Anyone Else Feel Done?

Young woman lying back on a couch talking on a mobile phone

Today I feel done.

I am done.

Done with disrespect and disobedience and difficulties.

Done with trying to reason with teenagers.

Done with trying to reign in kindergarteners.

Done with trying to make decisions.

Done with trying to get organized.

Done with cleaning up the mess my ex-husband has made. 

Done with trying to understand how to parent all these children alone.

Done with trying to figure out how to do this life with any sense of grace, composure, or patience.

Done.

There are so many things to think about and do…I’m tired.  I just wish I could take a timeout and have a replacement come in for a bit of this game.  Being a single parent is hard.

I had to confront a child today on cell phone usage and school issues.  Golly, you would have thought that cell phone was her only source of oxygen. 

I wanted to work with her and help her develop a plan to exercise responsible use of her phone and her schoolwork.  Instead I was met with all those stereotypical teenage responses.  Those responses which make my head close to exploding.  

Until about 4 months ago, my daughter was not stereotypical…and then boys entered the picture, and cheerleading, and that blasted cell phone. 

I hate technology.

I want my children to be able to contact me while they are with their dad, but…ugh…I hate cell phones. 

Unfortunately it has become, to some of my children, a right not a privilege.  And what a colossal waste of time this “right” offers!

She is avoiding responsibilities and school work.  My sweet, sweet daughter has become a very entitled, insecure young woman.  She does not believe she is smart and therefore has no vision for what her life can become.  At 15 that is a bit disconcerting.  I know that her self-esteem and image issues have a lot to do with our family’s situation, but it doesn’t help me know how to deal with them.

I have had the most wonderful relationship with her for so long I’m floored by this new turn of events.  I know my dear daughter is in there somewhere…Lord, please help me reach her.

I do know that some of her behavior is ordinary teenage angst, but I want my daughter to be extraordinary.  I believe she is.

Everything I say to build her up she calls a “mom lie.”  She says it’s like a mom telling her daughter she’s pretty even when she isn’t.   Ugh.  That so isn’t true.  My daughter is smart, talented, and beautiful inside and out.  She just doesn’t see it or feel it. 

I’m broken-hearted for my darling daughter.  I cannot be her father as much as I try to…I’m a miserable failure at it.  I cannot give to her what her dad was designed to provide. 

But even as I write in my despairing state, God has laid it on my heart that He is the perfect Father for my daughter.  Oh that she knew that to her core.  She does not.  Her faith is wobbly at best and I’m afraid I’ve failed miserably there as well.  I felt certain my children would be firm in their faith because of God’s faithfulness throughout our challenges…unfortunately, I think some of my children still only see the challenges.

I’ve not pointed out His care and provision often enough.  I’ve been praising Him to everyone but my children.  Father, forgive me and may your grace pour over my children and all my parenting mistakes.

A friend reminded me the other day how important prayer is…how it’s vital that we pray with our children and allow them the privilege of seeing God answer.  I’m sitting her realizing that although at this point my daughter and I have made up, we have not prayed together.  How is that even possible that I didn’t pray with her?

I think I best stop typing and go pray with my daughter…to show her that my strength and hers is from the Lord…that He cares about all these big and little issues…and He will answer.  And I think I’ll also remind her of who she is in Christ…beloved, precious, God’s workmanship, more than a conqueror, able to do all things in Christ, forgiven and saved.  She cannot say that is a “mom lie.”  God said it!

Before I go, thank you so very much for listening…for allowing me to process my thoughts through my fingers, and come, as always, back to my Faithful Father and His love for me and my dear children.

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30 Comments

  1. May God bless you as go through this “done” day. I pray for God’s wisdom to come through your words to your daughter, that your time of prayer was strengthening and encouraging for both of you. I pray that we will all, as parents, show God’s working in our lives every day. I am so glad I have found your page and that I can share my journey with other parents in the same boat as me.

  2. Do you remember the “MAS” back from our HS days? (Mutual Admiration Society, right?) I hope your lovely daughter has a friend like you were ….who will constantly tell her how lovely she is and (more importantly) how loved she is….and how all-around awesome she is. Hang in there….love and prayers and thoughts are headed your way from chilly WI!

  3. It is good to hear that someone else reaches that done point. By the time seven o’clock comes around I am pretty tired from the day at school, getting my own kids ready and supper and then everything else after school, that I can tell I am reaching that “done” spot. Thank you for sharing Sue and letting me know I am not alone. You are a great influence .
    Thanks, Shanda

  4. Sis, I just love you! Thank you for your honesty. Although I am not a single momma, I soooo have days like that, too. (I keep deleting what I type so my comment doesn’t turn into a post! Lol!) Anyway, I’m praying for you right now. I get the struggles with nurturing, instructing, guiding, and disciplining teens (out of our 8 daughters, 2 of them are ages 13 & 15…w/cell phones!) They are so precious, and fragile, and moody, and talkative, and…and…and…opinionated. 🙂 God is so good! He is our all in all!!!!!! Love, your sister, Melissa from Bones in My Heart * Isaiah 26:3
    * 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 * 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

