Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pass the Oxygen: Parenting in the Trenches

I love my children.  Dearly.  But sometimes parenting is so hard.

It started when I woke her up from her nap.  She hit me.  That's a first for this house.

Now, before you get all Judgy-Judgerson on my parenting, know that I am trying.  I've read the books.  My husband and I have taken classes.  We've prayed with and over our children.

After our usual discipline techniques I thought she had calmed down.  Then the whining.  Which became crying.  That escalated to yelling.  Which gave rise to an all out kicking, throwing, hitting, screaming banshee fit.

By now I am at a loss.  I've tried every reward, discipline, and punishment I can think of.  If you are feeling holier-than-thou about your parenting right now, you do not have a strong willed child.  Bless you, and please keep your comments to yourself.

Just when I thought all hope was lost, I threw up a Hail Mary pass.  (Forgive the football analogy, but tonight is the NFL draft.)  The one thing I could think of to end the madness: I sent her straight to bed without supper.

Never done this before.  Hated doing it.  Don't think I'll ever do it again.  If you are wanting to berate my parenting skills, you'll have to line up behind yours truly and shovel through piles of self-loathing to reach me.

So, here I am.  Also not eating supper.  Googling "encouraging verses for parents."  I read through them praying for some new insight.  Some glimmer of hope for my weary bones.

The commentary at the bottom of Proverbs 29:17 caught my eye.  It said that in Hebrew, the "peace" spoken of in the above verse is "rest properly, a breathing again."
And it hits me.  That's why this thing called parenting is so hard.  There is no rest.  There is no breathing.  It is split-second decisions.  It is one human attempting to show grace to another human. 

And it is hard.  Harder than I thought it would be.

But it is also much more wonderful than I ever imagined.  Even after moments like tonight, I wouldn't trade it.
Tonight, this notion of peace is keeping me sane.  Knowing that persistent and consistent discipline will birth proper rest.  A breathing again.  Delight to my soul.

Till then, could someone please pass the oxygen?


  1. I have been there often with my youngest. It isn't easy or fun, but in the long run it does pay off. Hang in there. I will be praying you have a blessed and peaceful Friday.

  2. Well done! And thanks for sharing encouragement from God's Word! This job of parenting is extremely hard. I love the Hebrew definition of peace. God will continue to give us rest and renewal. :-)