I figured they see that chalk board every single morning as they come out of their bedrooms, that’s just going to whip them into shape lickety-split. And it does for a day or two. But then the system needs to be re-worked. And again after the next try. And then again and again again.
I think that’s how motherhood is…parenthood in general. It’s constantly shifting and moving. One thing will work one week and not the next. Or one thing will work awesome with one child but will be a giant failure with another.
As I always say, parenthood is not for the weak of heart!
I guess the key is to keep moving. Keep trying. Don’t throw in the towel. Ask for help…reach out to a friend or parent or sibling for advice or help…or most importantly, reach up to God. Who always knows the way.
I like to compare living the gospel like a stairway going up. It takes work. We have to move our “spiritual muscles” and keep them in shape to keep going. It’s not an escalator we can just stand on and think it’s just going to keep moving us in the right direction. We have to reach up and move. We have to let our hearts be open for inspiration…and act on it when we receive it.
And you know what? Parenting in my opinion is so similar that way. We can’t just stand there and let the systems we have in place just continue to work for us, because they don’t. At some point they come to a dead end and we have to work at it…take every angle and shift and tantrum and moody teenager outburst and re-work our balance. We have to keep using those parenting muscles to take those steps to get us where we want to be.
The trick with parenting though (that is different from the gospel analogy), is that those darn kids have free agency. Ha! But really, sometimes don’t you think it would be great if we could take away that free agency for a little while in the teenage years? I guess not much growth would happen that way but boy howdy…
Bottom line is that I think we have to always re-work parenting. Every age and stage and child and parent for that matter needs so many different things. So sometimes when I get so frustrated at those empty job charts maybe I need to just look at it as the next challenge…the next “reframe” of my Boggle game (back HERE). And figure out how to re-work and renew.
It’s ok to have those failures along the way…even the giant ones. Because that means we’re progressing. Comfort doesn’t progress. We pick ourselves up and try again and morph and change along with what needs to be done, and our parenting muscles become stronger and more durable as we go.
Sometimes I just need to remind myself to enjoy the journey of all the ups and downs along the way. Because this time is too short to be frustrated for long!