Do you ever feel like you’re going to have a stroke if your kids don’t quit fighting with each other? You keep correcting them. And you do it in a loving way. You measure out discipline that is just and beneficial but it doesn’t seem to be working. They still fight. In a way, you sort of hope that the nervous twitch in your eye gets worse so that you can show them what they did to you. Maybe then they will learn.
Does it ever seem like you are holding a press conference? One question after another. Each kid on his own quest for more information. And you are the search engine. You want your son to know about the inner workings of stuffed crust pizza. You really do. You’re glad that he is inquisitive. But why does he have to ask you now, in traffic? And why do your other kids have to ask you their own questions at the same time? Google only has one box for questions. Apparently, you have 600.
Is your schedule a mess? Are you and your spouse forced to constantly make adjustments in order to make it to work on time or just to get in a quick workout? Do you ever wonder about all of the time and money you could be saving if you didn’t have to drive your kids to school and practices? How much extra work could you have gotten done yesterday if you didn’t have to take your oldest son to the doctor and drink pretend tea with your daughter?
Are your kids stressing you out? Does it feel like they’re taking years off of your life?
Congratulations. That probably means that you’re doing your job well.
One of the great mistakes parents make is assuming that the job of training children to be responsible adults will be easy. It’s as if we think that the goal of parenting is a drama free 18-years, a college scholarship, a nice wedding, a good job and plenty of grandkids that visit often but never for too long?
The job of a parent is never easy. Unless of course, we decide to contract our job out to others.
I used to live in a town with a 24-hour daycare center. 24-hours! Now that’s easy parenting.
That’s the danger of our assumption. When our job gets tough, we tend to withdraw. Sure, we may say that it’s because we have to work in order to provide for our family but at the core, that work can be nothing more than an escape from our harder job. The job of parenting. So long kids. Hello 24-hour daycare center.
But there’s another danger. If my kid is constantly asking questions, fighting with her sister or drawing on the wall, it must be because she has some sort of condition. To be fair, there are real conditions that impact a child’s behavior. But there are also make believe conditions that serve no other purpose than making doctors and drug companies rich and your job of parenting a little less difficult. And hey, isn’t it so much easier to parent an over-medicated zombie than an actual child?
Parenting is fun. And rewarding. But it can also be hard. If you’re doing your job well, it will be hard. There will be days that you miss a workout or show up late for work with your hair all messed up and vomit on your sleeve. There will be times when you will have to sacrifice the ever popular “Me Time” from your schedule.
Your eye will twitch.
Your chest may even hurt.
But it will be worth it. It will be worth it when you stand next to your little girl to place her hand in the hand of her future husband and tell the minister, “Her mother and I.” And you will say that with no regrets.
When your daughter is out of the house, you will know that you gave it your all when she was living with you. You skipped meetings so that you could drink imaginary tea. You answered ridiculous questions about stuffed crust pizza. You traded in your “Me Time” routine for her bedtime routine.
And it cost you.
Maybe even a few years of your life.
But that’s what love does. It puts aside personal gain for the good of another.
What’s the point of living a long and comfortable life if it’s not spent doing that?