Have you ever googled parenting hacks? What about books to help you parent “correctly”? In almost 17 years of parenting, I sure have. I also have had to call poison control THREE times in one week! I am sure at least once in life your toddler or young child will “accidentally” call 911, resulting in cops coming to your house to assess the situation. Or maybe you have had to tell your child the tooth fairy got blown away in the Wyoming wind and that's why they forgot to leave money under their pillow! All these lovely scenarios come with the greatest feat of life called parenting.
I would love to say that parenting is all roses and butterflies, and that it's smooth sailing. That is how I imagined it growing up. I would have the kid, feed it and POOF…it’s grown up and on its own. As much truth as there is to that idea of it going that fast, it is far from the reality that comes with parenting. I honestly do not think anyone is ever prepared for the in between. The ups and down, the turnarounds and all arounds of having children. Parenting is HARD! There isn't one good way to get through it or navigate the unknown. And all those parenting books seem to be full of lies when it comes to what to do!
Parenting is complicated, and gives you every emotion known to mankind, even ones you didn't know existed. You wait 9 long months to have this sweet little bundle of joy in your arms, wanting to cuddle you and easily get comforted when you rock them. Then one day, years from that moment you are faced with the teenager that all of a sudden looks like a young adult and you find yourself asking “why”, “how” and “when” did this happen! I swear the sweet years FLY by. But the hard days, turn into long grueling nights of wondering where you went wrong. The tough days seem to drag on. And the easy days seem to be forgotten. You are the last person in the world your child seems to want anything to do with and every little thing you say or do is wrong.
As hard as it can be, it's always good to try and remember the good days. Your child at any given moment has NEVER been this age. It is important to remember that the uncharted territory of parenting in this moment is all new, just like the exact moment of their childhood is new to them as well. They have never been here. But we have. As their parents we have grown through all these ages that we get to help our own children through.
I have heard time and time again people say they won't let their children go through what they themselves did and want to make it “better’. To us it seems common sense that you don’t put aluminum foil in the microwave, you make sure you don’t over boil the water, you make sure to brush your teeth EVERY day and shower regularly. But how do our kids know this? These are all things we LEARNED. Did we do it the hard way? Or did our parents have to teach us these things? More than likely it was a mixture of both. It is possible you might learn something new while growing with your child as well.
My advice as a parent is simple really. Just let it ride. Let go of all those expectations you ever thought parenting would look like. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look textbook perfect. You and your child will know what you need to do. I can guarantee that parenting is the toughest yet most rewarding thing you could ever do. On hard days, try and remember it won't be like this forever. Remember the good days and how far you've come as a parent. Give yourself grace and understand no one is perfect. Also know that what other people do for their parenting, might not work in your situation. Everyone is different. Which means that every single person learns or grows differently.
The cool thing about parenting is, as long as you are doing your best, that's just how you do it. Your children have to learn certain things on their own, and it is our responsibility as their parents to be there for them. Sure maybe you don’t want them to make mistakes like you yourself did. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. Because sometimes we have to fall before we can rise.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.