Joys of Parenting: Surviving 8 Years
Parenting sucks! Yep, I said it. People tell you all the joys of parenting but typically don’t tell you about the nitty-gritty aspects.
Babies are born and your sleep pattern changes forever. The little human vomits and craps. When you change them, they still cry. You feed them, play with them, worship the ground they crawl on and they still cry. In the end they humanize you and remind you that they admire you. They become rambunctious toddlers that you just want to tell to stop tapping the fish tank but see the enjoyment in their eyes when doing it. You enroll them into extracurricular activities and have to chauffeur them around while still keeping your own sanity. You have to wait for the season to be over for them to blow you away with what they learned and fill your heart with pride and joy. Ok, so maybe ONLY some aspects of parenting sucks
When people ask me, “How do you do it? How do you make parenting look so easy?” While I can’t agree that I make it look easy, I can say that I am forever looking for ways to evolve as a parent. I can read as many parenting books as I want, but the reality is that there isn’t one answer on how to raise every child. We have to grow and evolve with our children. We have to understand that times will continue to change. Having a connection with your kid(s) is important. Having that one to one time with my kid has proved to work for us. When I allow us to have time just for US with no distractions, she is much more receptive of that and much more open to talking to me about EVERYTHING and then I just want her to stop talk so much.
While I do what works for me as a parent, I’ll share a view things with you that I’ve learned. Now you don’t have to agree with me, but like I said, this is what I’ve learned:
Never think that you are “ahead of them”. Reality is that you aren’t. When they aren’t around us they are taking in some much of the world on their own and forming opinions. It’s up to us as parents to have “the essential conversation” with our children. Try to understand their thoughts and feelings. Now I’m not saying we will understand why the feel the way they do or think the way they think all of the time, but it is good to at least hear them out.
Guide them and teach them about self-expression. I love to dress how I feel and there have been times where I’ve “forgotten” to allow her to do that same. She doesn’t always want to wear what I pick. She doesn’t always want to listen to the music I want to listen to. She doesn’t always want to read the books I read when I was her age. She has a mind of her own and I have to accept that and nurture it.
Material things are nice but showering children with knowledge has proven to be much more beneficial. The time we spend with our kids is what matters most to them. They don’t need the latest gadget i.e. “Fidget Spinner”.
It truly does take a village to raise a child. We’ve been blessed to have friends and family members that provide support and advice to help us get through this parenting “thing”
It is possible to be an authoritative parent without turning your home into a “boot camp”. The hubby and I are authoritative parents but we also learned how to discipline while teaching lessons. There are things that AJ knows not to do simply because with discipline comes the conversation of why she is being reprimanded for her actions. Why converse about it? Because how will she learn what she’s done wrong if there is no dialogue about it?
Lastly, have fun. Parenting has its ups and downs but there are so many joys. I know sometimes I feel like I could do more for my child but when I see her smiling everyday and the excitement in her eyes when I come home from work, or when she sends me out on a mission to come find her in the house when I walk through the door (although she sucks at this game because she’s always giggling really loud) I’m reminded that I haven’t failed her as a parent. I’m reminded we haven’t failed her.