Photo by: Cameron Cassan

Some Days, Parenting is... Hard

Photo by: Cameron Cassan

Some days, parenting is… hard

That was my exhausted thought as I drove my daughter home from swim team one night last week.

The whole day had been a battle.

I can’t even remember as I write this what the issues were, but it just seemed like everything was a challenge that day.

Maybe it was because we had a busy schedule and I was being impatient.

Or maybe it was because she’s almost eleven and she’s becoming more independent.

Whatever the reason, I was frustrated.

She was mad.

And it was one of those days.

So there we were, driving along, on the heels of an argument, and I was done.

I sighed.

She sighed.

I could almost hear her arms crossing in the back seat.

We were both quiet.

And in that silence, as we drove down the freeway, the sun setting in the distance, a thought came to me.

“You know what?” I said.

“What?” she answered, sulking.

“I just realized, even when we have our differences, you and I are still more the same than we are different.”

She didn’t say anything.

“And I think the fact that we disagree sometimes might be good.”

“Why?” Her voice softened.

(Was that the sound of her arms uncrossing?)

“Because I see your determination. You’ve got a strong will, and you can do a lot of great things with that in life.”

“Hmm,” was all she said.

We drove along, maybe another five minutes or so, and then…

“Mommy?”

“What?”

“I love you.”

It took me by surprise.

I smiled in the darkness.

“I love you too.”

“Thank you for taking me to swim tonight.”

I got a lump in my throat.

“You’re welcome.”

And that one moment—that glimmer of sweetness in between the day’s bickering—reminded me that even though some days, parenting is hard,

in the end,

it’s still good.

Genny lives in California with her husband and two kids, where she balances writing with motherhood and loves both. You can find her writing regularly at her blog and can read more about her books and articles at GennyHeikka.com. Follow her on twitter @GennyHeikka.

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65 Comments

Thanks for bringing a tear to my eye. I needed this today. Whew...That was a goodie, Genny. Always try to find the positive even in a frustrating situation. Good reminder.

i wish i could post this to my facebook page. it is so true and touching. thank you for sharing. i have also had these intimate sweet moments. it is nice to be reminded of them by others.

I'm learning that parenting is the most rewarding and frustrasting role EVER! My son is only a little ove 2 years old, and he often pushes me to the edge of madness! But, then, in the next instant, he smiles a smile that could light up the world, and says, "Kiss." All the madness and frustration of the day melts away in an instant. I am once again reminded that he is becoming a beautiful, independent person. It's important to have those moments of anger and chaos...

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parenting is hard, but at the end of the day, you realize how much you are loved.our children tell us thank you and I love you.that is what makes it worthwhile.it does not matter what others think when u are the greatest to your children.

Right on the mark. And thanks for the positive example and motivating words.

That is such a great perspective & example of finding the "silver lining" in the storm cloud! Too often I get discouraged about the increasing conflicts that are really a part of the journey towards the independence of my "tween." I pray I'll remember to look for & point out the positive side of that strong will that sometimes results in our "head butting."

Your site is very refreshing and comforting to know that we are not alone with our daily challenges parenting brings.

I agree it can be hard and some days you wonder if it is worth it but it really is.

You are absolutely right...it is very hard, but it is very good. Some days just give us a little more than we bargained for but in the end, it's always well worth it.

I have been there so many times with my strong willed almost 8 yr old daughter that this brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful.

I totally agree. Parenting is very hard work. It becomes really hard when your child mirrors what you do & it is not a very good thing when we are doing something wrong. I would say at this age parenting become more heart work & sometimes we just need that alone time to really bond with our children. I think that listening is one the hardest things for me.

I love moments like that!

How true....been there many times with both my teenage girl and almost teenage boy. It's rough but so worth it.

Thank you for your post. I was having a hard day too and your story helped me feel better. Children are wonderful, trying and thoughtful. They often teach me things to make me a better mom and grandma. The best thing of all is that in between all the hard times are laughter, hugs and love.

beautiful note...read it before I started my work day...and it made me cry - a happy cry. thanks.

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