So, I’m interrupting my own Disney recaps to report this shocking news…
Parenting is hard.
Yes, you heard it here first. Actually, you’ve probably heard it more than a few times. And honestly? You’ve probably heard it HERE more than a few times as well.
We’ve recently entered into a frustrating season with Emma. Yes, carefree, easygoing, never a trouble in the world Emma. You would think that having a child with her disposition would be “easy peasy lemon squeezy” like she always likes to say, but when you can’t get her to listen or take anything seriously, it’s so easy to get frustrated and upset. And then, it’s easy to get even MORE frustrated and upset when you see that your own emotional meltdown has no effect at all on her, as she continues skipping around obliviously, like a little chimpanzee set loose in the jungle. AAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!
I spend a good portion of my time worrying that I’m doing wrong by Emma. Was I too easy on her when she was younger? Was I too hard on her when she was younger? Did I not spend enough time with her? Did I spend too much time with her? Am I expecting her to be older than she is? Am I treating her like a baby? Is she like she is because that’s just Emma, or is her behavior an indication of some misstep on my part?
Beyond all this, I have the nagging sense that I’m all alone with these fears. Because when my little chimp is skipping through the halls at church, singing at the top of her lungs, and everyone acts like it’s just the cutest thing ever and I’m pulling out large clumps of my hair as I chase her down, I begin to think that no one struggles with this. And I’m tempted to pretend that I know what I’m doing, when what I really want to do is fall at the feet of more experienced parents, particularly those who have raised their own children into adulthood, and screech, “HELP! HELP! HELP!!!”
I yearn for more transparency, for more authenticity, and for more “realness” in parenting across the generations. I never see it, or in some instances the LACK of it, more clearly than in church where we’re blessed to have multiple generations together yet we’re so scared to be real about what life outside the church walls is honestly like. And we all pretend like we have it together, and we pretend like everyone around us has it all together when, honestly? I DON’T HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER, Y’ALL. And on nights like the one I had last night, I just want to crawl into a corner and cry because being someone’s mother is hard. I have no clue what I’m doing. What I wouldn’t give some days for someone to say, “I’ve been there. It IS hard. And I still don’t have it all figured out either.”
God is good. And I pray His grace and His redemption over my failures as a parent and pray for His goodness and His grace to do far more for Emma than I could. As I do this, I’m praying for authentic mentors and encouragers who can spur those of us still in the trenches of parenthood on towards greater victories. And I pray that I would learn the lessons myself so that one day? I can do the same.