Okay, full disclosure here. I struggled with the title of this article. Our children, young or older, are gifts from God. They are precious and called with a purpose. God has a plan for them, filled with purpose and hope. And we love them with every fiber of our being, so let’s just get all that out of the way first.
Admitting that our children can be difficult does not mean they aren’t gifted by God or that we don’t love them immensely, it simply means that parenting them is, well, difficult! That said, I wanted struggling mommas to be able to find the words on this page, as they sojourn through what may be some of the hardest days of their lives. I wanted them to know they came to the right place – that this sisterhood of mothers is locking arms with them in spirit and that we are all in this thing together. The parenting journey isn’t for the faint of heart, so let’s dive in, shall we?
I think some famous author has called parenting difficult children “raising strong-willed children.” Perhaps that is a better term, but today, we are going to call them difficult. Let’s face it. Kids don’t come with instruction manuals. Yes, we have the Word of God (and boy, has it been a lifesaver in my life as I’ve parented). Yes, we can read parenting books and thank God for the wisdom offered by those who have gone before us. Yes, we can watch YouTube videos and download podcasts. But our children – the very ones that God gifted us with – don’t have an instruction manual of do’s and don’ts that are specific to them, and some of us have had quite a time of it, haven’t we?!
Two of my three children are now grown and have left the nest some years ago with the third not far behind. There have been easy seasons of my parenting years, when things seemed to come together and fall in place seamlessly, and then… there have been the hard seasons, when nothing seemed to come together and I felt like I was running on quicksand, barely able to come up for air. Here is what I learned along the journey:
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