Inside: Modern parenting is hard, isn’t it? From overbooked schedules to overwhelming expectations, you’ve got a tough job ahead of you. Feeling the strain? Let’s get real. Why is parenting so difficult? And what can you do to make it easier? Read on for ten life-saving solutions when being a mom is hard!
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My husband tells a story about the birth of our son. I was probably about eleven hours into labor, and the epidural had worn off during the night. I was so unprepared, and as a soon-to-be first-time mom I was a huge ball (literally!) of anxiety and excitement.
Throughout the first few hours we joked in-between contractions. Both my mom and sister fainted on the floor (that’s a story for another time), and my husband and family kept me laughing.
Then came the pushing.
I remember thinking, “Surely it won’t take that long. We’ve been here for hours already.”
But after another few hours of pushing, I cried out “I can’t do this! I give up!”
It was just too hard. I felt unprepared. I felt exhausted beyond my limits.
My husband squeezed my hand and looked at me. He said, “Babe, there’s no going back now. You can do this!”
Being a mom is hard. But, you can do this!
Does parenting feel too hard? Feel like you’ve gotten yourself into something way over your head? Do you see yourself as under-prepared and overwhelmed?
Mama, you can do this.
I asked the moms in our Facebook group this question. “Why is modern parenting so hard?”
Their answers blew me away! I’m sure you’ll relate to their comments.
Modern parenting is definitely hard! But thankfully there is hope! Read on for ten life-saving solutions when parenting is hard.
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- Build your Family on the Rock with these Biblical Parenting Principles!
10 Reasons Why Parenting is Hard (And Solutions to Help!)
Problem #1: You Compare Yourself and Kids to Everyone
Modern parenting is a mine-field of comparisons. Your kids are louder, messier, more whatever than her kids. You fill in the blank.
You compare yourself to the crunchy parents, the helicopter parents, the lawnmower parents. All these comparisons can shift your focus from “What is right for my family?” to “What is everyone else doing?”
It’s a subtle shift, but an important one.
Erica writes, “Possibly access to too much parenting information makes parenting now feel hard and makes us put more pressure on ourselves as moms. I spent a couple of years feeling like I should be ‘doing more.’ I pinned countless ideas on organic recipes I never made, activities I never did, and organizing systems I never implemented, etc. Then, I felt like a failure because I wasn’t living up to my own standards for myself in all these areas.”
When we make unhealthy comparisons, we rob ourselves of joy. These unhealthy comparisons keep us on edge, always looking to the right or left to see if we measure up. Comparisons make parenting harder than it has to be!
The Fix: Learn to make Healthy Comparisons
Comparison isn’t all bad, I promise. You can learn to make healthy comparisons instead!
Instead of looking right or left, look up. What does God say? What is His plan? How does He see you?
- When you’re tempted to compare, ask “Is this for me?” If it’s not, quickly throw it in your mental trash can. Don’t dwell on unrealistic expectations!
- Learn to welcome constructive comparisons. Examine your own habits and your family’s habits against God’s word. Do they line up? Do you need to make a course correction?
- Make a mental or written list of what you love about yourself and your family. When these pesky comparison traps come up, refer to your list and remember everything you have to be thankful for!
This encouraging post will help you finally stop making unhealthy comparisons as a parent!
Problem #2: You Don’t Have a Village
Years ago, multi-generational families were the norm. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles were constantly around to help ease the load and support parents.
In our modern culture, you may find that you suddenly feel all alone. Your “village” is nowhere to be seen. They may be cross-country, or even just not as involved as you’d like them to be. Parenting is hard when you’re doing it alone.
Laura says, “Modern parenting is hard because reaching out for help is viewed as weak and we try to take it all on ourselves.”
They say “It takes a village to raise a child.” But I would add, “It takes a village to support a parent.”
The Fix: Be a Village-Builder
The solution to this issue is so easy, yet it can seem a bit intimidating at first. If you’re parenting without a “village,” it’s up to you to build your own.
- Take the first step in creating a mom’s group.
- Join a church and get connected.
- Ask an older mom to be your mentor.
- Step out and make friends with the moms on your child’s sports team.
When you step out like this, it’s tempting to go through the motions, talk about superficial things, and pack up.
But if you want to build a village of mutual support that will make parenting easier, challenge yourself to be vulnerable! Create a place that will allow you and others to voice their real concerns and find real help in parenting.
Looking for authentic community? Join our Facebook group, Grace and Truth for Moms. We learn together, laugh together, and support each other! Ask questions, get answers, and connect with real moms just like you. We can’t wait to meet you!
Problem #3: Your Kids are in a Really Needy Stage
If you’re a mom of really young kids, parenting is really hard. It’s not just an emotional strain, but sometimes physical exhaustion that keeps us stuck in a cycle of overwhelm.
