tough row to hoe

(have) a hard row to hoe AND (have)a tough row to hoe (a difficult situation to deal with; a difficult course, hard work to accomplish) — стоять перед трудной задачей; испытывать огромные трудности, тяготы

Example 1: Teachers have a tough row to hoe in today's schools. (CIDI) — Учителю в современной школе приходится очень нелегко.

Example 2: A single parent has a hard row to hoe, working day and night. (WM)

see also
[have too much on one's plate]
[have one's work cut out]