Parenting isn’t easy… that’s why sayings such as, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ came about. Have you ever heard a non-parent complain because a Mother took time off of work to be with her sick child? As if it were actually an enjoyable experience to deal with a screaming feverish baby or a floor-puking toddler? Non-parents don’t understand what it’s like to be a parent.
New Mothers are lucky if they get two hours of sleep in between nursing, have to comfort a screaming, unappreciative baby who seems upset with everything 24/7, and heal from giving child birth. Along with that comes trying to take a shower at hyper speed, not being able to poop in a toilet alone, and fighting the annoyance that their husband expects sex every night, much less a clean house and laundry that’s put away.
The eye-opening part comes when parents start to realize that being a parent never actually gets much easier… sure once your child is 2-4 years old they begin being much more independent, can communicate their needs and dress themselves but with that comes temper tantrums, a strong/stubborn opinion which often contradicts your own, and destruction of your home at an all-new level (think crayon mural on your walls, play dough in your carpet, and glitter EVERYWHERE).
As they near the tween age they become slightly less destructive and tone it down to just messy. Glasses with milk and straws left around, five pairs of shoes in front of the door, you get the idea. The temper tantrums turn into teen-like attitudes where they feel the need to argue with everything you say, roll their eyes, and think they’re right about everything because clearly they know everything.
I remember being like this with my parents, don’t you? It’s funny how much we understand and feel sorry for our parents for the things we’re now experiencing as parents. I have apologized a dozen times for my teenage years.
So, yes, parenting isn’t easy. It isn’t always glorious but it has its rewards. I love my daughter more than anyone and every day she makes me laugh. Every time we look at each other I see a piece of myself and notice quirks that she gets from me. I’m continually proud of her accomplishments. She is worth every dollar I spend, every deep breath I take to keep calm, and every effort I make to be a good Mom.
Parenting is rewarding because it’s difficult. Because you aren’t given a manual, you have to figure it out on your own and you feel joy when things are going well. It’s worth it because that little creature you made will be your friend in life, a source of excitement as you watch them live, and a comfort when they stop you dead in your tracks and say, “I love you.”
When you feel tired, frustrated, and anxious, remember why you wanted to be a parent in the first place. You are sharing your life with a person you created. You have a privilege that not every human is even able to have. You’ve been given a gift so find ways to enjoy it. You are strong because parenting is not for the weak and yet here you stand, doing it!