It’s been some time since I wrote anything about parenting. Indeed I love writing the Short and Sweet series, and other funny and random things that happen at the Eason Clan. It’s like therapy for me. After all being a father of four children under five doesn’t come without its challenges and like you out there, some days are just plain rough.
Some days being a parent ain’t easy. Can I get a amen? You know when everyone is screaming, no one wants to share, then toy-grabbing turns into a scene from Gladiator, dueling it out in the living room.
You intervene, initiate time out and then ten minutes later the match resumes.
Then after that your son/daughter looks you in the eye, after you finished telling them not to do something, and they stubbornly do it again? Woaaahh man, rinse and repeat this for four to five days straight and it gets rough.
But you know even when those rough days come, being a parent is one of the most important and influential roles that you can have. I truly believe that.
Today I will share with you my own experiences and how lately I started dealing with my own parenting challenges.
Ahoy Captain! Siren off Starboard Bow!
Not everything is as it seems.
Maybe you don’t have kids or you’re past the parenting stage. Regardless I am sure you have witnessed and experienced some issues. Since becoming a father I’ve read multiple parenting books and listened to different speakers offering advice on parenting. Better to be precautionary than reactionary.
However when I look for encouragement, there is one place I do not go to for advice or inspiration.
I recently created a Facebook account for connecting with family and friends and for promoting my blog through social media. This my own personal opinion.
One thing I’ve noticed lately is so many pictures posted on FB seem…perfect. You know, the pictures of children all smiling, playing, and the parents who are all cheerful. That amazing family photo of everyone smiling, all perfectly sat under an oak tree, and your like, “Dang. Why can’t my kids be like that?”
If you spend five minutes viewing other families raiding beaches, flying on planes to resorts and picture-perfect dining it can be daunting. Especially when your stuck at home eating beans and watching reruns of shows from the 80’s. Yeesshh. Give me a break! It could get you down in no time!
What you don’t see though is that minutes before that picture was taken, that same parent might have been yelling for the third time at the kid who keeps refusing to smile for them. I know that from personal experience. I have done it myself! I’m not proud of either, trying to get the perfect picture and the expense of someone else.
What am I saying here?
Don’t judge your own family based on the perfect picture of someone elses.
Be thankful for what you have now. I would rather have my boogery nosed-screaming-crying-fussy-cranky children, then have something that is staged. I need to remind myself that everyday, because it’s easy to compare yourself and what you have when browsing through Facebook.
We all have our rough days. Indeed some feel worse than others. It’s like being on a ship in a storm. You get tossed around and then you start cresting a wave. Ahhh you see sky and things seem to be looking up (pardon the pun). Then you realize that’s not the sky you’re climbing to, rather it’s the top of the wave and down you plummet into the waves below.
I feel like that sometimes (ever since my wife started working on my days off) being alone with four children. One moment Ava and Isaac are eating their oatmeal, everything seems good. Then one puts their hands in it, followed by the other twin, then we have oatmeal in hair, shirts, pants and other places! After that mess is cleaned up, one of the older two begin fighting, someone is crying, and life just feels…hard.
It’s okay to feel that. There’s nothing wrong.
So I started this new thing lately.
I take a break from the chaos for a couple of minutes by quickly darting into another room or stepping outside. After taking a deep breath I say out loud: “Praise the Lord, His mercy endureth forever.”
Yup. I started quoting the Bible. Psalm 106:1
Praise The Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever.”Psalm 106:1
You know what I’ve found?
I experience peace. I get a fresh wind.
There was another guy who did this, his name is King David.
When life got crazy, when stress was mounting and the pressure was on, King David in the Bible would praise the Lord in the midst of struggle. It was then that he felt peace from the storm. You can see this if you read the different Psalms (songs) in the book of Psalms. He starts off writing about his struggles and anxieties, then he calls out to the Lord for help and gives thanks, and concludes that the Lord is his help in times of trouble and he will rest in Him.
No matter what you’re going through today, this week or even the past few months, there is hope. I personally find my hope and strength in Jesus Christ. I have experienced things you may have not, and I am sure you have experienced things that I haven’t either. However one thing we do have in common: we all go through rough times.
I love being a husband and a parent, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I am blessed to have a loving wife, four beautiful children at thirty years old.
We need to start looking at the blessings we have in our lives.
There is a lot of negativity in this world, all you need to do is open up any news site and you’ll see, from shootings to the COVID, we are faced daily with tragic news and information. However in the midst of this we can experience peace. I personally find that very encouraging indeed, even when I can’t hear myself think because my children are screaming in the background.
So today I will thank God for what I have. Then when the tough times come, I will try to thank Him while going through that, and if I keep that up, I believe my outlook will change and the rough days won’t seem as rough.