We’ve had three days in a row of frustration and tears when it’s time to do math. I don’t know why my younger daughter gets in a mood when it’s time to do math, but it’s wearing on both of us.
Yesterday, I was trying to get her to finish her math before we went to my mom’s group at church. Granted, we were a bit rushed, but her attitude started out poor and ended up worse. I was ready to throw up my hands and walk away.
But then I was reminded that this wasn’t a job at which you can quit. I can’t make a video of me dancing out the door to turn in my mommy resignation. We had to find a way to work around it.
After a few minutes to take a deep breath, I pulled the sobbing child into my arms and talked to her. We talked about making choices about our attitude when we it comes to math. We talked about what we could do differently to make things work better. We talked about how frustrating things are for both of us when a day goes bad. Then we prayed. We asked God to help us figure it out. We asked Him to improve both our attitudes.
Honestly, I have no idea how today is going to turn out when we open the math book. But I do have confidence that we’re going to figure this out. I have confidence that there’s a solution to this obstacle. I have confidence that God is going to show us a way to make it through this moment.
There are rough moments in parenting. There are days when we want nothing more than to pack it in. There are days when we fondly remember the days before children. There are days when we’re just too tired to take another step, make another decision, or fight another battle.
But we can’t quit. This job isn’t about getting a pat on the back for a job well done. This job isn’t about seeing the fruits of our labor immediately. This job isn’t about a giant salary or a big promotion. As a matter of fact, this job of parenting isn’t a job at all. It’s a calling.
God has called us to be persistent in raising our kids. He has called us to step into the battle to fight for our kids. He has called us to shepherd these souls. He has called us to get down in the trenches and work through the obstacles that arise as we parent. And that’s not something we can walk away from.
So, remember, on the days when nothing seems to be going your way, in the moments when you want to pull your hair out in frustration, in the hours that you’re fighting the same battle you’ve fought a dozen times that day, and in the seconds when it’s tempting to throw up your hands and walk away, this job, this calling, of parenting is worth it. Every battle you fight, every behavior you correct, every heart you touch, every problem you solve, is a step toward leading your kids to God. It’s a step toward moving them from dependence on you to dependence on Him.
And that’s a job no one would want to quit.