If you’ve read my book, you might remember reading about what I refer to as the Worst. Summer. Ever. Casiday was 13 and it rained all summer long. We didn’t get to do much except watch it rain. And get on each other’s nerves.
It was not my finest moment as a mom. But the rain and the heat and the humidity — and the 13-year-old hormones. Y’all, it wasn’t pretty or fun. But we survived. And now, six years later, we can laugh about it as we enjoy our time together.
Maybe you’re in one of those seasons when everything is crazy or hard and you wonder if you all are going to survive. If so, I promise you, I understand. And just like we made it through, so will you.
3 Things to Remember in the Crazy Seasons of Parenting
Here are a few things I tried to remember during those difficult days (and weeks). I hope they will encourage you as well.
Remember Your Why
Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.Ephesians 6:4 CSB
Our ultimate role as parents isn’t to raise good kids or to get our children into the best college or even to make sure they are happy. Our ultimate role as parents is to point our children to the Lord. It’s our job to guide them to a lifelong faith. And while we cannot force our faith on them, we can be diligent to share with them who God is and what He has done for us.
In Deuteronomy 6, we see the Lord’s instructions to the children of Israel concerning their responsibility to their offspring.
Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.Deuteronomy 6:4-9 CSB
God told His people to love Him wholly and to tell their children all He had done for them and how faithful is His love. That same responsibility is ours. When we remember our why, it’s much easier to keep our focus (and patience!) during the crazy seasons of parenting.
Remember who the real enemy is.
One of my favorite things my friend Brooke McGlothlin says is that we fight FOR our children NOT against them. Those wise words helped me on many occasions. They reminded me that no matter what was going, no matter how many eye rolls or smart comments, no matter what — my daughter is never my enemy. And I’m always going to fight FOR her not against her.
We do have an enemy and he wants to kill and steal and destroy everything God has given us (John 10:10). Peter wrote that he is like a lion thinking about that which he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities — it’s spiritual and we need to remember that (Ephesians 6:12).
Finally, we must remember where to focus.
When we allow our focus to be on our situations and circumstances, on what is wrong and what is frustrating, we lose sight of what really matters, of where our sights should be set.
Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:2 CSB
We have to keep our eyes on Christ. Our hard days will pass. So will the difficult phases of parenting. And even the seasons of bad attitudes and messy rooms will come to an end. But one thing will never change — Jesus love for us and for our children. When we remember to keep our focus on Him, we will navigate the difficulties with purpose and grace.
Parenting isn’t for wimps. But it isn’t impossible — as long as we are relying on the Lord not on ourselves. Let’s make it our priority to remember the truth about us and our children … that we are all dearly loved by the perfect Father who has made us in His image for His good purposes.
What is one way you keep your cool when parenting gets crazy?