I absolutely love being a mom. I truly and honestly believe that I was put on this earth just to be the mother to the two little ones I've been blessed with. I'm really fortunate to be able to live my dream job as a stay at home, where I get to be the one to raise my kids (after spending quite a bit of time as a guilt-ridden working mom). So, why do I feel like I need a vacation every day?
Feeling overwhelmed as a parent is not unusual. Raising children is hard work! But WHY is it so hard? The saying goes that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so why is it so hard to wrangle these tiny versions of ourselves? I love my kids more than I can express in words, but love has little to do with the nitty gritty daily drudgery of raising children.
1. It's not business, it's personal.
It couldn't be more personal! These tiny beings are bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh. Each temper tantrum, refusal to partake in the lunch you painstakingly prepared, and midnight meltdown feels like a personal affront. I know my son is only three, but he seems to know how much it hurts me that he'll eat food prepared by ANYONE on the planet but his Mommy. Sometimes, when you're in the thick of it, it's easy to forget that they're young, irrational, and still learning how to navigate the world. Most of the arguments they pose have no reason, so you shouldn't take it personally.
2. They're not grown ups.
If you put 4 adults in a room and give them a task, they will not be able to accomplish that task without a little conflict. Multiply that conflict exponentially by taking away experience, social grace, and practical reasoning skills. It's no wonder that you're worn out after a day of trying to explain to your teenage daughter why that skirt is entirely unacceptable! Tots and teens don't have the perspective that we do, because they haven't lived life yet. Don't you remember being a stubborn kid? I do! (Sorry Mom and Dad!) Remember that as your kids grow, so do their reasoning skills. The saying goes, 'When you know better, you do better", and they simply don't know better yet.
3. You want the best in the world for them.
If you're having a hard time raising your kids, that means you're doing one thing right: you care! Fighting the tough battles at bedtime and getting your kids to get their vegetables means that you have a stake in how their lives turn out. Parenting is the least selfish act of mankind. You're allowing helpless beings to depend on you for everything they need in life. That's a tough job! But, it wouldn't be tough if you didn't want things to turn out splendidly for them. If you're finding that it's not easy, that means you're doing something right.
I won't lie. Raising children is hard. It's the hardest job out there! But, it's also the most rewarding. No other job in the world allows you to see such a quick return on all of your investment. Every time your child is courteous, brave, or caring — you get to take credit for that! Bravo to you! I don't even know you, but I know if you're seeking out this information, you must be doing a great job.