Who said Parenting was Easy

There are things you don’t think about when you become a parent: sleeping all night, time to yourself, birthday parties and daycare, are just a few of these things. Parenthood really is a walk into the unknown. No more do you think only about yourself, there is a little person that depends on you night and day. So when you’ve never parented before, how do you know what you’re doing and if what you’re doing are right? You can prepare yourself by reading books, taking courses and watching other people’s kids, but until you’re in that moment with your own child, you’ve never really experienced parenting.
Your life now revolves around this little person and sometimes it seems this person controls your life. For 24 hours a day you are in charge, even in the middle of the night when you are so tired you can barely open your eyes, you must take charge of the situation. From feedings, to nightmares, to fevers and little accidents, it all depends on you. A parent must be able to deal with any situation at any given time and even when you have no time. Children do not understand about please hurry we’re running late! Your time is now spent on picking up toys, making constant meals and snacks, answering endless questions of “why” and repeating yourself while hoping they will hear you this time. It is amazing how the same seemingly deaf child can suddenly hear you when you talk about gummy bears or ice cream! Sleeping when you want to for as long as you want to becomes a thing of the past. Time to yourself after a long hard day at work is also something of the past, although there is a time for children’s videos. They are also good for keeping your child out of the kitchen while preparing dinner! You learn to appreciate the small spaces of time you do have after they finally go to sleep; the cherished time to yourself.
Birthday Parties are something a parent doesn’t think about until your child starts having one every year and then being invited to numerous ones through out the year. The first couple years you invite your family, but then they begin to get friends and the thought arises do I really want all those kids in my house at one time? Once it’s decided you don’t want all these kids in your house, or your place is just not big enough the questions come like: where shall we have the party and how much should we spend? You also realize that as your child makes friends you also have to keep buying birthday gifts for the numerous parties they get invited to. In the midst of everything you think to yourself, has another year really gone by?
What can be said about Daycare? If you need to go to work, you have to have someone look after your child, most times, easier said then done. After you have exhausted the family help, it’s onto finding a caregiver or daycare that will work your hours, as not everybody works 9-5. Then the question arises of who to trust with your child? The best thing you can do is keep the line of communication open with your child and have regular short talks with him or her. Observe if they are happy attending that daycare; observe any changes in your child. Ask your child what they did that day and if they had fun. Discuss any changes or seen problems with the caregiver and do change daycares if you need to. Listen to your parental intuition, it is often right.
Another thing that is new to the parent are the tantrums and mood swings you will deal with on a daily, hourly basis. They tell you they want something, you get it for them and they don’t want that thing anymore. This is especially frustrating for the parent that has worked all day and then prepares a meal for the child, even asking what they would like and then the child says “I don’t like this”! Your child might be happy one minute then they don’t get what they want and they turn into this screaming uncontrollable little crazy person. Once they get to that point there is little if any reasoning with them, but do talk about the experience when they are calm and in control at a later time. As each and every child is different and so is every situation, you will have to be creative with how you deal with these outbursts. It is good to give your child their own decisions to give them some control over their life. Avoiding too much stimulation, especially when they are tired is also a great way to steer clear of tantrums. Remember to remain firm and calm and sometimes they just need our love and attention, so try giving them a hug!
A child also has the ability to take a clean tidy house and transform it into a mess in a few minutes flat! Even as you pick up after them you begin to realize it is a losing battle, as your child is depositing stuff at their will faster than you can even pick it up! Very often you’ll find the exact same items on the floor you just finished cleaning up. It is truly amazing how they can do this right in front of you without you noticing. They are masters of this game.
Parenting can be a love hate relationship; at first you’re the best mommy/daddy in the world, then before you know it, in an instant, you’re not even their best friend! They hate you in that one instant they can not get what they want. Parents must learn not to take things so personally, or these instants will hurt! The times when your child loves you are beyond anything you would have experienced; to them you are love; you are the best. On the other side there will be times that although we love that little person so much, we need a break from them! Being a parent is the most challenging job you will ever have.
Parenting is something that you can prepare yourself for, but mostly you just jump right into it and you wonder what you did to occupy your time before you were a parent. Before you know it, you are immersed in the land of Parenthood, watching Dragon Tales, listening to Sesame Street CD’s and telling everyone that will listen about the cute things your child said the other day. Whole rolls of film contain one person, meals are better when they’re off your plate and you find yourself doing so many new activities. Did you have a life before this? Is there anything else to talk about?
Although it is the most challenging job you’ll ever do, it is also rewarding to see this little person develop, with your help and guidance, into a valuable member of society. To watch the combination of your genetics and their own uniqueness carry them forward as they learn and grow. Take time to ponder the greatness of this experience as it goes by faster than we realize. The experience of parenting is really a walk into the unknown.