Do you know what I'm talking about?
Making my kids finish something they've started--even when they beg, cry, pout, get sick, get a headache, are exhausted, and beg some more. Wanting them to finish strong, so they don't learn to be a quitter.
I'm talking about when my kids beg me at the beginning of the year to take certain classes or play certain sports...and by the middle of the year are BEGGING to quit. And when begging doesn't work, and their parents tell them they have to finish out the year, they move on to bigger and better tactics--like claiming headaches, exhaustion, and (SHH! Don't tell them this) the one that works the BEST on a tender-hearted mama: "Mom, don't you sometimes just need a little break from something?"
In the past couple of months, a certain class has become DREADED at our house. This was a class my daughter has always wanted to take, has dreamed of taking. She was exhilarated at the beginning of the year finally to be able to sign up for the class. But, it didn't take long for the class to become difficult. I watch this class, and I see. It really IS difficult. I can see--weekly--how it challenges my daughter. It challenges her not only physically, but mentally.
And the most difficult thing of all for this tender-hearted mama? I can see how it challenges her emotionally.
Every. Single. Week. we have a pep-talk before the class. I tell her that I know she can do it. I tell her that she is strong, and can face hard things and DO them. I remind her how much she wanted to take this class. I also remind her how some weeks she has a good time with her friends there. I tell her that I'm proud of her for finishing the class. I try really hard to be a good empathetic listener as she tells me--weekly--how hard the class is, and how MUCH she doesn't want to go. I tenderly smooth back her hair when the tears roll down her cheeks.
But, I must admit to you. It is really HARD as a parent to see my sweet daughter struggle so hard to quit something...and have to look into her eyes, and tell her, "Sweetie, I love you. Because I love you, I want you to finish out this class. You ARE going today. Now, please go get ready."
I want to tell my daughter that she is not the only one doing a hard thing.
Sometimes, her mama really wants a break, too.