Wednesday, September 30, 2015
5 Times It's (almost too) Hard to Be a Parent.
For most, parenting is among the most rewarding, gratifying and the fulfilling parts of their lives. However, let's be honest as well. Parenting, is tough work, period. It's never ending, it's exhausting, it's all consuming and overwhelming. It's a whole bunch of "No, you cannot do that's" in a sea of "But, whhhhyyyyy, Mommy?!"'s. It's "yes, you must eat your dinner to have dessert" surrounded by a symphony orchestra playing, "But I don't like this, Mommy!" It's 25 "GO TO BED's" yelled upstairs every night; and then "Get up, we're late!"'s the next morning.
Still, we do it. We get up in the morning, put our big pants on and parent our children, in hopes that one day they will be contributing, functional members of society with good manners, successful families, friendships and careers of their choosing. We also hope that one day, they will exhibit the same amount of strength, stamina and determination when it comes to their own parenting skills.
However, there are times when being a parent just almost seems too hard. Moments where, I know, I've wondered..."what was I thinking?" Perhaps these will sound familiar to you as well.
1. When it is Brand New: The first year of parenting is life-changing. There's really no other way to describe it. You can read all the books, listen to all the advice, develop a plan, learn all you think you'll ever know during the 9 months of pregnancy and you still won't even have any idea how your life is going to be turned upside down. Parenting a newborn for the first time, especially the first 6 months, is an experience that, I believe, is designed to test the limits of a person's mind, body and soul. Sleep deprived in a body that feels like it's been hit by a freight train (and usually looks like it has too) along with the overwhelming and all too sudden realization that this "tiny little human" is depending on you for everything...and I mean EVERYTHING is enough to make a new parent give up before the journey begins. The fact that babies are lacking in communication skills, doesn't help either! I'm just saying...
2. When they Learn Independence: That "depend on you for everything" scenario I talked about a minute ago? Yeah...you'll wish for it back when they turn 2 and 3 years old! Any parent that has taken her "scuba shoe, snorkel wearing, polka dotted princess dress with a wand" daughter to the grocery store, knows exactly what I"m talking about! Or any parent who has listened to countless "NO, I don't need help!" and "I do it ...I do it... I do it, Mommy!"'s also understands. Fast forward and before you know it it's time for driving lessons, group dates, and college campus visits. These are all stepping stones to being self -reliant, to being able to fly away from the nest one day; but still...watching your children take these important steps isn't always easy.
3. When They are Hurt or Sick. The first time you have to rush your child to the ER because of illness or injury, your heart will come undone. (ok...maybe not literally) but you will experience a feeling of helplessness unlike anything you've ever have in the past. When you watch your child, almost in slow motion, fall down the stairs or out of the tree in the backyard, or off his bike. Raging fevers, vomiting, coughing that lasts for days and nights and then spreads to the other children leaving you in a pool of mental and physical fatigue so deep that you're convinced the universe is punishing you for some long ago forgotten misdeed. When you think everything is fine, everyone is healthy...and then you find out that may not be the case. When, as in my own recently personal experience, a doctor says..."we think she has a tumor." That is when parenting almost becomes a little too hard...
4. When They Disappoint You: I know this probably sounds harsh and some may be taken aback by that statement. However, I believe it's true. Parents don't just corner the market on disappointing children when it comes to having to say no to things, or changing plans. When your child comes home from school with a failing grade on a test, or they lie to you about something, or they are mean to somebody...that's disappointing! It's almost having to admit a moment of defeat in parenting. It's hard to spend time teaching our children the difference between right and wrong only to have them do exactly what we told them not to do!
5. When You Have to Let Them Go. This is the one I think about most often:
--When I let them go to Kindergarten
--When I let them go to College
--When I let them go to new adventures away from home
--When I let them go to say "I do"
--When I let them go to hear their own new "I love you, Mommy!" 's and "I love you, Daddy!"'s
Have a great day everyone!