Parenting, a Love-Hate Relationship
I recently read a blog post entitled, "Why I really do ENJOY being with our kids." http://www.yourmodernfamily.com/enjoy-being-with-our-kids/ The blogger mentions her dislike of a recent trend in writing about the negatives of parenting/motherhood. While I see and understand her point, I think that both she and the moms she writes about are correct in their feelings. I enjoy reading positive stories about motherhood but I think it's refreshing to read other mothers' negative "truths" which can often be relatable to our own experiences. They don't hate everything about motherhood nor do they hate their children, but they want their feelings of frustration or inadequacy acknowledged. It's in those disastrous moments when we're angry, frustrated, or blue that we feel so alienated in our motherhood journey. It's easy to relish in the joys of motherhood when our kids are cooperating with us --- everyone is refreshed from their nap, the activities and outings went as planned, the children actually listened. It's so much harder to shake it off when your child has removed their soiled diaper and has spread it around the room like a performance art piece, or when they decide to throw a tantrum on the floor of a busy supermarket, or when they just won't go to or stay asleep. Not to mention that you are never allowed a moment alone. The blurry pic attached is a note my son slipped under the door a few years ago when I was trying to use the bathroom. It reads, "When is TV time."I can laugh about it now but at the time I was thinking, "Can't I have just a minute to myself to pee in peace?" You are tired. So very tired. ALL. OF. THE. TIME. Everything is so repetitive. You want to cry right along with your children when they're in the middle of what seems like a never ending tantrum. You want to take a nap. You want your own mommy, but more importantly some days when everything is falling apart sometimes you want to just raise the white flag and say "I quit." There's no shame in admitting that motherhood isn't all joy. Some days are really terrible. Now that I've sufficiently scared all of the expectant moms out there, I feel like we need to look at the other side of the coin. What's so great about being a parent? Moms reading this will nod their head in agreement when I say that you will never know the true meaning of unconditional love until you are a parent. It's not a cliche. The amount of care, worry, and fierce loyalty you have towards your child is astounding. Just thinking about how much you love your child will bring even the most reserved mom to tears. In my opinion, the best kisses you'll ever receive are the ones where your child cups your face with their little hands and covers your face in sticky sweet lollipop residue kisses. Their uncontrollable giggle fits will brighten your worst day and anyone else within earshot of their laughter. It's amazing watching your child grow and meet milestones; seeing their successes. The world becomes more magical and less cynical through their eyes. Hearing them say "I love you" unprovoked, because they truly say what they feel in the moment, is one of the most genuine, beautiful experiences you will ever have as a parent. Your heart is always full. As with everything in life, there's a fine balance----a thin line between love and hate for some, or a yin and yang (opposite forces that have a symbiotic relationship) for others. If every day was a perfect day, would you know how to enjoy and appreciate each one? When I experience a bad day, I now chalk it up as just that...a bad day. I try to remember that tomorrow is a new beginning where I have another chance to start
over. I get a fresh start at being the engaged, patient mom that my son deserves. If it doesn't work out,I make sure to apologize and start again. In doing this, my son learns that mom makes mistakes. He learns forgiveness. He learns that when he fails he must try again. There is no such thing as the perfect parent. We are human and we experience a wide range of emotions. We make mistakes and it is through our mistakes that we learn. So moms and dads, when you have a great day, relish in it. It's in gratitude that you will experience happiness. If your day doesn't go your way, remember that you can always begin anew. Being grateful, being patient, being engaged, being organized, etc, takes practice. There are no straight lines in nature because perfection doesn't exist. You don't need to be a perfect parent. Your children won't remember all of your minor "parenting fails." What they will remember is the quality time you spent with them, and how you made them feel.