Ask 100 parents how easy it is to raise a child, and (unless they’re completely delusional) they will all tell you the same thing:
Parenting is HARD.
I mean, really hard. From the moment you see that second pink line, your life changes forever. You’re officially responsible for the safety and well-being of another human being. That fact, in itself, is scary as hell. What if I make mistakes? (You will.) What if they hurt themselves? (They will.) What if I just can’t do it?
You can, and you will.
Unfortunately, babies don’t come with instruction manuals (although What to Expect When You’re Expecting and What to Expect the First Year are extremely helpful for first-timers). Ninety-nine percent of parenting is learned “on the job.” Trial and error. Lots of error.
And it’s hard.
It’s hard getting up for the third time in the middle of the night to feed your newborn when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in two weeks. It’s hard to find time to clean the house, or cook, or shower. It’s hard to be stuck in the house with your baby all day, desperate for some adult conversation. And when you go back to work, it’s hard to leave your baby with someone (anyone) else.
Then they become toddlers. They start walking. And running. And falling down, a lot. You’ll master the magical art of kissing boo-boos and making them better.
“Toddler” and “messy” are basically synonyms. You’ll be cleaning up after them. A lot.
They’ll start developing their own little personalities–and with personality comes attitude. They will have a meltdown in the grocery store when you tell them they can’t have something. They will have meltdowns for absolutely no reason at all.
And it’s hard.
It’s hard to be patient when they’re throwing their fourth tantrum of the day (naptime, anyone?). It’s exhausting to feel like you never get anything done because they want 100% of your attention, 100% of the time. It’s just plain hard.
But it’s worth it. Every single second of it.
When I’m having a rough day, I have to remember to appreciate the little moments, like seeing my son’s sleepy smile when I come in his room in the morning.
“Good morning, mommy!”
And just like that, my day is off to a great start.
I love watching him grow and learn. I love hearing him laugh. I love his hugs and kisses.
I love the way his face lights up when he masters a new skill. The pride in his voice when he says, “Look mommy!” and shows me something that’s important to him. The look of amazement and wonder on his face when he sees something for the very first time. The way he snuggles on my chest for a few minutes before bedtime and whispers, “Night night, mommy. I love you, mommy.”
No matter how stressful life can be, those moments make it all melt away. No stress. Just love.
Parenting is hard, but it’s so worth it.
Feel free to leave a comment–I’d love to hear your thoughts!