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It Won’t Always Be Like This

I once heard that whenever people are going through a difficult time, they get into the mindset that “for ever and ever everything will be this difficult.”

What interested me when I heard about this was that the age and circumstance of the person made no difference in the thought process. Troubled teens, new mothers of colicky babies, elderly widows with health issues. In the middle of their distress they each believed, “Things will never change. My life will always be this way.”

I remember being a young(ish) mom of a certain hyperactive, strong-willed, difficult child.

Child made everyday events, like going to the grocery store a challenge. Child once so traumatized the teen-aged babysitter by biting her, that Mr. Smockity and I were called by the babysitter’s parents to have a meeting about how Child’s behavior had affected their family. When I was in the hospital during an entire month of pre-term labor, and we had a friend (Hi, Julie!) watching the kids while Mr. Smockity worked, Child would reportedly run out the door and away from her in an attempt to avoid consequences for disobedience. Child would scream and cry during Bible class so that people would shake their heads and ask, “Oh, you’re still having trouble with Child?”

Yeah.

I used to think, “What am I going to do about Child??? Child is always going to be difficult. Things will never change.”

But things did change.

For one thing, I became a better parent. And for another thing, Child grew and matured and it turned out that some of my words  and admonitions and direction actually stuck in that hard headed noggin.

Child is now a perfectly nice, human being. Child isn’t perfect, but neither am I, so we’re calling it even.

People who know us now who didn’t know us then would never suspect Child used to act that way.

My message to you if you are going through a difficult time is, hang in there. It won’t always be this difficult. Things will get better. The sun’ll come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar.

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Comments

  1. Once again, you said it well, Connie. ;)

  2. I needed this reminder tonight–thank you :)

    Oddly enough, I was quoting the song to my six year old yesterday when he was very over dramatically bemoaning his disappointment-of-the-moment but I didn’t stop to think how it applied to me, too. I know things won’t be “better” tomorrow (6yr old with ADHD, middle child redefining the terrible in Terrible Twos, and a four month old in congestive heart failure) but there will come a day when I look back and think, “I MADE IT!!!”

    =)

  3. I SOOO needed this tonight. My 9 and 6 year olds tagged up and gave a performance of a lifetime in front of a meeting I was running tonight. Of all women. Which translates to all Moms, which happened to be the perfect age of forgetting what children are really like. I was utterly defeated and humiliated by their behavior. I really REALLY needed this tonight. Thank you.

  4. Oh, God bless you! For a moment I thought you were writing about MY 6-year-old. =) Yes, some moments you feel frozen in time. Like the good days are NEVER going to arrive.
    And my girl, who is turning 3 in about a week is going through SOMETHING AWFUL with her attitude….
    The good thing about our strong-willed babes is that the next day, or even the next moment could be all sunshine again….
    Tomorrow there’ll be sun….tomorrow there’ll be sun….it’s only a day away….(or a few months, anyway!).

  5. Amen sister!

  6. It’s so easy to forget when you’re in the thick of things our kids are just kids. I’m blessed that my oldest is getting out of “that” phase, but my middle is just entering it : ) So goes life.

  7. So needed this with the example of a “difficult” child. I have one and know the days/events well! Thank you for the hope…. that my child might one day be a “nice, human being” and that the “hard days” are just seasons! I knew that… just needed a friendly reminder:)

  8. It is funny how you always know what to say at the right time. I was just telling my co-blogger this morning I don’t know what I am going to do with my youngest child he is pushing me to my limits. Thanks for reminding me.

  9. Oh Connie,
    Thank you so much for this post!!!! While I KNOW things aren’t always going to be like this, sometimes I FEEL that way because it’s the daily in and outs of my life. I HAVE that child you spoke of. She is beautiful and delightful….when she wants to be and a holy terror the rest of the time! I love her dearly, and you’ve given me hope that she WILL grow out all of that….without turning into a serial killer and landing in jail with a life sentence….lol. Ok, she’s not THAT bad….most days. Anyway, your post was just what this sleep deprived momma needed to hear.
    Shelly

  10. Laura in AZ says:

    Oh God bless you, Connie. I think you and I must be about the same age –I can certainly relate to a lot of your stories, only you tell them better than I ever could!
    One of the great things about being an “older” mom is this kind of wisdom that only comes from experience.
    You see, I, too, have a Child who did things like setting off the fire alarm at the library because he was “curious”. The same Child fed his little brother a half a bottle of Triaminic cough syrup once because he was “helping”. I am proud to say that my Child is about to graduate from college in May with not one, but two BS degrees and I couldn’t be more thrilled with him.
    Now that I’ve hit this stage of life, I know that my Grandma was right when she told me “this too shall pass”. And I will repeat those words to my kids with confidence if any of them ever have a Child who pulls his little sister’s arm out of the socket while giving piggy-back rides.
    Keep writing, Connie. I love your blog.

  11. So, so, so true.

    I have a Child.

    I love him unconditionally.

    I remember daily that 1Corinthians 13 tells me that love is patient, love is kind… it keeps no record of wrongs. Love never fails.

    Connie, I needed this today. Thank you.

  12. Thank you so much for this reminder. Lately, I’ve been feeling like the cat in the above photo.

  13. Blessed Mama says:

    This is so true! It’s easy to remember when life is cruising smoothly, and easy to forget when a speed bump hits!

  14. How wonderfully sweet of you to write this directly to me today! Yup, I’m claiming it! We’ve got a wonder-son that challenges every ounce of this flesh and bone (prone to sin) mama…it doesn’t help that he was so traumatized as a wee one before he came to us that every decision he makes is often made from that place of fear deep inside him.

    ~But, boy, oh boy, is it nice to know he’s going to heal and mature~

  15. Lovely! sigh….

  16. Thank you. :)

  17. Oh yes! So true. Thanks for this encouragement.

  18. I needed a reminder of this as I wiped up the blood my special needs baby vomited up, again counted the days until her heart surgery, spent most of the day pumping breast milk (as I have done for about four and a half months) and dealt with her other five siblings – who I love dearly and are great kids, but one or two decided today was the day to push Mum’s buttons.

  19. Thank you for the reminder. I forget that I DO feel like that often. And in a very similar situation too. I think “If I could just figure this one out– I can take on anything!” haha.

    Thanks!

  20. Thank you for sharing. I don’t get in the “it will always be like this mindset” but I do wonder what I did wrong with my middle child. Thank you for sharing that persistence in parenting pays off.

  21. Serenity Summers says:

    It’s nice to know that I am not the only one who has a CHILD! She is our third and middle child and delights in pushing others buttons BUT she is also AMAZINGLY empathetic and I KNOW God has wonderful plans for her. I just hope they include at least one CHILD with her …..dispositi0n :)

  22. Trust me, the babysitter got over it, was not permanently scarred, and was embarrassed by her overly dramatic parents… And still has fond memories of your kids!!! :)

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      CRISTY!!! I’m so glad you said that! I have always been horrified by it, but my husband has no recollection if it!

  23. Heather Mason says:

    GREAT post, and I was amused by the phrasing :)

  24. This couldn’t have come at a better time as we are having some pretty serious difficulties with our oldest son. But my issue is not that I find myself thinking “things will always be like this”; but, rather, I get worried that his current behviour is a sign of worse things to come… like I’m raising a juvenile delinquent and the fact that I don’t naturally have the patience he requires is just going to push him further along that path. :(

    But I’m glad that I read the comments b/c of the poster who reminded me of 1 Corinthians 13. I’m going to memorize more of it and try to remember to recite it when things get really frustrating (especially 4 – 7!)… hopefully this will remind me of my purpose and will work better for me than counting to 10!

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