Surefire Tips for Survival When You’re at the End of Your Parenting Rope

It can happen to the best of us.

We’re only human, after all.

Problems at work. Problems at school. Problems at home. Problems with our children’s behavior or health.

Here's what to do next when you're at the end of your parenting rope.

Of course problems are a fact of life, but when they pile on and stress piggybacks with them, it can be a real recipe for becoming weary, burdened, and at the end of your rope. I’ve been there myself more times than I’d like to remember. Some of those times I was able to muster the energy and courage to climb back up the rope. And other times, well, this was my mantra.

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

1. Keep Going Knots

Sometimes at the end of our ropes, there’s nothing we can do but keep going. At risk of using too many quotes…

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Sometimes we’re feeling weary, but we see our destination ahead. Perhaps it’s a deployment, the end of a school year, the promise of a promotion or job transfer. We don’t think we have it in us and yet, we’ve got to keep going. These are the times when we must get up with our crying child for the 12th time that night. Change the 200th diaper. Respond to (or ignore) yet another tantrum. Even as a tired mom, we must find encouragement because we see the end in sight.

2. Give Up Knots

Then there are the times that beg the question, “Am I doing the right thing here?” And sometimes the answer can be no.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” Elvis Presley

Whether you’re having trouble at your child’s school and know it’s time to remove him. Perhaps it’s family relationships that are so draining you must set firm boundaries and risk hurting those you love. Maybe it’s your 9 to 5 that is sucking the life out of you. Or a too large house with its crushing mortgage. There are times when it’s okay to “quit” things that are not working. To stop doing things that are crushing.

3. Help Me Knots

Then there are times that we need to keep going, need to keep doing the things we’re doing, but we just can’t do it on our own. These come more than we’d like and they force us to ask others for help.

“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.”

Certain personality types find it extremely difficult to ask for help. They’ll offer their help to anyone in need, but won’t ask. Maybe you need to ask friends to help you clean the house. Perhaps you ask your support group or church to start a meal plan for your family for one month. Even though you didn’t have a baby and no one passed away. Maybe you ask a friend to fix things in your home so you don’t have to pay. Or you ask your boss for a well deserved raise. Don’t waste precious time hanging, when a quick phone call can relieve you of some burdens.

So when you’re at the end of your rope…

If you are feeling in the trenches of this motherhood thing. Traveling all summer with children who get anxious being in new and different places. Or you are moving and your entire life is a chaotic mess. Or your child is suffering and you just don’t know what else to do to fix it.

Do what you can as good as you can, and then tie a knot and hang on.

Angry Mom

If you’re having difficulty redirecting your stress and it’s bubbling into anger that you’re not sure how to handle, my friend Amanda – a mental health counselor – has a series of four FREE videos to help you:

  • Know that It’s Possible to Go From Hulk Mama to Peaceful Mama;
  • Learn the Real Reason You Blow Up at Your Kids;
  • Why Taking a Deep Breath Doesn’t Always Help; and
  • How to Stop Feeling Guilty & Worry About Your Anger

I’ve signed up for the free series and am getting so much great information and tis for calming the chaos in my home. Click here to sign up for the Free series today.


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rachel norman headshotRachel is a non-profit marketer turned stay-at-home-mom. She’s had 4 kids in 3 years on three continents and loves almost every minute. Seeing her “job” as a blessing, adventure, and delight she writes on parenting and motherhood, offering practical tips and encouragement. Connect with her via her blog A Mother Far from Home, Facebook or Pinterest.

More Adventures in Parenting?

Why I told My Kids I Quit Finding Slow Moments when life is a chaotic mess A Newbies Guide to Positive Parenting

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2 thoughts on “Surefire Tips for Survival When You’re at the End of Your Parenting Rope”

  1. Great read! The first time I heard this quote, it turned on a light switch inside of me, and I carry it with me wherever I go: “If He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.” On my worst days, I know I can only go up from there. Trying to keep a positive outlook is a skill that you have to practice everyday. And there’s always someone out there, if not in your immediate circle of family and friends, who can assure you that you’re not alone and encourage your to push through. That’s what’s great about the online parent community, and I love being a part of it — giving and taking.

  2. I struggle with the help me knot so much! I’m very willing to help anyone else, but it’s so hard for me to reach out and ask others. I’m working on doing a better job of asking for help when I need it. It’s a work in progress 🙂

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