As I sit at my dining room table, click-clacking away at my computer, I'm distracted by the heavy hum of a drilling rig about a mile away from our house. When I think about it too long, I get angry. One of my favorite memories of moving into this house on an acre further out of town was the blaring quiet we heard when we climbed into bed that first night. There are reasons for the rig's existence, most of which I don't care for, but at the end of the day there isn't anything I can do about it, short of moving. And we're not moving.
And that's so much of life, isn't it? So much of our troubles and complaints come from situations that we either can't or won't go the distance to change. So what then? Becoming a mother was a lifelong dream of mine. The maternal instinct was strong since I was a child and even now I never would choose not to have children. Yet, this life that I live mothering and educating and wife-ing is the most stress I have ever experienced over such a long period of time. At times my ability to think has been severely weakened. My ability to lose weight has been severely affected. And my joy levels take so much work to keep them where they need to be. Reason would say I need to get divorced if my husband is causing me stress. Logic would say quit homeschooling if it is wearing me out. Or better yet, get rid of a kid or all of them. Just like we aren't moving from a great house and area, because the noises outside are different than we moved in, I'm not getting rid of my children or leaving my husband because life is stressful.
In an attempt to not crush our children's spirit, parents (myself included) are very tempted to allow our children to decide what they want to do when they want to do it. As a piano teacher, I've had dozens of conversations with parents who inform me that Johnny has decided he doesn't want to play the piano any more (after 8 weeks). Too often parents say, "I really think its important for Johnny to learn to play, but I just don't want him to hate it so we're going to take a break." Now, I don't care if your kids learn to play any instrument or sport or skill necessarily. This isn't a plea for rounding up business. This is a plea for recognizing the importance of skill building and commitment. Whether you are volunteering at an animal shelter or training to be champion horse rider, it is good for your character and transfer into adulthood to follow through with things. Just because something gets hard should never be a prompting for quitting. When it starts to get hard, that's a good sign you are about to learn something really important.