Friday, October 15, 2010

Parenting

I am at a loss of words and really am in no mood to offer any advice except to say that parenting is HARD WORK.  There is the type of exhaustion that comes from two toddlers that are inquisitive and active and don't sleep very much.




There is the type of exhaustion that comes from teenagers making stupid decisions.  Decisions that affect themselves, and others.  Decisions that hurt themselves, and are hard to watch and worse to be involved in.


And then there is the type of exhaustion that comes from quite honestly not knowing if you can survive the trials of raising them to adulthood.  Maybe I wouldn't be so tired if I didn't love them so much but loving them any less is not an option. 


Parents of teens (or adults) I am looking for advice.   How did you stay sane through the crazy years?  Right now, sanity seems like a far off dream and a laughable goal.

12 comments:

Tudu said...

Teens are harder? I beg to differ. My toddlers will be the death of me. It's not an if, it's when. I'm positive they are plotting my demise now.

I'm sorry your teens are giving you a hard time. All I can say is, it passes.

Crys said...

I say (a lot): "It's them, not me. Separate people." Also, I believe that parenting is about catching kids. When they are doing dangerous things. After they have been hurt. When they do that unbelievable thing that makes everything burn with a fierce pride.

Also, you may need to redefine sanity. As long as I'm not licking strangers or nibbling at furniture, I feel I'm just fine, thanks.

*hugs* (a secret stash of chocolate/chips/bonbons helps--especially if that stash is in a hotel room where no one can find you)

Fatcat said...

Homeschool was the answer for us.

My name is Andy. said...

Hang in there!!

Veronica said...

I have found that the older the boys have been getting...the easier the parenting. I agree with Tudu....the toddlers were almost the death of me.

Advice....pray....and realize that they have their own free will that has nothing to do with you!

Just hope that the "training" in Jesus takes a foothold and that someday, just someday...they will say thank you!

And...as Crys said....a stack of chocolate!!!

Di said...

Oh, I hear you & you are not alone! This too shall pass (I tell myself that over and over, sometimes rocking back and forth!) ... this week's option.. School or a trip to children's ER (that would be the psych ward,not stiches giving ward - though it could easily have been!) One day at a time, some days it is minute by minute.
Pray, for them but pray for yourself and have LOTS of people praying for you too! But know you are NOT alone! Not even close.
Hugs

Sandi said...

I agree parenting is very hard. I find it much harder raising our 6yr old adopted daughter than my biological 14yr old son and 16yr old daughter at this point in my life. I think it's because I raised the teens from birth. I also believe that the 8-10 yr age difference between my children plays a role in my parenting stress. God gave us the gift of children, so I am praying he'll guide us through every tough decision, every struggle and help us believe that we are doing a good job as parents. So hang in there. You are a wonderful mom!

Anonymous said...

Sleep
Friends
Perspective - they will grow up and leave

lance said...

As James Dobson says " Just get 'em through it"...funny how toddlerhood & adolesence can have some of the same behaviours-one being that they don't want to listen to reason & have some hard lessons in the school of hard knocks...we have 3 hopefully through the worst of it...it'll come just hang in there.

Heidi, Mark and Jake said...

Jen- I absolutely remember feeling exactly as you state- and I only had one of each (toddler and teen).

I don't have any advice, because there is no "cure" or "fix" for what you're going through. It forced me to prayer and trusting God with my kids in a way I hadn't really been forced to do before. I had to keep reminding myself they were HIS kids, not MINE. I held onto "Train up a child...and when he is old (notice it doesn't say "when he is a teen") he will not depart from it." I still think of Jesus saying "bring the boy to me" when everyone else had despaired of being able to heal the little boy. I STILL have to do that with J and he's 21 now. Those were the things I tried to derive hope from-- and honestly doubted at times-- when I was in the place you're in. I doubted big time and I was scared.

FRIENDS- having someone safe to be able to cry and be scared or angry when you need. The worst part is the feeling of isolation, when no other moms around you confess to feeling the same way about their kids and parenting them. It boggled my mind how much I would get the "I don't feel that way at all..." or confused looks as if they had no clue what I was talking about because they had no trouble at all... like I must just be a really critical worrywart mom or I just looked on the negative side and their kids were just fabo! Truth is, I wasn't looking for the negative, but I was committed to seeing my child realistically without idealizing them or being cheerfully blind to their shortcomings or excusing bad behavior, and believed my primary job to be in shaping his character and building his faith-- so when I saw great failings in those areas, it hurt, it stung, it scared the daylights out of me. It was no longer "oh dang, they spilled something, I need sleep"...it was "How will this affect their future? How has this hurt others? How will this affect his brother? What does that say about what's in his heart and mind? Will he mature from this and truly change and see it differently than he does now? Am I being effective or getting through?"

The effort with little ones is mostly physical: sleeping, carrying, chasing, picking up after, cleaning, repeat. The effort with the big ones is completely different- it's psychological, emotional, spiritual...I found it to be deeper and more profoundly challenging than any amount of diapers ever was.

I have been there and you can email/call/message me any time you want. It's a hard thing to go through.

Heidi, Mark and Jake said...

Jen- I absolutely remember feeling exactly as you state- and I only had one of each (toddler and teen).

I don't have any advice, because there is no "cure" or "fix" for what you're going through. It forced me to prayer and trusting God with my kids in a way I hadn't really been forced to do before. I had to keep reminding myself they were HIS kids, not MINE. I held onto "Train up a child...and when he is old (notice it doesn't say "when he is a teen") he will not depart from it." I still think of Jesus saying "bring the boy to me" when everyone else had despaired of being able to heal the little boy. I STILL have to do that with J and he's 21 now. Those were the things I tried to derive hope from-- and honestly doubted at times-- when I was in the place you're in. I doubted big time and I was scared.

FRIENDS- having someone safe to be able to cry and be scared or angry when you need. The worst part is the feeling of isolation, when no other moms around you confess to feeling the same way about their kids and parenting them. It boggled my mind how much I would get the "I don't feel that way at all..." or confused looks as if they had no clue what I was talking about because they had no trouble at all... like I must just be a really critical worrywart mom or I just looked on the negative side and their kids were just fabo! Truth is, I wasn't looking for the negative, but I was committed to seeing my child realistically without idealizing them or being cheerfully blind to their shortcomings or excusing bad behavior, and believed my primary job to be in shaping his character and building his faith-- so when I saw great failings in those areas, it hurt, it stung, it scared the daylights out of me. It was no longer "oh dang, they spilled something, I need sleep"...it was "How will this affect their future? How has this hurt others? How will this affect his brother? What does that say about what's in his heart and mind? Will he mature from this and truly change and see it differently than he does now? Am I being effective or getting through?"

The effort with little ones is mostly physical: sleeping, carrying, chasing, picking up after, cleaning, repeat. The effort with the big ones is completely different- it's psychological, emotional, spiritual...I found it to be deeper and more profoundly challenging than any amount of diapers ever was.

I have been there and you can email/call/message me any time you want. It's a hard thing to go through.

MariaG said...

Jen ... someone mentioned this site on their blog and when looking at the pictures, guess whose family came to mind? YOURS, of course ... LOL. I think you'll get a laugh and no doubt have pics to post if you so desire!
MariaG (TDKOL)
http://www.sh*tmykidsruined.com/