Friday, August 12, 2011

Parenting Terrors

So I'm just going to put myself out there on this - you guys can refrain from any "you haven't been a parent long enough", etc. comments I realize that there tough times ahead - but it makes me said to see folks sending out "the parenting terrors", listing every terrible thing that could happen or does happen for a period of time.

A friend on the good ol' FB made a post about how she "has to admit I'm almost jealous of all you out there with cute tinies".  This coming from a friend who really has no desire to be a parent and never really has, but here pipes up a "friend" of theirs with:

"Reality check: stretch marks, stretched out nipples from feeding, boobs that hang rather than sit, diapers, whining, fighting, no sleep, no sex, puberty, and someone always yelling MOM at the top of their lungs for the rest of your life! Yeah they are born cute for a reason so that way we keep them."

No wonder so many of my generation don't want kids if this is all there is to look forward to.

So here's my counter, as someone who never thought they'd want to be a parent and who loves it more and more each day.

Reality Check:


Parenthood is hard and not for the faint of heart, stomach or mind.  So is being a Navy SEAL, but more people will tell you not to become a parent than will tell you not to become a Navy SEAL.


Yes, your body will change, but it will change because it doing what it's made to do and one day you look down at those stretchmarks and realize they're battle-scars and you'll be proud.


Yes, there will be diapers, spit-up, throw-up, whining, fighting, crying and screaming and one day you'll have to deal with it all at once, then it will be all over and for a moment you'll believe that you might just be magic.


Yes, there will be no sleep and for once in your life it will be for reasons that don't revolve around you and you'll realize that it's no different than the hundreds of other sleepless nights in your life.


Yes, there will be no sex and you'll realize how much a true relationship can deepen without it.


Yes, there will be puberty and if you're lucky you'll realize that you've been given the chance to make it better than yours was.


Yes, there will always be someone yelling MOM and hopefully, before it's too late, you'll realize that it's because you are the beginning and end to someones whole world.


And you'll smile and never understand why you were so lucky.


7 comments:

  1. Amen! I think of my (plethora) of stretch marks as battle scars too! To be honest I'd rather be with my kids all day long (and I am!) than put up with whiney "adults" at work like I used to. At least my kids have an excuse! ;)

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  2. THANK YOU! The movement of (mostly) women getting attention for complaining about normal parenting woes is maddening. Being a parent is hands down my favorite life experience. And yes, it can be yucky and frustrating, but even more so it is amazing and fulfilling. And I worry about the kids whose parents spend all their time complaining about how much parenting sucks--because it is only natural for a child to feel they are doing something wrong. Kudos to you for embracing the fabulousness of it all.

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  3. I agree 100 %.

    I think the feelings come from two big places - 1) not knowing if I'll ever be able to have more children, it's painful to see people whining about something I truly want to experience 2) working in a Pediatric ICU I'm hyper aware of how you could be typing on FB about how you want to sell your active child (imagine that a child being active and rambunctious) on Craigslist one minute and calling the ER the next.

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  4. Ditto, I wish so much I could stay at home all day, it'd be my idea of heaven - crazy kids or not!

    I'd love the chance for stretchmarks again - to me they'd be signs that I beat my diagnosis again.

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  5. Amen sister. It just goes to show you how much our culture wants to have everything without having to work for anything. Women expect to become mothers and have this magical experience with no pain or trials or hardship. Of course it's hard; it's the most important thing in the world!

    I'm a complainer, but I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything.

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  6. Yep, I agree and it's not about never complaining - we all do, it's natural and healthy - but making parenthood seem like a fate worse than death is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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  7. You can either love yourself (your image, your body, etc)to the extent that you pour all your time and energy into it or pour all your love into shaping a new little life. Women, we are not meant to look like 30 at 50 or 60! All you have to do is look at the lives of the rich and famous and see that money and looks don't make you happy! BTW, am proud to be Molly's mom and Henry's grandma and glad I look 55 and not 35!

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