Parenting Is Hard …
and some days I just want to give up

It’s been a rough few weeks around here. I’m not saying having a teenager is the hardest thing in the world because obviously there are people who deal with far greater challenges. But, I am going to say it’s just really hard. And honestly, some days I just want to give up.

I feel so inadequate for this task. There are so many things I’m not … patient and gentle being at the top of the list lately. I have felt like we are in constant battle and I am so tired. As my friend Stacey would say, “I’m fresh out of amazing.”

if we're honest, some days parenting gets the best of all of us. what do you do when you really want to give up?

Yesterday I was chatting with friend whose daughter is about eight years older than mine. My friend laughed as I shared how tired I am of eye rolls and having to say things like, “It’s not what you said, it’s HOW you said it.” We talked about the difficulty of the mother-daughter relationship and how we’d both really expected we would do it better than we have.

Oh y’all. I thought I’d have this parenting a girl thing nailed. After all, I’ve mentored and loved countless girls in their teens and early twenties over the years. I love this age! Teenagers are awesome.

Until they aren’t.

For years, the teenagers I’ve known have always gone back to their homes after I’d poured into them and laughed with them and offered them words of challenge in their faith. I never saw what happened next. I taught lessons on responding to authority and leaning into Jesus and sent them home. And what they did what those lessons didn’t really affect me, at least not directly.

Until it did.

Because now one of those teenagers doesn’t leave to go home — she stays.

Don’t get me wrong, my girl isn’t doing anything hugely awful. She’s a pretty average teenager with pretty normal issues. You know, things like testing boundaries, struggling with insecurities, and navigating relationships.

Sometimes, she doesn’t handle any of that well. {sometimes her mom doesn’t either}

And we battle … with words, with actions, with attitudes.

This morning I read a familiar passage — Ephesians 6. It starts like this,

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. {verse 1}

Can I get an amen?? And then Paul continues,

“Honor your father and your mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” {verses 2-3}

Did you get that — honor your parents that it may go well and you may live long. {WHY don’t our children get this? It goes better when they obey!!!!}  But Paul, who didn’t have kids, starts getting all in my business with the next verse —

Fathers {mothers!}, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. {verse 4}

What? Now Paul, seriously, you could have stopped at verse 3.  Really. Leave the responsibility on the kids!! I mean, they get a promise with the command.  But no, the divinely inspired apostle kept writing. And he is all up in my business.

Do not provoke your child to anger.

So, I’m guessing as she’s already stressed because her hair isn’t doing what she wants is not the best time for me to mention she didn’t clean her room like she  was supposed to? Oops.

Bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Hmmm … how does the Lord discipline me? Oh yeah, with patience and kindness. So that probably means I shouldn’t be screaming like a banshee over, well, anything??

And there I sat, Bible open and journal full of confession — because yes, she needs to obey. And yes, I need to discipline and instruct her. And yes, parenting is hard. But hard doesn’t have to mean anger and tears and slammed doors and exasperated huffing.

I’m still tired. And I’m pretty sure there will be more days when I want to give up. Because loving others is hard. And just like our husbands don’t have perfect wives, our children don’t have perfect moms.

how do you deal with the hard days of parenting?

Today I’ll put one foot in front of the other. I’ll read over those verses again before I pick her up from school. And I’ll watch her cheer tonight and find myself amazed again that God has given me the honor of raising this girl.


How do you keep going when you really want to give up?

{come back tomorrow and I’ll share more about what the Lord showed me in Ephesians 6!}

image of mother and daughter via

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. Oh, Teri Lynne, I am sooooo right there with you. Thank you for sharing. I needed the reminder I’m not the only one. Bless you.

  2. When I want to give up? God’s grace helps me carry on and helps me love “because loving others is hard” just like you said. I totally get what you’re saying – I have teens too. I think it’s about refining us to be more like Christ too…Being a mom is the hardest most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my life 🙂

  3. So, I’m not the only Mom who’s screaming like a banshee, slamming doors and exasperated by her teen? ! Or were those behavior references about your teen, because in my house it’s both and can make me feel like a complete lunatic, and failure, as a Mom. You are correct; this job is so hard. Thank you for these words. It was just what I needed to hear today and will refer back to it daily for inspiration.

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