Raising People Is Hard Work

I used to think that babies were hard. My first two kids came along 16 months apart from each other, and I lived in a mild state of panic and reaction for a good two years that completely exhausted me. I loved every precious minute of it, but I was flat out tired.

My husband and I talked about wanting six children. Then we had two. Enough said.

Eight years after my second child was born, we had a…. surprise. I found out I was pregnant, and (I’m going to be honest here, no judgment) was depressed about it for the entire first trimester. In between nausea and bloating, I would dwell on the fact that I was going to have to go back to that hard place. The place where I had to do every little thing for someone else. A helpless individual was going to need me, and I was just too dang old for it.

I’m totally aware of the selfishness of this last paragraph. You don’t have to tell me.

Then Walt came into the world. He was every stereotype a toddler can be with his love of drawing on the walls, putting things (toys, pencils, iphones) in my coffee cup, and pulling the books off of shelves. But he wasn’t hard. I see it now; babies aren’t hard. They are exhausting.

Raising people is hard.

Hard is when you realize that your sarcastic humor has rubbed off on them and is getting them in trouble.

Hard is when your daughter starts feeling real feelings and getting hurt, and you can’t make it better with princess movies or cookie baking.

Hard is when your son asks why people get cancer or what abortion is.

Hard is beginning to realize they aren’t just an extension of you, they are totally other than you. They are a person all on their own and are going to grow up and leave and go out into the world and what you did at home with them can either set them up for success or failure.

Raising people is hard. I’m not sure why this surprised me.

I told a friend today that I realized I wasn’t good at parenting, and I wanted to quit. She wisely pointed out that it didn’t work that way, and then we had a nice long discussion about our kids being in therapy one day and what we thought their main issue would be.

I could list one thousand reasons for which I am thankful for a loving God who gives me grace to walk daily by His side, and one of the very top reasons would be parenting. This one role in life is both beautiful and excruciatingly hard. It’s not an overstatement to say that I could not do it without Him.

Remembering that these beautiful children are His and not mine releases so much pressure. He believed in my husband and myself enough to let these three people spend their first 18-ish years under our roof learning how to be in the world. I’m so thankful that as long as we are walking faithfully along side of our Savior, he will equip us for what he has called us to.

If you're having a hard time right now with this parenting thing please know you aren't alone. With the added stressors that the pandemic has brought along you deserve a trophy just for surviving it all.

Hard. Exhausting. Beautiful. No matter what, He who called us to this parenting task is faithful.

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