The Hard Truth is that It is Hard

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This parenting gig is not for the faint of heart. But, it’s a great way to see God work.

The Hard Truth is that It is Hard - This parenting gig is not for the faint of heart. But, it's a great way to see God work.

This weekend we watched a review copy of a movie I’d been sent. Mom’s Night Out is a cute, little comedy about a group of moms who just want a little break from the challenges of their reality. The hilarity that ensues is beyond the norm, to say the least, featuring bikers, tattoos, police chases, missing children, stolen vans, and the pastor’s wife being stunned with a Taser.

Of course, I cried by the end, as my husband predicted.

But, early in the movie I was second-guessing the choice to watch it as a family movie. There is nothing “inappropriate” in the movie. It’s PG, but I have no idea why. There’s no bad language or nudity, nothing I would call offensive.

Except for maybe the truth.

The frustration that the main character feels is very real. The hard challenges of her life are real. The script was honest about that:

I am living my dream. And I’m not happy.

I just want an hour alone on Mother’s Day.

Oh! No! I can’t be pregnant.

Honestly, I didn’t want my kids to see that. It’s not that they think that our life is all rainbows and unicorns. It’s not that I hide my troubles from them. It isn’t. And I don’t. I just feel like the world sends enough anti-child and anti-family messages, I didn’t want to send more.

I don’t find the humor in parents jumping up and down with glee when school goes back in session. I’ve never wanted to send my kids the message that I didn’t want them around. They are such incredible gifts from God; I’m constantly amazed that He gave them to me.

Why didn’t I want them to know moms could be unhappy or that motherhood is hard?

The Hard Truth is that It is Hard - This parenting gig is not for the faint of heart. But, it's a great way to see God work.

Because it is hard.

While my kids are now all potty-trained and most are literate, things are a lot easier. However, I do remember what it was like to have babies and toddlers.

I remember the whole stick of butter being smeared across the living room carpet. I remember the toddler dropping a chunk of wood from the playset and giving his brother a black eye. I remember the speeding race to make it to labor and delivery in time, the late night trips to the ER, and the helicopter ride to Children’s Hospital.

I remember the crazy — and sometimes, despite our mature years, it’s still all very crazy.

Believe me, I know what stress-paralysis is. It’s a real thing. I’m sure of it.

This motherhood gig is crazy hard.

I might not want my kids to know it, though. Maybe because I don’t want them to be scared to be parents one day. Maybe because I don’t want it to be hard.

Maybe because I don’t want to admit that sometimes it’s beyond my reach.

The Hard Truth is that It is Hard - This parenting gig is not for the faint of heart. But, it's a great way to see God work.

Yet, admitting the hard allows God a place to work. He still works when we butt in the way and kick and fight and scream, but goodness! is it more fun for both of us when we step aside and watch His plan unfold.

My kids need to know, I guess, that life is hard, no matter where we are or what path we take. We are weak. Somewhere. We have to be. That’s how God can move. That’s how He can work in us, grow us, change us, strengthen us.

Admitting that it’s hard is a surefire way to glorify Him and bring Him honor.

May He be glorified in YOUR life this week.

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  1. We’re at the crawling & cruising stage and waiting on adoption number two (and willing to say “yes” today), so I’m on the front end. Thanks for being real … and for the real hope, too! We young (oh, wait, I’m not young!). We NEW moms need these stories from moms farther down the road who have seen with their own eyes God’s faithfulness. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Young, new, either way you slice it I’m OLD! I’m happy to help. Many of my older women friends were too busy when I had little ones. I remember that loneliness. Don’t hesitate to write with questions!

  2. It is the hardest job you’ll ever love. Glad it gave you an opportunity to put these thoughts down for yourself and out there for other moms, some of whom are probably going to be VERY grateful to feel they’re not alone today! Great post

  3. The best things in life are free? No, most take time, patience, love and lots of hard work. If you are in the baby/toddler stage, watch how much effort your children exert learning to roll over, crawl, stand and eventually walk; learning to eat with a spoon; and learning to open the child proof locks (yes she did). Motherhood is no different, but watch the joy of the toddler taking those first few steps. You will experience those same moments of joy regularly watching your children grow. My oldest just started middle school. I saw that look of joy on her face when she made the junior varsity tennis team (lots of hard work behind that moment). The days are long but the years truly are short.

  4. It is hard, and I think it helps us as mothers if we can admit that to each other. Then we know we’re not alone. I sometimes don’t want my kids to know all that is hard, because I don’t want them to fell like a burden. But I think if they can understand that it’s hard, but it’s good. Sometimes intensely hard, sometimes intensely good.

  5. For me, the true joy in parenting is now watching my children have and parent their own children. To be there to watch, encourage and be a source of (hopefully) wisdom in raising children to be good, productive and God loving people. We tried to teach all of children about the value of good, hard work.

    I now have the honor walking along side my baby girl (she has two older brothers) and be there for her as she prepares for the birth of her first child. I will be there to encourage her to hang in there through the tough times and try to see God in the hand of all that happens. We are entrusted with our children for such a short time. Take time to smell the roses, hug, play, laugh and giggle with your children. You don’t get those years back.

    1. My mom and FishPapa’s mom both said that becoming a grandmother was better than becoming a mom, that it was a life-changing experience. Best wishes and thanks for your input!

  6. I think it’s ok to be honest with one’s kids that parenting is hard. I think what bother’s me is when it’s portrayed as hard in a truly discontent spirit or when there is no hope added along with the truth. Does that make sense?

    1. Yes, that makes total sense. I think that’s what often rubs me the wrong way about people’s “honesty”. Can it be hard without one being disgruntled about it?

  7. Love this post! Thank you so much for the encouragement. I love that it is often the hard things in life that offer us, not only the most joy, but the greatest opportunity to learn and to teach others. We are blessed!

  8. You did it again — I read this as I was drying dishes and ended up weeping. “My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 COR 12:9). God used you to speak to me today!

    As for admitting that the whole parenting/motherhood gig is tough: I’m all for us admitting it’s hard. It feels good to call it what it is; to band together in camaraderie; to empathize with each other. It starts to bother me when that’s all the other mommy blogs become. I may scream if I stumble upon another top 10 list that talks about not showering for three days, eating cold macaroni and cheese off of our children’s plates, and not talking to our husbands about anything but the kids’ poop. It starts to feel like whining. There is joy to be found in grimiest corners of the refrigerator and the exhausted cuddles with our husbands. Joy – not necessarily happiness – just joy. I would love to read more about THAT – and that’s why I love your blog so much. Thanks for doing what you do!

    1. Oh, and I’m in the thick of it. We just celebrated a third birthday and a first birthday and we’re ready for baby #3 whenever God sends him/her our way!