You want to love this stage of life, but it can seem like just too much. Too much noise, too much mess. Not enough rest, not enough calm.
While life with little ones is honestly never going to be easy, there are a few strategies you can try to make it a bit less hard.
The Fix: Encourage Routines and Independent Play
Somewhere along the way, modern parents started believing that they had to entertain their kids all day long. No wonder you’re exhausted!
Instead, you can bring more peace and calm to your home with two simple things:
- First, get your kids on a predictable routine. I’ve got a great start for your toddler schedule here, or try these tips to create a routine for kids.
- Second, teach your kids to play independently. You don’t have to entertain them 24/7. You don’t have to keep them from being bored. That’s not your job! They can, with a little practice, learn to play independently without your help.
Let me help you create more calm in your home! Grab my eBook and printable pack bundle: Everyday Calm. Learn how to create a daily routine that fits your family and give you time to take care of yourself!
Problem #4: Your Worry is Out of Control
Parenting goes from hard to almost impossible when something goes wrong. You break out WebMD, searching for the possible causes of that fever.
You worry incessantly about their health, their grades, their friends, and their future.
Worry makes parenting hard. It weighs you down.
Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
The Fix: Practice Peace
The solution? Turn your worry into prayer. You might be like me: Worrying for days about things that will probably never happen, all the while planning out God’s game plan for how he will fix it, but never actually asking him to fix it.
You may mistake worry for prayer. But they aren’t equals. Not even close.
Instead, you can practice peace by bringing your worries to Jesus. He’ll let you know if you need to let it go, or keep on praying about it. Just keep your eyes on him!
I love what I read in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
The word “cast” gives me a mental picture of sailors casting a heavy barrel overboard in a storm. As they toss the barrel over the rails, they know it’s gone for good, sunken beneath the waves.
How pointless would it be if they dove in after it to return it to the ship? In the same way, when we cast our cares on the Lord, we leave them with him! Don’t pick your worry back up once you’ve given it to him in prayer.
Problem #5: Your Kids are Influenced from Every Angle
I believe our parenting generation is up against something huge. At every turn, our kids are influenced with an ever-increasing worldly culture.
Kids as young as Preschool-age are exposed to more than we saw as high-school students. The news is defeating, TV is questionable at best, and social media is severely damaging at worst.
Loretta writes, ” In my opinion, modern parenting is made difficult by the amount of ‘world’ our children are exposed to and have access to. The standards of discipline have changed, as well. The world has furthered itself from good morals, values and the Lord. ”
At the same time, you and I can refuse to be fearful. There’s a solution to this issue that makes modern parenting so hard!
The Fix: Create a Strong Family Culture
So often, we rush to identify what we are against. We’re against violence, hate, bullying, and all these horrible things.
Are they detestable? Yes! Should you carefully instruct your kids to avoid these traps? Absolutely! I don’t tiptoe around truth.
But you’ll have even more success in helping your kids avoid these things when you also focus on what you’re for.
What does your family really care about? What are your core values?
A few years ago our family wrote out five values that were important to us:
- We pray first.
- We help others.
- We persevere.
- We slow down.
- We steward well.
Not only have these values helped us avoid some bad decisions, but we are able to use them in everyday encouragement for our kids. “We are a family who helps others. Remember that time when mommy and daddy gave….?How can you help that girl at school?”
Have a family brainstorm session. What does your family stand for?
Problem #6: You’re Not Confident as a Parent
I’ll be honest, when my kids were younger I wasn’t confident as a mom. I tiptoed around some pretty undesirable toddler behavior.
I took the “easy way out” during quite a few difficult parenting moments. It was all because I didn’t feel confident in my authority.
When you lack confidence as a mom, you often sidestep issues instead of facing them head on. You don’t realize that the longer you wait to address an issue, the more difficult it becomes!
The Fix: Discover Your Authority
Before you discover your own authority you need to know where it comes from! Mama, God gave you those children.
He chose you to be their parent. You are wearing the mantle of His authority in their lives until they are old enough to have their own relationship with Him.
So don’t sidestep issues or problems because you’re not sure if you’re up to the task. You’re not doing it alone anyway!
Do the hard thing. Be firm, yet loving. Stand your ground and teach what is right.
When you parent with authority you will pave the way for a more peaceful, happy home. It’s not easy, but remember this: When you are weak, He is strong!
Read more about how authoritative parenting can help you create more peace in your home.
Problem #7: You’re Stressed and Overbooked
When you’ve got a million things on your plate it’s even tougher to manage typical parenting tasks. Simple things like finding time to sit down and read with your child stress you out.
You can’t stop thinking of the mile-long to do list or the string of events and practices scheduled on the calendar.
Becca says, “Modern parenting feels hard because of the busyness. So much to do, not enough time to slow down.”
We’ve come to equate modern parenting with busy parenting. You feel the toll of this and long for real rest!
