9 Moms Share their Most Relentless Parenting Challenges

9 Moms Share their Most Relentless Parenting Challenges

Many frustrations of parenting are just phases, but some issues just won’t go away. Grrr!


By Lorraine Allen

“It’s just a phase, it’ll pass,” people say. Yeah, right. Many challenges of raising kids -- like night feeding, potty training, and toddler tantrums — are just passing phases, luckily, though some painful ones last far longer than others, unfortunately.

But most moms I know also have some larger, ongoing struggle in raising their own kids. That major personal frustration that just won’t quit, or at least not yet, despite years of patience and perseverance. These are the things that make motherhood rough, despite all the joys and love, laughter and cuteness. These are the challenges that wear us down, as they drag on, and on, and on, year after year. Here, nine moms spill their biggest parenting challenges. I’m sad to say that more than one of these ring true to me, too. But hey, there’s always hope that these too will pass, eventually, someday. Right?!

1. “My kid has always been a horrible, horrible sleeper. We have tried it all, countless times, but she is 7 years old, and still wakes up almost nightly because of nightmares, discomfort, fears, or needing to go potty or something. There are so many mornings I just cannot take it anymore … There are so many nights I dread going to bed, because I know I’ll get woken up, and it’s so painful! I’m SO tired!” -- Emily K., mom of one

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2. “For me, the biggest frustration by far is the constant whining. My kid just does not have a ‘can-do’ attitude. He’s got this defeatist mentality, which goes against every super independent, ambitious, and competitive bone in my body, and it grates on me. I am trying to come to peace with just accepting that he is very different from me, but it’s hard for me.” -- Sue B., mom of one

3. “The fighting. My kids are two years apart, and all they do is fight. All. Day. Long. Vacations are actually the worst. I dread them now.” -- Eliza R., mom of two

4. “I would have to say the mess in the house. I’m a certified neat freak. I had borderline OCD when I was a kid, I think. I used to line all my toys up, and even wipe my doorknobs at night, I’m ashamed to admit. I’m much better now, but I still hate clutter and messes, and of course, no matter what I do, nor how late I stay up each night cleaning—which is exhausting, but I do!— the house is still a mess before breakfast is even over. Arg!!!! When will it stop?” -- Ann F., mom of four

5. “The biggest frustration for me is not being able to have an adult conversation when my kids are around, which is all the time.” -- Lauren Z., mom of three

6. “My kids never listening to us. It just makes life so hard, to have to repeat everything all day long, every day, for years. Like: Don’t throw things. Stop screaming. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Simple things!” -- Michelle D., mom of two

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7. “Not having time for anything other than work and kids anymore, no matter how often I resolve to try to make time, or even when I do schedule time with my husband or friends. The kids have so many needs, and it really gets in the way of everything else all the time, even though of course I love them more than anything. It’s just hard to find balance.” -- Ximena L., mom of two

8. “Being broke. We work all the time, but the cost of raising kids just keeps getting steeper and steeper. It’s frustrating and stressful and exhausting for us, no matter what we do. We can’t control the rising costs.” -- Jenny M., mom of three

9. “Hands down, mealtime issues. It’s almost every meal, every day, with my kid. And she’s 11! It’s like her time to fight with me, try to control things and just get back at me for all her frustrations.” -- Mira E., mom of two

What’s your biggest parenting frustration?


Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/PeopleImages


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