What does parenthood truly look like?
It’s a question those who aspire to one day be a parent may ask. It’s also a question even parents ask. Because as a parent, we critic our position, and wonder if we are doing it right.
Let me tell you, if you are even asking yourself this question, then the answer is simple…you’re doing it just like the rest of us.
That’s right. All those excellent, ‘Grade A’ mom’s that have their crap together. Their hair is always done. Their kids are always clean and clothing matching. Their lunches are organic and colorful. Their child is publically well mannered. At the end of the day, when that mom is scrolling through Facebook, she, too, compares her position and wonders the same.
So, here’s what Facebook moms (myself included) don’t get the opportunity to often post about the reality of parenthood.
Long and short. Parenthood is messy. There is no clean cut, excellent parenting guide. We are taking each day just as blind as the next mom or dad. Each new stage is just as baffling, chaotic, entertaining, scary, and often times miserable to the awesome family you see on Facebook.
Sometimes my kid eats organic strawberries and apples, and bananas and locally nurtured bacon and beef…and some days she’s eating hot dogs and Lunchables and Lucky Charms off the floor.
Some days I go to sleep thinking, yes! I totally aced parenthood today! And some days I slunk into bed thinking, I completely crapped up the day.
The reality of it is, we are all human. We all have our own personal struggles. Mine happens to be adverting my eyes from my phone screen. It is a struggle. One I so often fail at. It’s a struggle I’m not proud of. I don’t like the addiction to my phone that I have. How I mindlessly scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, reading about other people’s lives or seeing photos of other people living their lives while I sit in my living room with my daughter before me. I could be giving her all my attention all the time. And I should. But I don’t always. Because I fail.
We will all fail. At some points. The important thing is NOT to be a perfect parent, but to strive to be the best mother and father for our sweet, whiny, adorable, snot-nosed offsprings.
Striving for perfection will always make you feel inadequate. Because you can’t be perfect. Not all the time. But you can consistantly be the best you! And that’s by striving to overcome the things that hold us back from achieving our highest potential! Mine would be my phone addiction and laziness. As I am always raw and real in these posts. I’ve got nothing to hide. My admittance is no secret to those who know me.
I can tell you there are moments when I roll my eyes and huff and puff when my child wakes up in the middle of the night crying. My thoughts usually contain words similar to, ugh! Go back to sleep kid! Why must you wake up in the middle of the night! But I throw the covers off and stomp into her room where I see her sweet and precious face yearning for a simple touch of loving reassurance from the one that makes her feel safe and secure, and I can’t help but love that moment and think, this is so fleeting. One day she won’t cry for me to cuddle her back to sleep. One day she will run into someone else’s arms for security and love. Cherish this. Saver this.
In the morning I can’t wait to walk into her room and get her from her crib. She’s usually so smiley and happy! Her precious head of sporadic frizzy hair, and sleep swollen eyes…they just get my heart beating in the morning! She’s my cup of coffee!
I often look at her and think, I made this? My body nurtured this human? This tiny human being…I had a part in this? Because this girl puts me in such awe. She’s my connection to my childlike faith. She brings wonder to my world again. I don’t just see winter…I see igloos and snowmen and snowball fights…but the childhood touch doesn’t reach as far as I wish it did…I don’t see a mound of imagination inducing toys floating across my living room floor…I see a mess. Which can get quite tiresome cleaning up the same dang toy set 1.3 million times a day. Picking up the same books and putting them on the shelves over and over again. Picking up the same play kitchen set and putting them in the play kitchen cupboards. And her new favorite mess to make is opening her bottom pant drawer of her dresser and strewing those all over the bedroom. That is fun to continually fold and put back *said no mom ever*
Parenthood is dealing with the cutest smiles and most rewarding laughs while also enduring the most heartbreaking cries and most patient-testing fits.
It’s not for the faint of heart. But it can strengthen the faintest of hearts if you let it.
There’s no greater privilege I’ve been given, than the responsibility of caring for this precious child. I never knew a love so deep as the love I’ve encountered with her.
That is parenthood.