When Parenting Just Stinks

stinks Sometimes, being the parent just stinks. Watching your kids walk through difficult circumstances, watching their hearts break, watching their dreams shatter -- none of that is fun.

My mom once told me that something I was going through hurt her more than it hurt me. I didn't believe her then. But after doing this parenting thing for almost 14 years, I do believe that when our kids hurt, our momma hearts break as well. When we watch our kids work hard and chase their goals only to fall short, I think we may shed as many tears as they do. We may do it behind closed doors where they can't see, but our hearts are breaking, too.

But then we wipe those tears away, open that closed door and pick up the pieces of our shattered kids. We remind them it's not the end of the world. We let them mourn what they lost. Then we point them in the direction of the future.

But it is so hard, and it is so not fun. These are the parenting moments I hate the most -- the ones where I have to find the silver lining when for the most part all I see is the clouds, too. But we do it -- because we're the moms, and that's what our kids need.

I know that many of life's most valuable lessons are learned in the hard stuff, but sometimes I wish I didn't have to convince both my kids and myself that the hard times are what make us stronger, teach us the most and force us to rely most heavily on God. I wish these teachable moments weren't so very hard.

I want so much to protect my kids from hurt and disappointment, but that isn't how the world works. Tough stuff happens. Things out of our kids' control cause problems that they can't fix. They make mistakes that have consequences.

And they learn. Oh, how they learn. They learn the world isn't fair. They learn that despite working hard you don't always achieve your goals. They learn that sometimes you fall down and the climb out of the pit you fell into is higher and steeper and harder than you ever thought it would be. They learn that there are people in this world who may never be able to appreciate them for who they are and that they may never get along with.

While I know my kids need to learn these lessons, the learning process is, oh, so hard. So excuse me while I shut my door, shed a few tears and have a long talk with God. Because on this long road of parenting when my momma heart breaks, there's only one place to go to have that broken heart healed. The only way to get through these tough moments is to trust that God has it all under control. He loves my kids more than I ever could, and He knows exactly what they need. He even has enough strength and wisdom to get me through the tough mom moments.

It doesn't change the fact that sometimes this parenting thing just stinks, but it does help to know that we're not alone on the journey.