In this series we ask multiple mommas one question. The answers show the love, joy and struggles we experience each day, week, month, year or lifetime. Although the answers may vary, it’s clear we are working toward the same results: healthy, happy and loved children!
What has been the hardest part of parenting for you, so far, and why?
April – Nolan: Age 6 / Ben: Age 2
The hardest part of parenting so far for me has been working full time and parenting full time. With my husband’s busy schedule, I am the main caregiver for the kids and the one-and-only housekeeper, as well. Throw in a full-time job and some days it gets a bit overwhelming. Guilt kicks in when I realize I spend more hours away from my kids during the day than I am actually with them. It makes what little time we get together more valuable.
Barb – Sean: Age 32
The hardest part of parenting can’t be singled out to one thing. It is whenever your child is hurting for whatever reason. Once in awhile we can be of help, but just having to sit back and let them figure things out is very tough.
Corrie – Sam: Age 20 / Catlyn: Age 13
The hardest part of parenting has been letting go of my children as they grow. As a mother of a 20-year-old, I find myself always looking at this gorgeous young woman as a child. Have you seen the Subaru commercials where the parents are driving around with their children and always see them as little people constantly needing advice? Yep, that’s me. Have you listened to the Kenny Chesney song, “There goes my life”? Yes, that’s me too. And how do I deal with my baby being 13, her friends are her life, and her barricading herself in her room because she wants to be alone? Well, I shed countless tears and with experience, I know it will pass and she will come back. But it’s so hard, friends. One day you are blessed by the Good Lord with a child who thinks you rope the moon and it feels like the next day they don’t know your name….but they do.
Erin – 2 Boys Ages 13 and 11
I liked being able to protect and safeguard my boys (for the most part) for the first five years of their lives. I felt like some kind of superhero! They were happy kids without a care in the world! I took all the blows of life and staved off any harm that could have come of them. I was a titanium wall. Then suddenly, without warning, these beautiful, sweet, innocent children began to have minds of their own. I quickly discovered that the world was no longer the only enemy that could hurt them, alas, they could do it to themselves! The single hardest part of parenting for me has been ALLOWING my children to hurt. I had to choose to take parts of that protective wall down and sit back as I watched my children suffer, either by their doing, or at the hand of another. Could I have “saved” them? Yes; and by doing so I keep them from growing stronger within themselves. I believe my greatest gift to my children is to teach them to live WITHOUT me. I want them to be strong, able, courageous men who can go out into the world and stand successfully on their own. As my children grow and change, my role as Mom grows and changes. I no longer see myself as their shield, I see myself as their guide.
Kerstin – N: Age 3
One of the hardest parts of parenting for me has been watching and allowing N to learn on his own. He is an independent and self-determined boy. And, most of the time he doesn’t actually want my help. But, that certainly doesn’t mean it’s easy from a parenting perspective to watch your child try, be frustrated, and feel self doubt. However, I know how critical it is to his development to allow him to learn on his own and experience the emotions of success and failure. When working on something new or trying to figure something out for the first time, he will try and try and try. And then, if he can’t get it, he becomes very frustrated. I usually approach the situation by asking him if he and mommy can do it together. I then show him how, giving easy and visual instructions as we work through it. I also reinforce that I’m proud of how hard he’s working and that I’m confident if he continues practicing, he’ll get it.
Be sure to check out these Jelly Bean Journals posts too!