It's REALLY hard. There are days where everything seems easy but then I am QUICKLY reminded that it is CHAOS. Busy. Wild. Fun. Loving. But SO SO overwhelming at the same time. I feel like the older I get the easier it is to say "Yeah it is really hard" because I remember when my OLDEST was a baby and everyone was like "It's BEAUTIFUL and amazing" and IT IS but...Tell me about the hard stuff too, you know? I want to hear about ALL of it.
I want to hear that it is NOT easy. That you will be stressed out but blessed at the same time.
1. There will be times where you need a break. Like a REAL break. It has NOTHING to do with just being done being a parent. I am talking you just need a BREATHER. A few days, a week, whatever. This has NOTHING with you being a good parent or if you love your kids. It has EVERYTHING to do with you just needing space to breathe and focus on yourself for a few days. There is NOTHING wrong with doing something WITHOUT your kids. It is important when you do take these breaks to remind your children "hey, I need this for me. I need to have some space it has NOTHING to do with you I am just maxed out right now and I want to be my best FOR you"
2. There is no BOOK for parenting. Well there are but you know what I mean. Parenting to ME is basically learn as you go. Go with the flow and figure it out as it comes. You figure out what works for you and your family and you basically roll with it. You can ask for advice, come together and help each other out but ultimately at the end of the day it is all on you and it is kinda scary.
3. You can't fight ALL of their battles. It is so hard because you want to. You want to be there when someone is rude to them. You want to help defend them and basically bubble them and shield them from heartache. You can. But to a point. You have to sadly let them grow up they have to sadly experience pain and heartache and it is going to really suck but them growing up is part of the journey of parenthood and it is REALLY hard. I have experienced my oldest coming home crying. Kids being rude or mean and you want to just GO DOWN THERE but you CAN'T. You help them how you can while also trying to help them understand other kids. Help them find a middle ground with the child and parent. TRY. There is only so much someone can take but it is also okay to let them figure it out too. My kids have taught me that. LET THEM figure it out sometimes "MOM I'LL TALK WITH THEM" "MOM I TALKED WITH THEM I FIGURED IT OUT WITH THEM". It hurts seeing them hurt but help them how you can and hope they use those tools to figure things out.
4. Becoming a parent might save you. This won't be for everyone but honestly, it might. I remember finding out I was pregnant with my oldest and I was so young and scared and I was at a point in my life where I was lost and dealing with a lot of trauma. My son coming into my life helped give me the courage to leave my home situation and find my personal strength to better myself for my child. We all go through things. Ups and downs but something they don't tell us is that sometimes our children save us. I know mine did.
5. It is INSANELY REWARDING. It is hard work yes but at the end of the day you feel that sense of accomplishment. I have doubted myself a lot over the years I think we all do. We are constantly questioning if we are doing a good job if our kids are going to grow up to be decent humans. Nothing ever goes as planned. Parenting is basically roll with the punches and hope for the best all we can do is our best and just keep DOING our best. They are a piece of us. They make us proud, we make them proud. Keep doing an amazing job and remember even when it feels hard [it will often] just remind yourself you are doing great. There is no book, podcast, lecture etc that will tell you EXACTLY how to parent but that doesn't mean you can't take PIECES of what you hear and add a littler personal spin on it. Man it is TOUGH but so rewarding.
6. Do what you can. Nobody ever told me "HEY IT IS OKAY TO JUST DO WHAT YOU CAN SOMETIMES" So I always went in with the mindset of doing it all 100% which isn't always bad but sometimes it can really consume you as a person. Be there for your kids and family but don't forget to give yourself love and time as well. It isn't selfish. Do what you can each day. Let it be. Some days you will get just ONE thing done and that is okay. Move on to the next day but do not stretch yourself thin. BE KIND TO YOURSELF. It is hard. It is loving. It is fun but BE KIND TO YOU.
One thing I will tell you about being a parent is you are doing AMAZING and I know sometimes it just doesn't feel like you are but you are. You love them. KEEP loving them. KEEP supporting them and give them resources and tools for life how you feel is best. STOP doubting yourself. LIFT THAT HEAD UP and remind yourself of how wonderful you are doing,
when friendships end and it's not your choice. it hurts like hell.
I am an asshole and snap at my partner often and I try to apologize as often as I can for being such a hot mess I hope they don't start to view me differently. I do my best! Anxiety is a bitch but I am a work in progress.
Sometimes I wish he would just leave... it would make everything so much easier.