Are you in a place where you feel like parenting is difficult? Frustrating? Perhaps you have a baby not sleeping, a child with anxiety or anger issues, or perhaps you are dealing with tantrums and potty training. I’ve dealt with my fair share of issues in parenting three young children and I want to assure you, this too shall pass.
As my kids grow older and I continue to experience the plethora of issues that come with parenting, I find myself reflecting on the past six years of time I have shared with them, the storms we have weathered, and the ones we are currently dealing with.
Just like we experience four seasons in a year, I feel that there are multiple seasons to parenting. These seasons, however, are not so predictable. Every child is different with their own personality, likes and dislikes, emotional reactions, and so is every season of time with them. I think this is another reason why we shouldn’t compare our children to others.
For example, my son never gives me any grief – he listens well, he’s kind, he’s helpful, he’s independent. When he was three however, he went through a short phase of throwing tantrums and being aggressive. This short period of time was extremely stressful for me, as he was also having issues at preschool, and in the middle of potty training. Being that he was my first child I didn’t understand at the time that this was normal behavior for his age, especially since he was not very verbal and dealing with some big changes.
At the time my son was going through a rough patch, my daughter was a toddler. She was very easy at the time, but flash forward another year and a new season of parenting began with her. We were once again going through some big changes; adding a baby to the mix, and potty training again.
This season of transition with my daughter lasted years as opposed to the short three month time with my son. My daughter is very different from him in how she sees the world and reacts to it. I have to accept that they are not the same and that the challenges they each face will be different.
I am just now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with my four year old as my baby is blossoming into toddler-hood. I am now entering a season of challenging behavior and changes with her. She is exerting her independence and has a mind of her own. It can be an exhausting time, but also rewarding if we go into it with the right mindset.
So with the passage of time comes change, both for my children and myself. Like with the weather we will have periods of sun and occasionally a storm or two. As they grow I know the challenges we face will change too. I highly doubt the issues we face now will be the same issues we face when they are teenagers and all in school full time.
These challenging times where we are dealing with aggressive behavior, tantrums, medical issues, sleep challenges, potty training, transitions – the list goes on – can seem like they last forever. But they don’t. And whatever you are dealing with will get better. And perhaps you will get a period of time where there is a reprieve and everything seems to fall into place – until the next season of parenting begins.
Just remember – although it can feel overwhelming at the time – this too shall pass.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a parent?