No matter how many children you have, or their ages, I am sure you can relate that parenting is hard.  The guilt, the schedules, the stress, the lack of sleep, the big emotions, the decisions…it can all leave us feeling this constant pressure.  Not only do we have to keep these humans alive and thriving, but we are also responsible for shaping their souls and pointing them to the One who has all the answers.  In moments of uncertainty, I can look heavenward and know my loving Father is sitting right there. My burden as a parent is not to exhaust myself to attain perfection, but rather to point my children to the truth of the Gospel. If that is my ultimate goal, I can take heart in knowing that each time I fall short, Christ fills in the gaps. And if Christ fills in the gaps, I can absolutely know I’m doing this parenthood thing right.  So, how do we take some of the pressure off of parenting? 

1. Listen to the whispers.

The Lord is often subtle, moving in our hearts through gentle whispers. Lean into the Lord’s calling for your family, even if it feels a little bit uncomfortable or unpopular. He may not reveal His entire plan, but He is faithful to light your next steps. (Psalm 119:105)

2. Keep perspective.

Your family’s story and the entire history of the world were written by the same hand. Trust that in His infinite wisdom and power, He is capable of equipping you with the necessary skills to make decisions for your children.

3. Surrender perfection.

While it’s true that we should maintain high expectations for our children, they should also be respected as unique and important people in their own right. Sometimes, it’s freeing to celebrate what you’ve considered a less-than-perfect aspect of your child’s personality, and let go of your own impossible ideals that are crippling their growth.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Sometimes God’s answer is that you and your child need a little help to sort out what’s going on. God has gifted us with countless wonderful pastors, medical professionals, therapists, teachers, and counselors to lean on when we need to. If God is placing it on your heart to reach out, never—ever—resist that urging from Him.

For more encouragement, check out this Bible Reading Plan! 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid