Children can be a genuine source of both blessing and frustration at the same time. The question all parents face is what to do with the frustration you feel?
The biggest issue is that our frustration if left unchecked can lead to anger, resentment and ultimately bitterness. The word ‘frustrate’ means to defeat, disappoint, thwart and oppose. As parents we sometimes feel that as hard as we try our best efforts are wasted and all we are doing is losing sleep and the battles.
If we constantly feel we are in a loosing battle, then anger and resentment build. Resentment is deeper than anger. Anger is a sudden but brief display of excessive emotion. Resentment on the other hand is a sullen unyielding anger that continues to brood over a situation. In my experience children will give their parents reasons to get angry. Oh, some parents may show their displeasure on the outside more than others. But in parenting children not everything is going to go exactly the way you planned it.
I remember when the twins were babies trying to get out of the house. I had everything ready including me! Their bag was packed and at the door. They had eaten, were clean and looked just adorable. I had their snow suits on them (Canadian winters!) and then I heard the explosion. Yes, one of them had pooped everywhere; up the back, down the legs. I was foiled! I couldn’t leave them in that mess as it went through to the snowsuit and we only had one. I was fuming mad. My opportunity to get out – gone! And I had everything ready – it’s not fair! That thought consumed me. I can still remember crying while unpacking everything completely, changing and bathing the baby. This was not their fault. As Forrest Gump says, ‘Shit happens!’ And it did. It’s what we do with it as parents. Are we going to let it cause us to resent the very ones we are here to shape and mould? If we don’t deal with our resentment, then we will become bitter.