The last few days, it seems like everywhere I turn I read something or I hear someone complain about how hard parenting is. (And I’m not talking about a humorous post about all the shenanigans throughout parenting or a passing “this child is crazy” phrase that we all think and sometimes say) Mega parent complainers who are tired, they are worn out, they need some “me” time. They are actually rude and almost unforgiving toward their own child. I kinda want to say and in most recent instances have had to bite my tongue…
“Well what did you expect?”
What in the world are we expecting parenthood to be. If we do it right and actually want what is best for our children then yes it’s going to kick our butts from time to time. The gray hairs are gonna come, the tired eyes, the frown lines, the headaches, the heartbreak, the tears, worry, fear, exhaustion and doubt… etc etc etc etc…
It seems to me that most parents think they are getting into some sort of ‘walk in the park’ adventure. They think having a baby is going to be like those toys that came out in the 90’s, you know the ones… Nano Pets or the Tamagotchis. Those things were the bee’s knees for like a week when I was ten.
I feel like as parents we focus a lot on the negative, on “woe is me” scenarios and we keep reminding everyone how hard parenting is when what we should be reminding everyone and ourselves is although it is very hard it also ends way too soon. We should look at each day as a gift because that is what it is. No matter what you believe in, I don’t think many people could argue with that. I hear stories and know people who have lost their little ones to illness or tragedy. One day they are here and the next day they aren’t and if we can’t see how precious these days are that we have together then we are gonna miss them more when they are gone. And they will be, one day. Kids will grow up, parents will get older and these everyday moments that seem so annoying right now will be a faded memory. A snapshot tucked away in the family photo album.
I sure hope that when I look back one day that I’m not sad because I didn’t choose happiness and joy amidst all the chaos that is raising children. Instead of venting every chance I get (don’t get me wrong, I’m not unfamiliar with a good vent session and I’m not saying that sometimes they aren’t needed) I should remember that there will come a time when my child will no longer do the things that I find a little tiring in the season that we are in.
One day they will no longer…
Ask to be held for the thousandth time that day, and usually as soon as I have a fresh cup of coffee in my hand.
Crawl into bed with us in the middle of the night…. crushing many sensitive body parts in their path.
Beg us to lay down with them every night by wrapping their arms around our necks so tight we don’t know whether to start fighting for a breath or just give in and lay down.
Ask us to read “just one more book”
Try to eat the food we have because it looks better. “Me share with you mommy?”
Have potty accidents and seek us for help and comfort…. and the dreaded clean up.
There are so many more and I could really go on and on but those are some of the things that happen on a daily basis and sometimes I wanna pull my hair out. I’m only human! But then I remember(at least most of the time) that one day they will be all grown up and I will ache to hold them, console them, cuddle with them, take care of them, clean up after them. I will miss stealing one last peek of them in their beds at night.
These moments should be embraced with compassion, not complained about to the point of becoming cruel to our children(whether to their face or not) and continually casting them as the subject of all our complaints.
We were once children ourselves after all!!
So here’s to embracing rather than complaining.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
“Adults are just outdated children.”
— Dr. Seuss
“Children need models rather than critics.”
— Joseph Joubert, French moralist