In lieu of the normal “x things y-style parents do”, I’ve decided to be a bit more inclusive. Because as parents, we all need the daily struggles and triumphs to unite us. This is a crazy hard club to be in, and it gets even harder when you try to fit into groups and realize you may have fallen short.
So without further ado… The 5 things every parent will do before their babies grow up.
- Count down to bedtime. A day with your kids is rife with triumphs and joys and reasons to smile. But sometimes, you need to countdown to bedtime. And when it finally arrives, it’s perfect okay to breathe a sigh of relief that the day has come to an end. Because with kids, things can get downright Alice in Wonderland crazy sometimes.
- Go insane. Some days call for it. Maybe you woke up to a poop painting on the wall, or your kiddo is throwing a tantrum because you won’t let them climb the chimney, or you’re just feeling touched out. You will feel on the brink of sanity sometimes. Often (or maybe that’s me). It’s okay. Don’t sign yourself up for a padded room just yet. It’s just a small part of your life with kids. It will pass. And come again. But the important part is that it isn’t constant.
- Fail. Every parent on the face of this earth WILL fail some days. Maybe not at an entire day. Or maybe at everything. It’s okay. If you haven’t had a day like this yet, rest assured that it will come, and you will move past it. You’ll grow stronger in your failures. It’s okay not to be the perfect parent. Your children will grow up loving you more knowing that you go through the same things as they do, and they’ll be better people as well. It’s okay to show your flaws.
- Grow. Whether you had your kids at 18, before your life really even started, or at 40, after you’ve had many life experiences, parenting will help you grow. It’s completely different from anything you might have done before. Parenting is a hard job. A usually thankless job. It has it’s ups and downs. It can threaten to break you or lift you up in ways you never knew before. It’s a lesson in humility and patience. It forces you into being a bigger, stronger, smarter person than you may have been before children. It’s a beautiful ride, and it has some really beautiful consequences, too.
- Love. Parenting is the ultimate test in love. You’ll love every day. At the best and worst times. You’ll love more than you knew you could. And if you have multiples, you’ll multiply that love when you weren’t sure you could. You’ll love from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. And while they’re sleeping and you’re staring at their little faces, you’ll be certain this love is going to smother you with it’s greatness. You’ll love your children until they’re old and gray, no matter what, because you’re a good parent, and you’re doing a great job (remember that. Even if no one is telling you, just remember that).
No matter whether you’re young or old, have 1 kid or 15, no matter where you come from or how you were raised, you’ll go through it all. Because it’s all just part of this crazy, maddening, amazing, beautiful journey. And when it’s all over (it’s never really over), you’ll be a better person for all of it. So when you’re having a bad day, remember to give yourself some grace, and know that everyone else is going through all the same things.