I hear it all the time. Most often it’s when I’m waiting in line at the grocery store. It’s that thing you don’t realize that can destroy your home life.
I listen to the responses of the mamas in front of me. The overly chipper Trader Joe’s cashier will kindly ask, “How are you doing ma’am?”
The mama replies, “Fine, I’m tired. These kids are driving me crazy.”
The look on her face says it all.
“I’m exhausted. I’m spent. I’m weary. And I don’t want to answer your questions right now. I feel frustrated, angry, and I just wanna get out of here.”
I was talking with a woman a few months ago who was sharing with me her plans for their summer break. She told me of all the activities she was going to put her girls into. From camps, to classes, to lessons, to sports, to VBS…overnight play dates, a trip to Grandmas and babysitters lined up for the rest.
I must have had a shocked expression on my face because she stopped and then said with a little laugh and an obvious edge of contempt,
“I think I’m a 50% kind of mom. I honestly don’t like my kids. I try to sign them up for as much as I can because I just don’t want to be around them.”
I know dozens of grown adults now with families of their own who have no relationship whatsoever with their aging parents. I cannot fathom getting older and not speaking to my children anymore, yet somehow an incredible amount of people in my generation do not have a pleasant relationship with their mothers or fathers.
Why is that? What makes the difference in successful and unsuccessful families? Why do some people have amazing relationships and others would be fine never speaking to their parents again?
Being a parent is hard. Taking care of little people day in and day out is hard. And it’s often a thankless job.
But I promise you this. There is one thing that will surely destroy your home. And no, it’s not the dirty floors with crushed goldfish spread all over, being late to soccer every Tuesday, or the sink full of unwashed dishes. The one thing that will destroy every relationship within your home is hardness of heart.