No, I’m not talking about a hip hop song where they tell you to “throw your hands up!” I’m talking about the moment of defeat. The moment when you want to quit…on parenting, chores, paying bills, cooking dinner, doing laundry, dealing with your teenager’s attitude….you know… life!
You’re not the only one.
There are others with a child who is totally out of control!
Someone else has experienced unimaginable loss and is struggling to face each day.
There’s another parent in your neighborhood trying to understand why their kid makes the crappy choices they hoped and prayed they wouldn’t make.
Just a few miles away an adoptive parent is struggling to find the affection and the heart they once had when they first decided to set out on this journey.
And I guarantee you there’s a parent feeling pretty hopeless as they deal with their child’s all-consuming special need.
When we get to this point of complete parental desperation and we just want to throw our hands up, collapse to the floor, lie in a puddle of our own sorrow, and quit on everything, there are 3 things we need to know:
LOTS OF OTHER PARENTS ARE DOING IT TOO.
Truth: you and I are not alone. Did you hear me? YOU are NOT alone! Look in the mirror and say that to yourself for a few minutes. Heck, if it helps, look in the mirror and say “Mike and Kristin are dealing with the same struggles that I am and they want to throw their hands up and quit just like I do!”
Every day tons of parents, just like you and me, feel like giving up. I know this doesn’t provide any solution to feeling this way, but at least you know you’re not alone. And that’s healing!
YOU CAN GROW FROM THE ‘GIVE-UP’ MOMENTS.
Providing you’re not to the point that your bag is packed and you’re reading this at a stoplight on the way out of town, you can actually grow tremendously from moments like these.
I know because I’ve grown from them. And I’m willing to bet that if I shared some of my “give-up” moments you’d start to feel better about yours. Here’s the deal with growth opportunities- you don’t really feel positive, in the midst of your struggle, that you could ever grow from this.
It’s true. You rarely see opportunity when you’re smack dab in the middle of a tough life moment. When your son with severe behavior issues continues to embarrass you in public, or your daughter keeps chasing after the same abusive boyfriend, or your 5 year old argues everything single thing you say, or your daughter is failing every class, it’s hard to see the light. Sometimes the darkest night prevents the light from showing up for a long time.
Most of my personal growth as a parent has come after the fact. After I’ve had some time to process what I’ve walked through. Long after the dust has settled. That’s what you need to wait for.
If you follow this blog regularly you’ve heard me say this a lot. There’s a reason for that. I believe this. In fact, I’m passionate about sharing this message with parents worldwide. I want all parents, in all situations, from all backgrounds, in any stage of parenting, dealing with any issue, from every corner of the world to know there’s hope! If nothing else, find hope in knowing other parents (like me) limp through life, at times, just like you.
When you throw your hands up (and you will), don’t beat yourself up. I know it’s hard not to, but don’t look at yourself like you’re a failure. Don’t be too hard on yourself for sometimes not wanting to be around your kid or your spouse for a while. That’s kinda normal.
Remember- we’re in this together, and we’ve all felt that way before.
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