  5. Sue, I can so relate to your “done” day. And I am also tired of cleaning up the mess my ex-husband has made. There I said it…that is the first time I have written ex-husband. Our divorce was final on 3/7/13 and probably the saddest day of my life. He too walked out on our family in 2009 and never looked back. We had been married for 21 years at the time. We have a son(23) two daughters 16 and 13 now. After the shock, utter shattering of the heart, bitterness, anger and every other emotion under the sun, we are still standing by God’s faithfulness and grace. I heard your story on Focus on the Family and it was as if you were telling my story. I struggle with the same issues and sometimes I feel like a complete failure as a mom because I am not designed to be mom and dad. My prayer is that God will teach me what to do and say, and trust Him to fill in the gaps. Thanks so much for sharing, and for being real. God hears our prayers and He has a good plan for us and our children. Delane

  6. Sue,
    My parents divorced when I was 13. My dad left my mom. I had a real hard time with it and acted out different ways, but my mom kept praying for me and keep me in church as long as she could. Because of that i was the prodical son and returned to God my Aba Father. I have two daughters that are 17 and 19 and both have struggled with believing they are valuable and have a purpose. My 19 year old is seeing it now. There is hope. We are preparing now as my wife their mom has decided she is going to leave. Because my relationship with them we have talked about surviving after she leaves. I have been encouraged by your story that you can survive and keep going, when your spouse decides to leave. God is using you in ways you may not know.
    Keep doing what your doing. you may not see the Holy Spirit working but like you said God is faithful and He loves your kids more than you do. Like someone else said, when we’re done and get out of the way, God does his best work. I hope my comments don’t sound confusing but I’ve never done this before. I want you to know that we have an idea of what we wanted our family to look like but I have found that it may not be what God wants.

  7. http://tenthavenuenorth.com/videos/ (cut and paste to this – I don’t know how to “link”)
    I heard Tenth Avenue North’s song “Worn” this morning for the first time and thought of you! Worn even kinda sounds like Done (maybe even the same number of points in scrabble). There I go….. I would listen to the words rather than watching the video first (unless you’ve already heard the song). WOW. My days like this are the , “I can’t do this anymore, I can’t do this anymore, I JUST can’t do this anymore” but then there’s the verse – even with the word “can” – that tells me we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. So I get back on track, sometimes quickly and other times, not so, until the next day(s) like this. Just cannot do this Life without God! Thank you for your encouragement! Sister, I love and miss you, and Z,E,P,E, and A, and am looking forward to June!

  8. Oh Father, I hear the desperate plea in Sue’s writing, almost as if she is saying it aloud right next to me. All the fears I have for my 4 year old for the future have been exposed in this one instance between Sue and her daughter. You said, you are a father to the fatherless. You are the father and the comforter. Help Sue’s daughter realize her identity in Christ. Her special and unique person you created her to be. Guide Sue and her daughter into communication together and with you. Help Sue see her strength is in The Lord and that you are her portion. Always guide her footsteps and let her know you are there each step she takes. In my Lord and Savior’s Name, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

  9. My ex-wife left me for other men 2 years ago. I just came across your blog from FoF podcasts. I love your stuff. I’m a full-time dad to 3 kids, and my ex-wife is an addict. Thanks for your support online with this blog. I have one question: In your blog have you dealt with the question of, How long do you hold out hope for a remarriage with your ex-spouse? (I don’t mean you personally; I mean you in general.)

  10. Sue,
    I am married to a missing parent/husband. He’s here, but not. I have felt the things you wrote about and I am here to tell you, God is faithful. Let these challenges develop Godly character and the fruit of the Spirit in you. The one that gave me the most trouble is graduated and gone. But she’s so much of a joy to me now, I miss her and wish she were closer so we could enjoy each other’s company. The next flies the coop at the end of this school year. I love her and know that we have our rough days, but she’s aware and brought me a Godiva chocolate shake at work to make up for the last hormonal outburst. The boys are last, one will be venturing out into his 11th year of school and into a path I know God has prepared for him in the world of engineering. Can’t wait to see the Lord grow him beyond his own self inflicted boundaries. The last one is mine for now and I continue to foster a relationship with myself, him and God. This one is different. I tell him he has a better mother than the others had.

    God is faithful. You will endure and you will see the fruit of your labor. I promise. I personally never thought I would, but I have. The fruit is SO sweet. Hang on. God’s grace is sufficient…REALLY.

  11. Thank you for being real. I feel the same way of the phone. AlwAys wanting to know when “dad” calls or texts, too. I am in just the beginning…discovered the outside relationship 1 month ago today. Thank you for what you do for “us”.

  12. Discovered you from a Focus on the Family podcast. What a gift from God! I have longed to find others who have experienced what I have. Our stories are almost identical! I’ve been divorced almost 4 years and continue to heal through the grace of God. Thanks for being “real” and letting us journey along with you, through the good and the bad. Someone mentioned the song “Worn” and I agree it’s a good one. I couldn’t have made it through the first year without Kirk Franklin’s CD, “The Fight of my Life”. Give it a listen!

  13. I discovered you yesterday through an article you wrote in a Focus magazine. I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to hear someone else in a similar situation. I am a single mom to six kids and your post on being ‘done’ is my life. I look forward to reading more….

  14. Oh, Sue! When I read this post, I wish so much we could just sit down and chat because it sounds so familiar! Except my heart is breaking over my 14-year old son, whose heart seems so cold, and who has chosen mediocrity in every area of his life. And I HATE technology and how it has consumed him, yet I hate to micromanage every minute of his day. He needs a hero, a father he can admire and respect to show him how to be a man of God, and I am failing miserably. Thank you so much for your honesty in your struggles. Just knowing that I am not the only one who is “done” makes me feel more sane.

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