The Fix: Prioritize and Create Margin
When you find that your jam-packed schedule or long to-do list is affecting your parenting, it’s time to create some margin. This doesn’t mean that your kids can’t ever play sports or participate in activities.
Instead, think about prioritizing what is the most important. Commit to that. Leave everything else undone.
Be intentional about leaving “blank space” on your calendar.
For example, my son recently started playing youth football. It’s his first venture into team sports. As excited as he is, I try to be mindful that he’s still a kid and he still needs lots of unstructured play time. I make sure that every afternoon after school he has at least a few hours to play outside, build LEGOs or read books with me.
We’re keeping Saturdays free. Sundays are church days. We’re setting boundaries and we’ll stick to them. We’re writing in “blank space” on the calendar.
How can you create some “blank space” in your day or week?
Problem #8: You’ve Got a Strong-Willed Child
Sometimes parenting is hard because of your child’s natural temperament. Strong-willed children can cause even the best moms to wonder if they’re doing anything right.
When you’ve got a strong willed child it can be difficult to look past the power struggle of the day into the future. In fact, you may not feel like you’ll even survive the present!
Chances are you’ve got at least one strong willed child in your family. Parenting strong willed kids is… you guessed it, hard!
But a simple change in perspective can make it a lot easier.
The Fix: Change Your Perspective
It’s easy to let the build-up of power struggles create a barrier between you and your strong-willed child. Fight that like crazy, mama.
Stick to your kid like glue. Be his biggest fan. Encourage and compliment him when he succeeds and does what is right.
Next, call out the potential in your child. I tell my son all the time, “You are a man of God. He has big plans for you.” Keep your eyes down the road and remember God’s promises for your child.
Then, hold them to a standard. Yes, they’ll resent it at first. But any kid knows that parents have expectations because of love. You love him so much you’ll do the hard job of discipline.
It all comes down to perspective. You aren’t saddled or burdened with this child, you’re blessed with this child. Every step you take is molding him more into the person he’s meant to be.
Read these game-changing phrases for your strong-willed child.
Problem #9: You’ve Got Decision Fatigue
As a parent, you’re bombarded with a constant string of decisions. Some are big, like which school to attend or how to address a tantrum. Others are small, such as which sippy cup to use or which shoes to wear.
No matter the consequence, all these decisions add up to major fatigue for parents. If you’re like me, sometimes you just fall into your bed at the end of the day, wishing you could just turn your brain off! Why isn’t there a power button?
Carley says, “We have so many examples and styles and ways of parenting presented to us (via internet & social media) that it can cause comparison and doubt in ourselves. For me, knowing and reminding myself that even if it feels like all the decisions are the most important ever, they’re actually not – helps keep perspective in parenting. And truly partnering in parenting with my husband and the Holy Spirit relieves the pressure I put on myself.”
The Fix: Simplify and Delegate
The first part of this solution is to simplify. Simplify your belongings. Purge toys, clutter, and junk from your home. Load up bags of items to donate. You don’t need 14 sippy cups per child. Two or three will do!
Every item that you remove from your home is one less item you’ll have to make a decision about later.
Simplify your expectations, too. Is reading online making you stressed or confused about what your kids should be eating, wearing, or doing?
Turn off the noise! Trust your gut and keep it simple.
Secondly, become a mom who delegates! This is difficult when the kids are younger, but begin early allowing your children to be independent.
Whether it’s getting dressed, making beds, or even folding laundry, kids can do so much if we encourage them from the start. Remember, even if they don’t do it perfectly, it’s still done. And that’s one less thing you’ll have to make a decision about!
Problem #10: You’re Still Growing
Listen, we don’t come into this parenting thing with it all figured out. Even our own hearts are still in need of pruning and weeding.
Parenting is hard because you are still a work in progress.
You’ve still got sin God is revealing to you. You’ve still got hurt He’s ready to heal. You’re not perfect (who is?!) and therefore you can’t be a perfect mom either.
Angela writes, “Modern parenting feels hard because of the demands society puts on parents! I struggled with this for a long time second guessing how I felt lead to parent and it caused so much stress and anxiety! …I no longer measure myself with what society or the world thinks about my parenting, and that weight lifted was a huge blessing for me and my kiddos.”
The Fix: Grow in Grace and Truth
Here’s the solution… submit yourself to the Lord! Ask Him, “What are you trying to teach me in this difficult season? Show me the weeds and pull them out! Show me how to grow into your heart more!”
The purpose of parenting is more than raising great kids. God designed parenting to mold and shape you as well!
Embrace those trials of parenting as an opportunity to investigate your own heart and attitudes and continuously submit them to the Lord!
So why do you think parenting is hard? What makes being a parent more difficult for our modern generation?
These solutions for when parenting is hard will help you find hope when it gets tough. Connect with us in the comments below!