Parenting is not for the faint of heart.

I love my children. Really. Last night, however, I told my husband, “I think our kids are trying to kill me.”

Sometimes I find myself in a groove with parenting, moving forward, keeping it between the lines. Some days may be a little bumpy, but no major detours or accidents. An occasional moment of bliss occurs when all eight of us sit at the table laughing over dinner, or when I enjoy a sweet moment with our youngest as we read together before bed.

Then, there are days which we have named “Extreme Parenting” days.

Not long ago, there was drama in every corner of the house, four out of six were crying. By the way, I don’t have small children. These are tweens and teens. Issues included boyfriends, unfairness, dead pets, “dad yelled at me”, and my PMS (Oh, I forgot to tell you that I was crying too.).

There are days when it all falls apart. Mornings when getting everyone out the door on time makes me feel like the kettle on my stove, only my steam doesn’t come out as a whistle.

When I told my husband of my impending death, I had just taken electronics from rule-breaking, clueless boys, found my clean sweater on the bottom of someone’s dirty clothes pile, had a serious conversation that included consequences over the issue of lying, and reminded one child to wear his retainer before I make him pay me back the money it cost to straighten his teeth.

The stress from those days has to take its toll. I feel sure that my children might need to contribute money to buy medication for me, or therapy sessions. At this point they at least owe me some facelift funds to cover the deep lines in my forehead from the “mama glare”  they have provoked.

We have our big battles to fight occasionally, but it’s the days when I feel like my kids need parenting at every turn, that I feel one step closer to a stroke. There are phrases that I don’t think I should still have to direct at them this far into the game.  Would someone please create a small machine that can be loaded with recorded messages that I could play as needed, so I don’t have to say them ever again? It could be wired into an intercom system in the house. I could simply press the button that plays, “Brush your teeth” and everyone would hear it.

Actually, what stresses me most as a parent, are the times when I don’t know how to parent. When issues of the heart are involved or we find ourselves facing something we didn’t see coming. I can slip into fear and worry too quickly, taking a situation and playing it out in my head until I have created a nightmare that has not even happened.

With six children, opportunities to earn your gray hairs are plentiful. I joke, but the stress of parenting is real. The effects of stress on your body are real too. I hope you have found a healthy way to deal with your stress.

I have heard God calling me into a more purposeful prayer strategy for my kids this year. He’s still working that out in me and I am listening to his voice as he directs me and teaches me how to pray for them. It’s a battle for our children in this world. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I want my children to experience real life in Christ.

I picked up a couple of books to read about prayer, one specifically about praying for my kids. I have so much to learn, but I have hope because their heavenly Father loves them perfectly. If I stay connected with him, I will know his heart for my six. He will give me what I need to be their Mom.

On my own, I lose it often. Without him, I just want to run away. Parenting is hard, so I’m calling in the big guns. How about you? One thing I am praying for is a scripture verse from God for each of my children. I want to begin praying those verses over them daily. If you are not currently doing this, would you join me?

I truly believe that praying for my children is the greatest act of love that I can show them. I am convinced that God has them in his hands, but he is waiting for me to pray his goodness into their lives. He is working and has invited me to join Him. And you.

Let’s fight for our children on our knees.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. -James 5:16 NLT

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 4:6-7

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