There are times in parenting children with special needs when embarrassment, humiliation, and shame seem to be part of the landscape. Often, the tendency is to run and hide away from the world. However, we’ve found a better way.
He was louder than loud and I was withering with every syllable he spoke. I looked at my son with that “please stop” facial expression, but he didn’t notice, nor have a clue how others were perceiving him. Sure, he was only 6. Sure, all children his age tend to miss social cues. But the other children around weren’t shouting inappropriate questions, or pointing at other people.
Have you ever opened your eyes after a bad day, or a bad week, and just wanted to stay in your bed and quit? If so, you’re not alone. We’ve been there many times and we’ve learned a thing or two about days like this!
The feeling comes in all shapes and sizes, from many different sources. Sometimes, your child is out of control, disobedient, defiant and you are pushed to your absolute limit. Other times, you feel like you just can’t win and that life for every other parent around you is perfect, while you’re struggling to stand on your own two feet. Sometimes it’s exhaustion. You’re so tired you have no idea how you will face another day, let alone make it through the rest of the one you’re currently in.
Parenting is one of the hardest, most overwhelming, and sometimes defeating journeys in life. While there are certain blessings, there are also moments when you just want to collapse from exhaustion. How do you fight through weariness and find the rest you need?
A few days ago, Kristin and I were having lunch with Michael Hyatt (NYT Bestselling Author of Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World) and members of his team, when he said something that resonated with me. We were talking about our goal to reach weary and overwhelmed parents around the world when he said,
Parenting is one of the hardest things a person will do in life.
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, this is a truth I’ve believed for the past decade. While parenting is filled with unbelievable blessings and fulfillment, it’s plain and simply one of the hardest life choices a human being will make. There are a lot of reasons for this. First of all, you’re raising human beings who, as they grow and mature, begin to think and choose on their own. Often, they’re choosing unwisely, which is part of the problem. They’re going to be defiant and belligerent. You can count on it.