summer weariness


Isn’t she beautiful?

I’m really struggling with this little girl right now. She is a challenge, and every day is a series of battles over things as minuscule as Please Put Your Shoes on the Shoe Rack (because apparently that’s the most unfair thing I could ask of her).

And I’m tired.

I’m tired of holding my ground, of being manipulated, of staying on my toes, of the mental challenge, of the broken record, of being late to everything because I have to spend fifteen minutes debriefing a blow-up over not having just the right dress to wear (or whatEVer).

I know not every parent is going to relate to me when I say this, but just ONCE I’d like a simple request (like, “it’s time to set the table for dinner,” for instance) to be met with, “okay mom!” But it’s not. I get drama, I get stomping, I get the The Unfairness of It All speech almost every single time.

I’m the first to admit I don’t do everything right – I lack patience and compassion, I rage, I’m controlling, I throw around a few expletives my children like to repeat in front of three-year-olds and grandmas – but I don’t let her get away with this stuff, and I think that’s why I’m so tired: I’m battle-weary.

Today I actually asked her, “Would you rather I just let you do whatever you wanted?”

“No,” she said quietly.

I thought that was a breakthru conversation, even if I did have it THREE TIMES with her today. Did I mention I lack patience? I don’t like to have the same conversation THREE TIMES in one day.

Which brings up another point, which I don’t have time to get into now. But I’m working through an essay about God’s patience toward those desert-wandering Israelites that’s cracking into some dark spaces and making me feel very tender right now, so stay tuned.

5 thoughts on “summer weariness”

  1. It’s amazing what being a parent teaches us about God and us, huh? I love your heart and your openness in writing about it. Blessings to you guys.

  2. I’ve followed your blog for quite awhile and am always inspired, amused, amazed, and educated by what you write. It’s amazing how the “kids” can wear us down so much and we still will always love ’em! For myself, I prayed for patience every day for years and now, I am indeed a much more patient person – but also the “kids” are now practically grown. The longest, hardest days are the worst, but in the big picture, they also go by quickly and are quickly forgotten! Please now that you’re making ALOT of good choices and you’re doing ALOT RIGHT…

  3. Oh, Jen. I feel your pain. Right now I am dealing with anger toward my second child. He has (legitimate) ADHD and Bi-polar. I can’t give him one instruction without him forgetting what I said or getting distracted. He is destructive. He is impulsive, which means he does EVERYthing without thinking first. He takes things that aren’t his, just because they are there and “no one was using it”. He deliberately pesters his siblings. He has no interest whatsoever in reading (which is my favorite thing in the world) or anything academic… in fact, he struggles with anything that isn’t concrete and immediate. Concepts of time and even dates or days of the week are simply over his head, therefore, we find that establishing consequences for his actions simply does not make a difference. He just doesn’t respond to “if you continue doing *this* than *this* will happen.” Consequently, I end up yelling WAY too much then he wonders why he’s the only one who gets in trouble (he’s not but it sure can seem that way). My oldest child is my spirited/strong-willed child but at least I understand that… that is ME. But Isaac, I don’t understand. I don’t even like him right now (are moms allowed to say that?). And the guilt is heaped on my head even thicker because he is adopted. We chose him. I know he is supposed to be part of his family. I know he can’t help much of what he is but I am so angry at him. He is so disruptive. I don’t know what to do with all my anger toward him. And I don’t know how to help him (or me for that matter). Sorry to dump. Can’t blog about this because of his privacy. I’m sure you understand.

  4. I just read this late as we were relaxing in the cool ocean of Arch Cape, Oregon Coast, last week. Sigh. Do I miss it or what? The heat makes my brain fried and when we came home to Seattle later Weds evening, I thought “this is a mild version of Hell in temperature and do not want to go there.”
    Anyway, Jen, I have told you that our oldest son Brandon was our strong willed child. Drove me nuts. Second son Eric was a dream-compliant, etc. Not so Brandon. But I think I wanted too much to make them love me and like me, and there were times I needed to show I was in control more. I am by nature very patient so that was not an issue for me – but just keep trying to enjoy the moment. He is now at 36 such an amazing man so keep on trucking and know you are doing the most important job a mom can do-being her parent. The friend part will come in later years although you still will be that role now to a lesser degree, but do enjoy them right now. The enjoyment part of childraising was thankfully remembered at the time thanks to my dear mother who kept saying “they will grow too fast, enjoy them now, honey.”

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