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“I’m Tired of You” – Parenting in the Time of Corona

I read a blog post yesterday from a blogger that I have followed since Hallee the Homemaker was brand-new. So, about twelve years. This article completely gave me pause and I have been mulling over what a read for the last twenty-four hours and really feel like I need to address it. The gist of it was, in the face of Corona parenting, she was sitting at dinner with her family and looked at everyone and said, “I’m tired of you.” And then she followed that up with the fact that that phrase, “I’m tired of you,” is not in any parenting book, but it should be.

Y’all, no.

It’s possible that I’m coming at this with the perspective of someone who already has a grown child. My oldest is twenty-three, and she is grown and gone. And I miss her. On a good month, I see her twice. On a normal month, I see her once. And I love spending time with her, I love talking to her, I love interacting with her via text messages and Instagram and the ways that we interact as mother and daughter. But the fact is, there is a hole in our family because she’s not here anymore. Gregg and I had a job to do with her. We were to raise a wise, independent, functional adult who loves Jesus and obeys God. And we did that. We did it really well. But it doesn’t change the fact that that seat next to me at dinner time is empty.

I understand that perspective is unique to some people in regards to this concept.

Nevertheless.

I have a family because I want those people in my life. I married Gregg because I love him and respect him and want to live and do life with him. We made a family together and we love and cherish our children. We discipline them, mold them, love them, pray for them, pray with them, teach them — and that’s our job. There’s nothing about that job that’s easy. But, there’s nothing more rewarding than the end of the day as I think back to the day about what we learned and what we talked about and what I was able to teach our children. There is truly nothing more rewarding.

Like everyone else, our family has been home since mid-March. Unlike a lot of families, my husband’s job is something that can be done remotely. Because he is high risk, he has been home since February. We still don’t go to church . We don’t go to Bible study. We still don’t have play dates. Because Gregg is high risk. It is our family…all the time.

We are together two meals a day, sitting across from the table with each other. We come together we go apart. We come together we go apart. The boys have bedrooms that they go to and we have a large living room that they come back into. Gregg and I have offices that we go to and we have a large living room that we come back into. We watch movies, we play games, we talk to each other, we laugh with each other, and we are together most of the time.

And I don’t feel like I am tired of my family. I don’t feel like I need to break away from them. If I need a moment, I can go outside or go take a bath or something. And no one will bother me.

My point is, those words are not helping any parent. The perpetuation that that is a normal thought is not a healthy thing to put out to the world.

The concept that it’s not in any parenting handbook but it should be.

No!

No, it shouldn’t be. If that’s how you’re feeling, then there is something deficient in your mind, your heart, or in your parenting. And that is something that should be a very sincere and serious focus of reflection and prayer. Why am I feeling this way? What is deficient? How can I fix it? Here is a great resource where you can start exploring: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/

It’s not something for which we should strive, this normality of feeling like I’m tired of my family.

Also, to say that to your children in this terrifying, unprecedented time, when NOTHING in their lives are normal and they don’t even know how to process the news they hear or the conversations adults have in their presence… ya’ll, just NO.

Again, like I said, maybe I’m coming from a perspective of someone who already has a child out of the house and so I know what it feels like once they’re gone. Or maybe I am the one unique.

How do you feel about it?

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5 Comments

  1. I totally agree!
    Words cannot express how much I agree with your side! While I don’t have kids yet, I married and left my family. There is a hole in my heart for them everyday, especially since I can’t see them very often. But even when I was home, there were days we would get frustrated with each other, but we never said we were tired of each other. We would just go to our rooms or outside and have some “me” time and be fine. I think saying that your tired of someone can have psychological affects that last a long time after the words are said.

    Thanks for your Thoughts!

    Sincerely,
    Kimmie (The Travelers Wife)
    Kimberly Werntz recently posted…Landing in My Present – Lone Star LitMy Profile

  2. Trudy Trudy

    I’ve never been married, don’t have children. However, I can’t imagine ever saying something like this to them! My own parents would never have dreamed of saying something like this to my sisters and I! I agree with you, Hallee, 100%!!!

  3. It was interesting to see the reactions of people all over the country and world on my FB feed the 2 to 3 months after our state and the country locked down. Myself, my family, are doing great, all things considered. We have 2 girls that share a room. I think they’ve grown really tired of each other some days and need time apart and don’t have that opportunity as easily as I would like them to. They also do that sibling thing where they hate each other for a while then suddenly they’re back together all giggly and happy like they didn’t just tackle each other earlier.

    We also have an extra furnished room in the garage we use as an office or to ‘get away’ from things when we’re stressed or on a video or phone call. Right now however it’s super hot out there ha.

    I think that when you get to the point that this poor woman got to, then you’ve apparently not learned how to set boundaries for yourself. We are human. We need to realize that we sometimes need space. That doesn’t mean we get to tell our family that we’re tired of them. We take a break, come back and love on them again. As a two-parent household, we often ‘tag’ each other out if we are becoming stressed, overwhelmed, feeling sick, or if we are just not having a good day. We love spending family time together but we also sometimes need space. So if I recognize that my husband needs some space, or if he recognizes that I need space, then we’ll make that happen in a loving (most of the time lol) way.

    I appreciate your words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing all of this.
    Sara Beth recently posted…Book Review: Blue ColumbineMy Profile

  4. Absolutely agree. There are times as a parent that you are frustrated, exhausted, craving some time alone, and that is normal, but to say “I’m tired of you” to your family? Not normal. Not OK. Definitely an emotionally harmful statement for kids to hear. As parents, we’re supposed to be the ones who will always be there for them, not the ones to hand out a verbal slap in the face. I think you expressed it beautifully. Thanks for posting this.

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