Our theme this week is ‘cheerful perseverance’ and I can’t say I have much cheerfulness in my persevering at the moment. Being a parent of three near teenagers (11, 12 and 14) would try anyones resolve and at times (like right this minute) it does feel like a pointless, thankless, worthless pursuit – to try and persevere with the storminess, the endless bickering, the arguing and answering back and of course the belief that they know better than us, does not hold much cheer at times. With our eldest particularly as she enters her 14th year I have had to grit my teeth and let some things slide. There is no cheer about it all though just exhaustion, frustration and perseverance.
So when this phrase became our theme with my fellow blog buddies this week I spent some days mulling over it to try to see how you can reconcile the two seemingly opposing words together. Can you be cheerful as you persevere with something that by it’s very description sounds hard work? For those parents out there and particularly parents who are parenting children not born to them, sometimes we can lose sight of the cheer in our struggle to break a cycle of poor decisions, chaotic lifestyles and unhealthy relationships.
I remember writing a blog sometime ago now about having a big BUT! It was about the excuses we make to not do things when actually the WHY of what we are trying to do is the most important thing. Our WHY needs to be bigger than our BUT in order to compel us into action. Check it out here…
I thought about this concept again this week in the light of cheerful perseverance and the thought actually occurred to me that the reason that I do persevere with my children is for the hope that things will change for them. That there may be transformation at some point in their life. That one day they may look back and say that we were doing the best for them! I’m sure all parents feel like this at this stage but I know the struggles of children with Attachment Difficulties can make those times of cheer a little less frequent. We have to persevere – that’s our job, but how we do it will make a huge difference to ourselves and our children. We can do it through gritted teeth and with resentment and frustration, or we can try to find something that makes the perseverance worthwhile. Something that can give us some cheer along the way. I know how difficult this can be and for many of us the secondary trauma, sheer exhaustion and relentlessness of the perseverance can be overwhelming. So like with most things one of the best ways to find the cheer is to break it into small chunks that we can embed into our lives and asking questions can help us do that.
- What is my WHY? Why do I find myself persevering? What am I hoping for? What do I want to see happen for my children, me and my family as a result?
- What will help me find some cheer in what I need to persevere in today? – It may need to be a shorter time period than that though – what about in the next hour? What will help me to persevere in these circumstances knowing that something good will come in the end?
- Who can help me be more cheerful along the way? We all have friends and family who support us but who may also make our lives more challenging sometimes. Maybe they don’t help us find the cheer in persevere. But there are the rare few who can find the balance of understanding the struggle but also holding onto the hope of a better future.
So as I persevere with my sometimes challenging teenagers in the next week I will look to find that WHY that gives me hope, find whatever I need to help me along the way and be around the people who help me find the right balance. I hope the same for you, fellow travellers – find the cheer as you persevere.
(Photo by freedigitalphotos.net)