Truth be told, I still really struggle with being a parent. I guess there are some things I haven’t accepted about the job yet. Struggles I don’t want to face, decisions I don’t want to make, and standards I won’t let go of. Now this slow learning curve may suck for me, but it’s great for all of you, because I can lay the groundwork. So here’s what I’ve learned, and am still learning. Basically everything you ever wanted to know about motherhood. And some you didn’t. It starts with the harsh difficulties, but if you’re strong enough to get through those, you’ll reach the meaningful ones that really matter.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Motherhood (And Some You Didn’t)
Truthfully parenting sucks. Some of the time, a lot of the time, most of the time. It’s not always filled with celebrations, victories, giggles, smiles, or laughter. Instead, it’s diapers, laundry, spilt drinks, uneaten food, and endless messes. There’s crying and screaming, covered with whining, complaining and tantrums. Add in the lack of sleep, lack of friends and lack of personal space or time, and you’ll quickly realize that parenting sucks (at least some of the time).
It’s SO Hard
No, it’s not just hard. Parenting is the hardest thing you’ve ever done and the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Your children will constantly challenge your patience, your boundaries, your self-control, and your perseverance. They will double and triple check whether or not you can adapt to their ever-changing moods, needs and personalities. Right when you think you understand your child, or their situation, or their problem, it changes. Not a minute goes by without you being stretched physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and financially. You might believe that things get better and the load gets easier, but the tests just keep getting harder. To put this in perspective, imagine carrying a heavy weight above your head, the longer you hold it, the harder it gets. But with parenting, the weight continuously gets heavier, while you continue holding it.
It Never Ends- EVER!
Part of what makes parenting so hard, is that it never ends. EVER. It’s there at 3am when your child is vomiting, at 5am when they wake up early, ready for the day, and at midnight when they go out with new friends, but you stay awake, worried. You don’t get a break, a day off, or time away. No matter where they go or what they do, they’ll always be your children. You can’t escape them, hide from them, or run away from them, because if you do- oh look, there they are again.
You’ll be a Crap Parent
Yes, I hate to burst your bubble, but you will be a bad parent. A terrible, horrible, crap parent. You will do things you never thought you would. You will yell and ignore, overfeed and forget to feed, lose your patience, and possibly your kid. Then you will punish, pamper, scare and spoil. You will not be perfect. You will not get it right. And you will constantly make mistakes. Of course, this doesn’t mean you won’t be a good parent too, but you first have to accept that you’ll be a bad parent as well.
You’ll Lose Parts of Prior Self and Life
Once you become a parent, say goodbye to your former self and life. Goodbye to reading books, relaxing in baths, using the bathroom alone, or doing anything alone. Long gone are the days where you could sleep in, spend money shopping, and your time frivolously. Endless travel, spontaneity, peace, quiet, and cleanliness, are now part of the past. All prior expectations of yourself and life have disappeared and changed, or else you’re still trying unsuccessfully to maintain them. Please just accept that your life isn’t the same anymore. You’re not the same anymore. And that’s Okay.
Being a parent opens your mind, head and heart to what really matters, and what’s actually important. Your priorities no longer consist of looking your best or having a spotless home, but center around time with your family. What you thought was important, no longer matters. And your ideas of excitement, fun and joy, are no longer the same. Instead of skydiving or travel, you’ll yearn for popcorn, peace and quiet, or playing outside. Self-absorbed, and superficial priorities won’t take precedence. Your heart will take over and show you the real, authentic joy that you’ve been missing all along.
Lots of Laughs
If you can keep your sense of humor, motherhood is hilarious. There will be so many situations, experiences, and embarrassing moments where you can’t help but laugh out loud. From awkward expressions, to uncoordinated movements, poopy messes, to all the stuff that they put in their mouths. Parenting is one joke after another. Not a day goes by where I don’t laugh at, or with my daughter. Something she says, something she does, or something she goes through.
All the LOVE
The best part of being a parent is the LOVE. You will never, know, understand or experience a greater, deeper love than that for your child. If you think you love your job, you don’t. If you think you love your partner, you really don’t. For whatever reason, the parent-child bond beats all other loving bonds, head over feet. And until you become a parent, this same love cannot be found, felt or even seen. You must experience it for yourself. And no one explains this better than Ryan Reynolds in an interview he did! Enjoy!
I’d love to hear from you. What do you love or hate most about parenting? Anyone who has fears about being a parent?
More About Motherhood:
Remember, the challenge this month is to try new things– how about a new view on parenting?