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Thoughts on Parenthood

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As we grow, we change, both outwardly and within as well. As babies, we need so much help. We can’t feed, dress, bathe, or clothe ourselves. We need help to get from place to place. Months go by and we’ve begun to learn. We’re rolling over, sitting up with support, and observing more of the environment around us. Then comes sitting on our own, crawling, picking things up, throwing things, learning to stand, and taking those first wobbly steps while clutching onto something. Eventually, we’re walking, climbing, and running. While all of this is going on, our bodies are changing and so are our minds.

Fast forward and now we’re talking, learning how to structure sentences as we speak, open things, match objects, count, recite the alphabet, and more. Off to school, and we learn so much more. As we grow and learn, we have been developing personalities of our own. We’re not just so and so’s kids, we’re truly our own souls. Many think kids can’t think for themselves, but sometimes I think they have a clearer and more level head on their shoulders than a lot of adults out there.

We, often times, don’t realize how complex and yet simple kids are until we’re adults and dealing with them ourselves. They’re fiery little people! Being a parent is both one of the greatest joys and most difficult things I have been given the chance to do. Some think that being a parent is all or mostly late night feedings, crying, disgusting diapers, tantrums, crayon on the walls, yelling, fighting, broken things, piles of laundry and dishes, and oh no more social life, at least one that doesn’t involve children. And others think that it’s laughter, cuddles, homemade projects, school plays and concerts, smiles, hugs, first steps, first words, braiding hair, playing catch, and love.

Parenthood is a mixture of some the greatest times in your life and some of the most difficult ones. It is late night feedings, tantrums, teenage angst, fighting, scolding, hurt feelings, and difficult times. There are days you will question your sanity, where you’ll wonder if you’re doing everything all wrong. You’ll cry in the car, lock yourself in the bathroom for a moment of peace, disagree with your partner (if you have one) on how to raise your kids time to time, panic, and overthink things. But, it is also seeing their smile and feeling so much joy, helping them unwrap their first Christmas presents, dressing them up for their school spring concert, seeing their face light up when they see you, hearing them tell you how much they love you, helping them get ready for a school dance, having fun play dates, cuddling on the couch, and the feeling of their hand in yours. You’ll smile when they bring you a handmade ornament from school, feel pride when they bring you a picture they drew just for you, (even if you don’t know what it is) laugh at the silly joke they made up, and feel more love than you ever knew was possible to feel.

When our kids grow into adults, that’s when we truly see our hard work put to the test. Did we give them tools they need to lead their own lives? Did they learn how to take care of themselves? Did we do enough? Did we do too much? What if they don’t need us anymore? What do we do now that we don’t have noses to wipe, cuts and scrapes to bandage, homework to help with, lessons to transport people to, nights to wait up, first and last days of school to anticipate, someone to read a bedtime story to, or get little snuggles from?

I am not quite to the point of having an adult child, but I do have a teenager. I also have a baby. They’re both in very different stages in life. I do often feel overwhelmed, but I also feel so very blessed. My children are the ones that inspire me daily to do and be more. I want to show them how to chase after their dreams, work hard, have fun, be good to others, and make the most of their lives by doing so myself. I don’t enjoy the fights, the attitude, messy diapers, waking in the middle of the night, or lack of time for me. However, I can’t imagine my life without the laughter, inside jokes, hugs, smiles, game nights, or feeling the love I feel for them or that they give to me return. That there is what makes it all worth it, the love. That, to me, is what life in and of itself is all about. Through every phase of our lives, it’s about the love within it, both giving and receiving. Life without love, to me, isn’t really living. My kids are the finest example of what unconditional love can do to and for someone.

I am blessed to have been able to watch them grow, learn, and become their own people. Parenthood isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. I don’t judge anyone who decides not to become parents, whether by having their own, adoption, fostering, being a step parent, etc. Some say it’s selfish if they decide not to continue their legacy, but I find it is more selfish to expect someone to have kids when that’s not what they want to do. Not all people are meant to be parents and sadly, many that are shouldn’t be. But, that’s for another blog or perhaps ones I have already written. 😉 Today, I am just counting my blessings for being able to be a parent. I make mistakes, we all do. I second guess myself a lot. I don’t always make the wisest decisions or the ones others want me to make. But, I do the best I can and my kids both have what they need and so much love.

If you have kids and you’re able to, let them know you love them today. Even if they’re grown, moved away, with the other parent, in college, or whatever the case may be….e-mail, text, call, snap chat, Skype, etc makes communication much easier. No matter how old they are, they’re always our kids. Life is short and we don’t know when our last chance will be to show love, so if you have the chance to today, don’t waste it. I got off topic a bit, but I hope you enjoyed reading today. Have a wonderful Wednesday, may you be richly blessed!

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