5 One-Liners to Repeat When Parenting Becomes a Grind

I do a lot of reading about parenting topics, but my favorite kind of research is the old fashioned informal office poll. I recently asked the other parents in the room, “What is the toughest age or phase to parent?” I got a wide range of answers. Some begrudged the stubborn toddler years and others said they’d be fine skipping the emotional teenage outbursts. My favorite answer was “the one you’re in.” I think it’s true. There are challenges to every age and stage.

Parenting is hard and is sometimes best described as a grind. It’s hard to be patient when your child is melting down in the grocery store. It’s heartbreaking to listen to a kid vent about having nobody to sit with at lunch. No matter which part of childhood you’re navigating, there always seems to be something making it incredibly hard. On those days, you can find joy in the grind if you know what to say. Here are 5 one-liners to repeat when parenting becomes a grind.

1. “Why me?”

Simply, because God thought you were up to the task. He chose you to parent these kids out of all the billions of other people on the earth. You may scoff at the notion that God is orchestrating it all, but you can’t deny that you have a responsibility to take care of the little ones in your home. They aren’t born with a compass, and you get to be theirs. Guide and direct them. You are perfect for the job.

2. “Thank you.”

When my kids are throwing tantrums in the grocery store, poking each other at home, or picking fights just because they can, I force myself to recall the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:18, which says, “Be thankful in all circumstances.” It’s not easy, especially when they are making day-to-day tasks more difficult, as kids often do. When you’re in those stressful moments, try (even if it’s hard) to say “thank you.” Gratitude is a powerful reminder that we are truly blessed. We get to care for children who love us. They are a gift, as James 1:17 would say. Growing up, my mom would tell me before birthday parties to say thank you after being given a gift. Remind yourself that same thing during those grinding moments with your kids. They’re an irreplaceable gift.

3. “Help me.”

When you feel like the weight of parenting is getting to be too much to handle, remember it’s OK to ask for help. It’s even better to seek out counsel from friends, family, and others long before you reach your breaking point. Parenting is hard, and we’ve all had those low moments when helpful advice or an encouraging word makes all the difference. Proverbs 11:14 puts it well, saying, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is victory.” Seek the wisdom of others. There is no shame in it.

4. “We can do this.”

I have had to repeat this to myself on many occasions. On days when you don’t feel qualified or capable of successfully guiding your children to adulthood, know that you have all you need to be a good parent. You have past experience to draw from, people around who you can go to for advice. Yes, those times when parenting feels like a grind will be tough. No, they don’t have to cripple you.

5. “It will be worth it.”

At the finish line of a marathon, racers wear joy on their faces. Yes, their legs burn. Yes, their knees are sore. But it was all worth it because they finished the race and accomplished something great. Parenting is the same way. Push through the painful, grinding moments, knowing that the finish line—building kids into loving, caring, successful adults—is worth it. There are few greater joys than to see your baby grow up to be a man or woman of good character.

Sound off: Who do you think would be a good person to call for help with your parenting?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite family memory?”