For the Parent Ready to Quit

for the parent ready to quit

“I don’t want to do this anymore. I just don’t want to be Mama to this child anymore.”

Quietly, hesitantly, I whispered these words to the safe bearer-of-my-secrets, my husband.

Once I started talking, though, it was if the tsunami of my emotions exploded over the embankment of my WILL to keep it all in, and I just couldn’t stop it all anymore.

“I just don’t want to parent this child anymore. I’m tired of loving and giving and serving and sacrificing and having it all thrown back in my face in disgust. I’m tired of the influence on my other children. I’m tired of feeling traumatized in my own home. I know I’m supposed to ‘fake it until I make it’, but I’m just too tired to fake it anymore. I’m tired of the strain on the entire family. I’m tired of caring more about this than the child even cares. And I don’t want to wake up another morning with the weight of the enormousness of this child’s needs on my chest. I don’t want to fall into bed another night after midnight, exhausted from the labor of counseling, and nurturing, and the work of just getting this child into bed. I’m tired of it all. I’m just SO tired.”

I fell into my husband’s arms in complete exhaustion and wept to sleep.

Thankfully, JOY always comes in the morning (when the mercies are new and the grace is available for the day!) and I didn’t actually quit that day.

But I sure wanted to.

God brought me through that day because my foundation was built on something stronger than myself and my feelings. 

I don’t know what brought you to be reading this today, right now.

Maybe you’re struggling with a special needs kiddo and you’re feeling stretched beyond what your body feels it can stretch.

Maybe you’ve adopted a trauma/RAD child, and you are just TIRED of cleaning up poop. (Figuratively and literally.)

Maybe you’re a mama who thought you could trust God with the children (both number and needs) He felt you could handle—but you’re pregnant again and the little ones aren’t listening and the laundry has turned into Mt. Everest and your friends and family keep asking you “Don’t you think you have ENOUGH children?”…and you’re wondering if HE really can be trusted?

You know what it feels like to wake up, breathless, heavy, overwhelmed, and wishing it was still night. 

Even now, your time is limited, and the needs are calling your name, and you’re tempted to just skim this post, hoping for a quick pick-me-up bit of encouragement….so I’ll keep it simple.

Here’s three thoughts that brought me through some of my own dark days. I pray they are encouragement to your heart.

  • JESUS.  Oh, how I need Him every day.( I’m not talking about religion here, I’m talking about a living, breathing, daily relationship with the one true GOD. If this is missing in your life, will you email me? I’d love to show you how you can KNOW God today.)

You see, the world will whisper in your ear, “You can’t do this. You aren’t good enough, strong enough, smart enough; you are just not enough.You need more ‘me’ time, and these kids are holding you back. They’re not worth it, so you should just quit NOW.”

But Jesus? He reaches out and says, “Count it all JOY. Let patience have her perfect work. My grace IS (it truly IS!) sufficient for THEE. Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. My strength is made perfect in weakness .” 

I have found that life’s very darkest, unthinkable, horrific days are just as much a part of God’s plan for my life as the good, perfect, “happy” days. He is using those times of “I can’t do this!” to show me that HE CAN.

Allow HIM to love your children THROUGH you, one day at a time.

  • SUPPORT. There is this myth in the parenting world that you’re either that perfect super-mom who has it “all” together and feeds her kids organic superfoods and (fill in the blank with your super-mom pet peeve), or you’re the mom who never showers and lives in a pigsty and whose kids live on frozen pizza and mac-and-cheese and who is utterly falling apart all.the.time. 

The truth is, most of us fall somewhere in-between these two extremes. 🙂

But our fear of being labeled a failure holds us back from true, kindred-spirit, tell-you-like-it-is SUPPORT. Cause saying “I need help” is hard. 

You need a safe place to share your heart and your struggles, without fear of rejection or judgement. But you need to confide in those who will point you to the TRUTH, and not just “tell you what you want to hear”. 

There IS someone out there who has been where you are, and who made it out ALIVE–Find them! Share with them. Lay it all out and find the gold amidst the dross.

You need a friend who has already learned to find JOY in the poop, and who will walk the path alongside of you, encouraging and inspiring you to give it your all, poop and all. 🙂

  • RESOURCES. Don’t give up or give in until you’ve exhausted ALL the resources available. There may be a doctor, a book, a therapist, an article, or a parenting technique offers exactly what you need to THRIVE! 

Please consider reaching out for help if you’re struggling. Jesus (and alot of answered prayer), an awesome support system, and new parenting therapies and techniques made all the difference for our family. Perhaps they will help YOURS as well. 

Just one last thing.

You will make it.

I promise. 

And maybe, someday soon, you’ll be the one offering encouragement to the one wanting to quit. 

Thoughts? Questions? Advice? Share your heart below!