By Rachael DeWitt, LCSW

Parenting can be lonely work.Remember those long nights walking the floors with an infant that won’t sleep? Me, too.In the beginning, the loneliness can be overwhelming. At first, maybe it’s not so bad, as everyone wants to come and see the baby. But, as your spouse goes back to work, your friends go back to their (sometimes child-free) lives, and your family members go back home, it’s just you and baby.Eventually, you find new friends, other parents like you who are learning the ropes, and it’s not so bad. You make a community of other moms and dads, and slowly life starts to feel normal again.

But, if you are lucky enough to have a hard to parent kid, that loneliness often lingers. Your friends’ kids hit milestones before yours, and you feel alone all over again.Everyone else’s child is sleeping through the night.Everyone else’s child is responding to discipline strategies. Everyone else’s child is singing the alphabet song with only a few mistakes, identifying shapes and colors, sitting still for a whole meal. Everyone else’s child.But not yours. Even surrounded by your mom-friends, you feel alone.You’re not sure who to even talk to about your worries, your fears, or your frustrations. The fact that sometimes you’re not even sure you like your child. Who can handle that kind of real when they are raising Baby Einstein and you have the Tasmanian Devil living at your house?

The truth is, you’re not alone. Or, at least, you don’t have to be. There is power in doing life together, but, sometimes, you have to work to find the right people to do it with. Not everyone has a hard to parent child, so not everyone “gets” it. You need to hear from someone who has fought your battles. Who knows how beaten down you sometimes feel. Who can help you to stand back up and continue to fight. Because it’s true: you don’t always like your child. But you do always love him.You will keep fighting for him. And you need to find a community who will get that, let you vent, and keep on supporting you without judgment because they’ve been there, too. When the battle is raging above your head, and you just want to hide in the foxhole and give up, you need a friend who will crawl in there beside you and remind you that you can do this.Because, together, you really can.

This is the value of a parenting therapy group like NOISE. It’s a place where parents like you gather to talk about the real battle of raising a hard to parent kid. This isn’t the country club, with all the perfectly groomed parents showing off their perfectly groomed children. This isn’t even the sidelines of the t-ball game or the hallway in front of dance class, where the moms sit in their yoga pants cheering their child on. This is where battle-worn parents meet to share war stories, gain understanding, cheer each other on. This is where a seasoned therapist shares insights into how to raise these kids, your kids.This is where you discover the T Factor: how doing this Together makes all the difference.

NOISE needs you. More importantly, you need NOISE. We are meeting on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, from 8-9:30am. Weary parents just like you show up to learn that they are not alone. That there is power in together. That we can learn how to win this battle for our kids, not against our kids. They need us, and we need each other. Won’t you join our ranks? Click here to register, or request more information.