Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Dirty Side of Parenting.....

They never tell you the other side to the story.  You know the down and out dirty side of parenting.  When they are showering you with onesies, homemade blankets and diapers....no one likes to discuss the parts of parenthood that are best left unsaid.  You know the up all nights at the most inconvenient times, the tantrums, the potty training horror or this crippling fear that you develop overnight about your children.  Will they be OK, am I messing them up or how can I protect them from never getting hurt.

You see parenting is not for the meek and mild.  It comes with a lot of sacrifice, tears, and sweat. Unless you are the parent that has birthed 5 docile children, you all know what I'm talking about.  How our sweet laid back infants, get their legs and become hell on wheels.  How our happy to see you toddler, wants nothing more than to defy you at every turn.  It takes getting tough skin to a whole new level.

I'm new on the scene to parenting.  Although I've learned a lot already, I have so much more to learn.  I realize now how much I value other mothers, the ones who have been there and survived.  Much more than google could ever provide.  I'm raising two under three and yes even in the toughest days, I talk about wanting more.  Maybe I'm gluten for punishment, but this is the only thing I know.  Which brings me to the other topic that haunts all mothers.  The guilt complex.

When you stay at home you feel immense guilt you aren't contributing enough to the world. You begin to lose yourself at times--suddenly you feel the only confidence you know is how to change diapers and sing lullabies.  If you work you are guilty that you aren't raising your child, that someone else is doing it for you.  Maybe you are selfish and are missing out on important milestones with your kids each and everyday. The thoughts are anguishing.

The one thing I have learned already is parenting is tough.  I also know that it is the one thing that can give you more joy, even through the tears.  Those smiles even for a minute last a lifetime in your heart.  As you look back on pictures someday, you won't remember the hard things.  Maybe that is why no one speaks of them.  They are too busy with the million other reasons to brag about how incredibly cool it is.  How nothing in the world could match up to the first time they say Ma Ma and Da Da, first steps, first smiles and first potty party celebrations.  It's the most real thing you will ever experience and the one thing God gave us to understand the love he intended for all.

So as you look in the mirror this morning and whether you are the haggard Mother I sit today or have been there done that, wrap those worn out arms around yourself.  Squeeze tight, pat hard and know you are doing the hardest job any of us can do in our lifetime. You will survive, this too shall pass and one day just think the tables will turn and they will be the ones taking care of you:)

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