It’s not a walk in the park. I used to watch Gilmore Girls and think that if I ever had kids we would have a relationship like Lorelei and Rory. Boy was I naive about the world. Being a parent has brought me so many wonderful and magical memories. With those have also come many moments I’m not fond of remembering. Overall though I wouldn’t trade it for the world, in my opinion it will be the greatest thing I ever do.
Tantrums are the worst. My kids don’t throw them often but when they do it always makes me feel so small. I can only imagine what the parents who deal with this on the regular feel. There is nothing more grounding than getting a complement on how well behaved your children are just to have them melt down over the color of the cart handle ten minutes later. Humbling let me tell you. I love when I get those complements I sort of feel superior for a moment then bam it hits. Not every time but often enough to keep my head from getting too big. Like a screwed up sort of checks and balance system.
There is nothing to gauge your success or failures on. Seriously how in the heck are we supposed to know when we are doing it the right way? Ya know? Also how do we know whether or not that extra ten minutes after bed is going to make our children rebellious little hellions when they hit 15. Or if that dessert we give them is going to cause unhealthy relationships with food. There is so much information and everything is contradictory. How frustrating is that? Also why do people want to go through life wondering if they’re screwing up the next generation of people or not? Because it is amazing watching those little people that you created grow into adulthood and being there every step of the way.
Twos. The terrible twos. This is the age everyone warns you about, other than the teenage years. I can’t tell you how many people warned me how hard this stage would be. Oh and they were not lying. Pure stress 24/7. Absolutely crazy. Then they wrap their little arms around you right when you’re at the breaking point and everything melts. The little years are absolute magic. They’re coming into their own person and it’s magical, albeit infuriating and frustrating, to watch.
Threes. This one no one really warns you about. I spent so much time thinking that if we made it through 2’s then 3 would be easier. WRONG. Nope not easier. Just as hard and at times harder because now they’re even more independent. They want none of your help. Most of the time. Then sometimes they do. If at all possible this stage is even harder to describe. Think of all the emotions rolled into one. Then magnify it by 700. But now they get a sense of humor that’s really cute and they still say words a little off. But you can start to watch the toddler fade as they turn into preschoolers. This one makes you feel all the emotions at once all the time. They’re so much fun. Cherish it all. Take it all in. Cry in the bathroom or closet if you need to we all do.
Being a parent is a selfless job. You can’t be a parent and be selfish. Even when you try. At the back of every decision you catch yourself wondering how this will impact the little people in your life. Will you going to the nail salon keep them from getting that extra ice cream? Everything, and I mean everything, turns into an inner battle about how this affects your kids. You become selfless and you can’t stop it.
My advice for anyone out there thinking of starting a family or afraid because it was unexpected, don’t worry too much. None of us have a book of rules or any specific details about the inner workings of parenting. Just a general idea of what we want and don’t want for our kids. Some of us even get on power trips and tell the others what to do.
Just take the things you enjoyed and disliked about your own upbringing and there you have your plan. At least that’s what I did.
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