Last night I was watching my daughters play and found myself so overcome by unconditional love for them that my eyes filled with happy tears. I miss them when I am at the office, especially at the end of an especially long work week. It felt so good to be home with them, listening to their laughter and the silly songs they learn at daycare.
Photo by Tayhart Photography
An hour later, I was grumbling under my breath as I cleaned up spilled milk from the kitchen floor for the second time that evening as my daughters argued over a toy in the other room. Sometimes the whining (my two-year-old) and the bossiness (my four-year-old) are a lot to handle. Sometimes them constantly needing me is exhausting. Sometimes the thought of being away from them for another full day of work hurts my heart.
That’s parenthood. There is deep, deep love. There is frustration. There is more deep, deep love. More frustration. Rinse and repeat.
Sometimes I need a break from them. And when I have one, I immediately miss them. There are so many emotions.
Parenthood is stepping on a Lego on your way to their room to make sure they are breathing in the middle of the night. It’s painful at times, but so rewarding and meaningful that the annoying parts outweigh the agony.
Parenthood is letting your two-year-old drink from a regular cup at a restaurant even though you’re nauseous through the entire meal because you know it’s going to end in disaster.
Parenthood is being so proud of your little one for being excited and ready to start kindergarten, but also digging in your claws to hold onto each last bit of their last summer before it starts.
Parenthood is watching your child make decisions, move through phase after phase, and achieve milestones knowing that although they’re not a baby anymore, they’ll always be your baby.
On the hard days when I have to dig deep to find enough energy for all life’s demands, I hope I can cut myself some slack. So let’s look at parenthood not so much as an emotional rollercoaster, but more as a leisurely train ride through a beautiful mountain range. Don’t worry, there’s wine on this train. All aboard.