At least, that’s what they say.
Can I be really transparent? Sometimes parenting is a struggle. Sometimes it is hard to figure out the right way to respond to that particular child in that unique situation- because I’m not a child psychiatrist… because I’m not a childhood development expert… because I’m not a fortune teller (enter those intrusive “how will this effect them as adults” thoughts).
Parenting my kids is hard because no one else knows my kids the way I do. Aside from themselves, I know them best, and I’m just getting to know them! Bet that’s true for you too, huh?
Throw in the power struggles, the attitudes, the boundary pushing… Throw in that sometimes the adults have their own things going on. Sometimes we are struggling with inner demons so large that it feels impossible to take care of others.
Throw in marital struggles, the addictions to numbing behaviors like shopping or wine or our phones, the “lack of personal time,” the endless chores…
Yep. You have a shit show on your hands.
But here’s the truth: I love it. So much. I know that probably makes some people want to gag, and scream at me to kick rocks. I know, because it’s annoying when someone tells you to enjoy something that is clearly emotionally (and maybe even sometimes physically) demanding. I get that.
But honestly? I think you can find something to be challenging, and still appreciate it.
I do find it to be hard and exhausting to be in this role, but I love it.
I find it hard, but I don’t find it impossible.
I find it hard, but I don’t find it to be hopeless.
It’s hard, and I’m okay with that. Why? Because it’s one of the most important things I will do. It’s my “sphere of influence.” The little people in my world, they are the ones I will influence the most. Ever.
I’m okay with this being a difficult task, because it should be. And I am tired of people out there making it seem like happy moms are happy because their kids are great… maybe they just have better coping mechanisms, and better strategies for diffusing situations. Maybe instead of looking at her and judging her for having it all together, you should lean over and ask her specifically how she would handle a situation you are struggling with.
I’m also tired of people making it seem like the mom who is a “hot mess” isn’t happy and doesn’t have happy kids! Maybe she just doesn’t tie her emotional well being in with appearances. Maybe instead of judging her for not having a clean house or for not “trying,” you should lean over and ask her for her opinion and insight as well.
What it boils down to is this: I know that this chapter, while filled with its trials and tribulations… while chock full of second guessing myself… while riddled with moments of self doubt and confusion… is also brimming with the most joyful moments of my existence.
And I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of feeling guilty for leaning into my joy. I’m going to make it my mission to silence that little voice inside that says being happy is for suckers. You know what I’m talking about… the voice that tells you that if you are happy something bad will happen to you? Yeah. That one.
Bad things are going to happen. Parenthood will always be hard, because life is hard. But we can handle it. (And if we can’t, we can be brave enough to ask for help and lean on those who can lift us up.)
So i’m going to employ every tactic I know to remember that now is now, and I’m not only blessed to be here, but also to have what I have.
I’m going to give myself permission to love being a mother. Like, really love it. Love it so much that I enjoy it despite its lack of curb appeal.
And if you have been waiting for someone to give you permission, well hey sister, you just got it.