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Making Hard Choices in Parenting

May 1, 2021


Parenting is full of situations that require hard choices.

A few years ago I had a really big speaking opportunity at a conference I’d been dying to speak at for years. It was a dream fulfilled for me.   I signed a contract and committed to go across the country.  Then I found out that my daughter’s senior night had been moved and it was going to be the night before the speaking event.  

I scoured the airlines trying to find a way I could get there on time, but it wasn’t possible.  I had to choose.  

The question I kept asking was “Where will my absence be most felt?” 

The conference would replace me.  Though it felt awful to break a contract, something I NEVER do, I knew ultimately that they would do just fine without my presence.  My daughter, however, would not.  She has no other mom.  It’s me.  I’m it.  

I chose her that day and I would a million times over again.  

Your role as a mom or dad is one role in life that no one else can replace.  No one else will love them, fight for them, advocate for them, or care for them like you.  

We’ve made some big sacrifices on our kids’ behalf over the years, and I wouldn’t change any decision we’ve made. Ultimately, our kids are our responsibility and it’s our job to oversee their thriving in the most formative years of their lives.  

No one else will.  That doesn’t mean others won’t care for them too – of course they will. But no one will fight for their well being with the same passion, attention, sacrifice, and love.


Good questions lead to solid decisions. These are examples of questions you can ask when facing a difficult situation. Not all will apply, but pick the one that does.

Where will my absence be most felt?

This was the question that helped make my decision about the speaking engagement. It’s helpful to think about where you are needed most. For example, I am my daughter’s only mom, and she would miss me at senior night more than women who don’t know me would miss my talk.

Does something need to change?

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Sometimes a change is needed in our kids’ lives for their thriving and benefit. Identify what needs to change and the options available.

Is this a symptom or the problem?

Sometimes in parenting the situation is a symptom of something deeper, and sometimes it is the actual problem itself. Asking this question will help clarify where to head next.

What resources can I access?

Helpful resources can be books, professionals, or mentors or wise friends. Identify resources that will assist you in moving forward with new tools and ideas.

Can anyone else help or is this my responsibility?

There will be times when a situation arises and asking the question “Can anyone else help?” will become important. Sometimes the answer will be yes, but other times it will be no, and that will offer needed clarity.


Parenting is a long journey – one that will last our entire lives on earth. There will be many times we do not know which step to take next, or how to best parent these children we’ve been given to raise and send out into the world. It is in these times when discernment is critical.

Asking important questions will provide clarity. That is what home coaching is all about. If you ever need help in an area in which you feel stuck, contact me.

Which questions help you make better decisions as a parent?

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