now, we’ll all probably admit the time passed quickly.
2. Someone else would give anything to be in your shoes. There are women praying for the very things we’re complaining about. They would give anything to have a child keep them up all night long with colic. They would love nothing more than to lug a screaming child away from the gym. At least then, it would mean they have a child. Whether they have infertility, have lost a child, or have had a failed adoption or miscarriage, these women long for our daily stressors. Perspective can make all the difference on a hard day.
3. Gratitude goes a long way. At the beginning of the year, I took Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gift Challenge. Each day, I try and list at least three things for which I’m thankful. At the end of the year, I should have a list of 1000 gifts. One thing I’ve noticed since I began doing this is that an attitude of gratitude can drastically transform a rough day. My kids might still be throwing fits or choosing to disobey, but I’m more calm and joyful through it because I’m able to see the blessings through the hard.
Let’s Talk: What other reminders help you survive the hard days of parenting?
About Lindsey Bell: Lindsey Bell is the author of Searching for Sanity, a devotional for busy moms. She’s also a blogger at www.lindsey-bell.com, a speaker for women’s events, and a stay-at-home mother to two car-loving boys.