The challenges of being a parent don’t always come directly from your children.
Many times it’s the outside forces and the variables that wear us down, put a pebble (or ten) in our shoes, or flat out hit us in the face.
Having to deal with variables makes staying focused, being consistent, and keeping that smile on our face quite a challenge.
As I write this, my beloved father in law is dying in the bedroom above me, my children are ill, and my daughter just called in tears—because she had a miscarriage.
What do you say?
What do you do?
“Sometimes life is just so…hard,” Kathi whispers to me. “But we’re in a different place now. Experience has allowed me to walk through the darkness places, and though I still feel sadness, I can put my arms around our kids and say, ‘Let it out. I love you, and I’m here for you.’”
(I admire my darling wife SO much)
So if you’re having struggles that seem far too big, or outside what you believe your capacity is, let me share something with you.
You Are MORE Than You THINK You Are
Knowing my WHY has helped me get through some of life’s biggest challenges. That includes loss, death, depression, and the sheer pressure of opposition from every side.
Life is meant to be hard.
It’s what allows us to grow, and to get stronger.
The forces against us, just like lifting weights with our muscles, starts to break us down—as we struggle and stretch and strive to overcome.
If you think really hard, look back at the times in our lives when we feel the world is going to end, or we’re about to implode—there’s a release.
Sometimes it’s an end to the pain. At other times, it may only be a moment to catch our breath—but we get that space of time where our capacity expands.
Just like our muscles, we get stronger—because of the force applied against us.
Life is meant to be this way, because you are designed to succeed.
You are meant to ever become a better and better version of YOU.
There will come a point in your life, when you’ll be able to look at your child and find yourself amazed at how they have grown, learned, developed skills and talents, enlarged their capacities to do amazing things you never thought possible.
What parents often miss, is that you are doing the exact same thing.
Being a parent hones you, trains you, helps you expand your capacity to love, think, consider, plan, react, act, communicate, comfort, nurture, teach, mend, forgive, understand, and give of yourself in ways only a parent can.
Being a parent is a blessing that goes both ways.
Think about that.
Your WHY helps you see with clear eyes, what truly is.
So you can get up one more time and keep swinging.
Being a parent opens up a world of experiences few of us are prepared for.
Most of the time it’s not those who are more intelligent or talented that make the better parents, but those who are willing.
Honestly—if you ask me now, after all the experiences I’ve had in being a father, I’m happy to share the true secret.
The core of what being a father really amounts to.
It’s about having a good heart.
The rest, honestly….is just practice.
Know you’re not perfect.
You never will be.
But you’re willing, and that’s 90% of the battle, right there.
This is about striving to do the right things for the right reasons, as best you know how—backed with love.
Don’t give up, no matter what you’re experiencing.
Take some time and breathe.
Count your blessings.
Review your WHY.
Then get up and start again.
Sometimes staying motivated seems fruitless,…but that’s a dangerous perspective to use for too long.
When you do the right things for the right reasons, and you do them consistently, you will find good results. You just might have to look a little deeper.
Remember that parenting is a long game.
There are no shortcuts to raising children.
But would you truly want them?
You’d miss out on opportunities to laugh and learn and play, and to enjoy the fruits of your amazing efforts.
You’d miss out on the phone calls from your child when the reasons for WHY you raised them the way you did finally hits them,…in the middle of the night.
Or the uncontrollable laughter when Karma steps in to complete a lesson in your behalf.
If no one else says it to you today, I want to say “Thank you.”
For being a proper parent, and just for giving a damn when too many don’t.
I appreciate you.
What To Do Next
Make plans and spend the day with your family.
Do something that will let you play and laugh and cheer together.
Make it a memory that will burn itself into the mind of your child, so that when they think back on this day—they’re SO grateful they are yours!
You’ve got this!!
“An average parent endures.
A good parent sees worth.
A great parent enjoys enjoys each and every moment for what it truly is—the privilege of shaping hope for the world around them.”