Parenting is trying to kill me lately. So many challenges! Sprinkle some grief (theirs AND mine) on top and we have the perfect storm going on here. Extra grace required has never been more relevant than in this house right now. Lord, have mercy! We need a helping hand! Sometimes you have to look around a little to find one, but they are there.
Even though we have plenty of problems going on right now, hating school is not one of them. My kids LOVE school. We are so fortunate to have teachers and administrators who seem to be on team EGR. They are working with me to help my kids do and be their best. They are helping hands.
This is so important, because Gman is struggling. For him, impulse control, inability to sleep soundly and emotional regulation are challenges he faces every day. It’s sometimes hard to know how much of this is ADD, how much of it is grief, and how much of it is typical 9-yr-old boy stuff. I’m so grateful for a caring mental health team of counselors to help me help him. They are helping hands.
However, the road to helping him is long and there are few places to refuel along the way. There’s no immediate remedy, but rather a series of trial and error. There’s so much frustration, impatience, disruption, anger and despair as we work towards finding the right solution. Although I know much of what’s going on is not something he can control on his own right now, it doesn’t stop me from yelling. It doesn’t stop me from growing impatient with him. I’m tired, frustrated, and very concerned…like a normal parent would be I suppose, but without his Dad to step in when I’m about to lose my mind over it all. Single parents everywhere are in the same boat. Parenting is not a job for one. It’s not even a job for two, really. It truly takes a village of helping hands and I’m working on growing ours.
Recently, Gman’s counselor suggested he needs “dude time.” Well, we don’t have a “dude” in the house, so there’s THAT. Thanks for the reminder though. So, I signed him up for Cub Scouts again (prime dude time), but his counselor wants him to have more than that. He wants him to have monthly time with a trusted guy, one-on-one time, doing guy things. I have men that my husband and I were friends with, but they have their own lives and their own families. They have their own projects, appointments and commitments. I can’t go with a hit or miss, well intentioned but only sometimes relationship. I need consistency and commitment because the last thing Gman needs is to feel like someone else left his life. The Big Brother/Big Sister program sounds great, but they are at capacity…beyond capacity really. Plus, forgive my mama bear paranoia, but I’d like to KNOW who is spending time with my son.
All of these things makes me hyper aware of how “not enough” I am. It isn’t that I’m doing anything wrong as a Mom, but there have been so many things to remind me of how truly not enough I am. And what Mom wants to feel not enough for her kids?
I can’t fix their grief. I can’t be a Dad for them. I can’t seem to muster up more patience, which they absolutely require. I’m in a season where I’m feeling overwhelmed with parenting. ALL parents go through this, for sure, but this is like overwhelmed on steroids. This too shall pass, I tell myself. God is on team G-man. He has a plan for his life. He is with us. But dang if I don’t feel really alone with this lately.
“Not enough.” Unaccepted. Unworthy. Ineffective.
I’m in need of reassurance and more helping hands.
I know the details of your circumstances may be different, but if you’re feeling not enough right now too, will you join me in soaking in these words? We really are the opposite of what we tell ourselves we are sometimes. I’m trying to quiet the negative thoughts and focus hard on what God says I am and also what He says about who HE is.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (A helping hand!!)
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Sufficient? That’s the opposite of not enough!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Phil 1:6
2 Corinthians 3:5 (NIV)
5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Rest in this, friends. Soak it up and be reassured. Read it and re-read it until you believe it again.
This life is overwhelming at best even when all is going well. When you add in grief and loss, single parenting, loneliness, financial concerns, health concerns, or whatever it is that you’re struggling with, it can feel like a tidal wave of insecurity and fear. I’m here to tell you (and myself)…you are NOT alone. I know, because God says so!
We all need a helping hand now and then. Asking for it is the hardest part. I know we’d all rather be giving the helping hand instead of receiving it. But just look at this image again. Can you tell which hand is giving help and which is receiving it?
Offering a helping hand looks the same as grasping on to a hand for help. When we join together like this, both are safer and stronger. We aren’t supposed to do all of the hard work alone. We don’t have to pretend we are stronger than we are.
We were designed to need one another. And we were designed to need God.
Wishing peace, comfort and a ton of extra grace for all of us today, tomorrow and whatever comes after that.
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