Parenting is difficult! Sure you can ask your child’s paediatrician a million questions, read all the parenting books, scout out advice from the veteran moms in your playgroup; but here’s the undeniable fact, every child is different. What one parent, paediatrician, or author might swear by, may not work for your child. This can cause a lot of worry and frustration. There’s no one size fits all guide for raising kids. If that was the case, all parents would be raising perfect eating, polite, well-behaved, caring, selfless, little angels. And we’d all be a lot less stressed out! But the reality is, parenting is no walk in the park.
It takes patience to hold a crying baby while trying to make lunch for a toddler, who is pulling on your leg asking when said lunch will be ready. It takes tenacity to clean poop that has been smeared all over the place because your child thought it would be fun to examine the contents of their diaper. Carrying your sleeping toddler, a diaper bag and a baby carrier takes physical strength. Standing up for yourself and your parenting decisions to the judgemental moms at school pickup takes courage. You might not have even realized that you’ve become a warrior, but you have.
Parenting has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. There are days I wish would be over before they even started and days I wish would never end. The days when you have boogers or baby puke or some other foreign kid goo on your clothing and you don’t realize it until the nice cashier at the grocery store points it out. The days when your teenager screams, “I hate you” at the top of their lungs, and slams the door in your face. The days when your kids throw a major tantrum in the middle of the library. Those days are exhausting and push us to our limits. But somehow, even on those days, we find some solace in being a parent. Because at the end of the day, we can’t fight that unconditional love we all have for our kids and we know deep down that things won’t always be this way. However, this realization usually doesn’t come until the kids are asleep, you have a glass of wine in hand and you are reflecting on how many times you raised your voice that day.
So why doesn’t anyone tell you how hard parenting is? You always hear how fun it is to raise kids, how rewarding it is, but no one ever talks about how damn difficult it can get. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom and I wouldn’t trade it for anything but it’s not all fun and games. Being the disciplinarian sucks. Staying up all night with your baby who is teething and then being present and energetic for your toddler on zero sleep is no fun. Meltdowns anywhere are just awful. Let’s be honest here, yes parenting is awesome and amazing BUT it’s also hard.
Nothing could have fully prepared me for the challenges of parenthood. However, despite the tough times, I truly wouldn’t trade any of it. Even on the hardest days because that’s how we grow and evolve as parents.