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I don’t think I am the only parent to admit this, but I am going to say it: parenting is hard. Before I had kids, people around me would express how hard it was but I just did not understand until I was in the middle of it.
So, if you just don’t understand, I came up with 9 reasons why parenting is so hard.
The hardest thing I had to get used to and learn when I first became a parent were the hours. Before children, I loved babysitting and taking care of other people’s kids. But it was when I had my own that the reality set in that I understood how much time parenting takes. In the first year of a child’s life, they are completely dependent on you 24 hours a day. It was the continual need and the never ending demands that drained me in the first year of having a child. I was not expecting to have my time so eaten up and to have a child need me for every moment of every day with no days off.
I slowly came to understand that parenting is a 24-hour job with no breaks and no vacation. Even when your kids are asleep or in school or you’re away for a date, you still worry about the kids. Your brain is always on parent mode.
I hate crying. I despise it. I do everything in my power to stop my kids from crying. With kids, it seems like there is always one child crying at all times. Sometimes, it seems like they have made a pact to take turns and slowly torture you with the consistent noise of screaming. Other times, they just all cry at once. I have 3 kids, and there have only been a few times when all the kids are screaming at the same time. Those are the days I am tempted to just give up and walk out.
My eldest daughter is 7 and my second daughter is 4. I have noticed that with both of them, there was a shift from baby crying mode to attitude mode. This shift comes at around 3 or 4 and then strengthens at around age 6. They want things their own way and are willing to fight for it. It’s also when they start talking back and sometimes yelling at you. My eldest daughter was 3 when she first yelled to me and said that she hated me.
It’s hard to not take these outbursts personally and to not let them affect your actions and thoughts.
It’s also draining to try and go a few rounds with strong willed and persistent children.
Before I stayed home with my child, I thought the idea of a stay at home mother sounded wonderful. It was not until I had been home for a while that the loneliness set in.
I was the first one out of my group of friends who had a child. My older sister had a child 9 months before me and was still on maternity leave, but not for that much longer. I went to bible study once a week and that was about it. I spent the rest of my days taking care of my child all by myself waiting for my husband to get home. Sometimes, out of desperation, I would walk the mall of the store, but even that became a headache and more work then I was willing to put in.
It was not until my child was one that I had figured out I could be a bit more liniment with her routine and get some adult time in during my day.
When the kids are young, you’re never alone, but you feel so lonely. The child does not talk and takes up so much of your time. Boredom soon sets in.
In today’s society, we have a way of covering things up or putting a shiny face on things. As mothers, we hardly ever admit that we feel inadequate to do the job or that we need help. We keep our silence because as women we are to be strong and loving every minute of the stage we are in. People all around us tell us what we should be feeling like and that they miss this stage and tell us how fortunate we are and how fast it all goes.
The truth is, these ideas may be the reality for women past the stage we are in, but as we sit alone at home with a crying child it’s hard to enjoy it or have the perspective that one day we might miss this. There were so many days I hated every minute of the day. I wished them away. Then, when people would say: this too shall pass– I would feel guilty for not experiencing “the joy of motherhood”. I had to learn to reconcile my reality and my expectations. When I did, I was able to enjoy the journey more.
The never ending mess
If you have kids you understand that they come with mess. Weather it’s sticky fingers, dirty laundry or the pile of toys in the floor, there is always a mess. I don’t mind cleaning up once, but what drives me nuts is when I clean a room and 10 min latter it’s in the same state as it was in before I started. Some days, I don’t even put toys away, knowing full well that the same toys are going to end up on the floor yet again. The work around a house is never ending. When one task is done there is always something else that can be cleaned or organized.
I have no problems understanding women who say that they lost themselves when they had kids. Children demand so many pieces of ourselves. Pieces that we may not have known we had until they were taken from us. When having kids it’s hard to find time for yourself to make sure you don’t lose that part of yourself you want to protect. Balancing alone time, family time, activity time, work, date night etc is hard. There are so many pieces to fit together and finding a balance that works for you and your spouse and children is almost impossible. Finding that balance is one thing, but to keep it up is another. It takes planning and forethought and compromise.
The emotional drain
At the end of each day, there hits a point where I am done. There seems to be nothing left in the tank. All of the items listed above take a toll on our emotions. Sometimes the thought of starting again the next day makes me want to cry. My children drain my emotions empty and hardly ever fill it back up. Keeping myself emotionally stable is hard.
As a parent, it’s our job to turn out decent human beings. We are responsible to teach them manners, and a world view. We are responsible to teach them everything from how to eat properly to appropriate ways to respond to stress. I don’t know about you, but the weight of responsibility weighs on me. Also, teaching children how to do things takes so much energy and time and can be very draining.
I love being a mother of 3. It’s the best thing that I do every day, but it can be hard. I know many parents who struggle with parenting and everything that goes with it.
You are not alone!!!! We all struggle and fumble our way through parenting.
Do you agree with my list? What makes parenting hard for you?
Originally posted 2017-04-24 03:47:13.