Honestly, if you believe parents are that happy 100% of the time then you’re living in a different realm where unicorns are real.
“Having a kid doubled my anxiety. The moment she popped out I was like great, now I gotta worry about imaginary shit happening to this person too.” – Eric Navarro
I already had anxiety issues before I became a parent, I didn’t think it would get worst after having my child. Of course, having multiple miscarriages before having this little miracle might have something to do with the added anxiety.
The reality is that parenting is not just snuggles and rocking sweet babies to sleep. All parents enjoy those things as much as anyone else, they are truly wonderful, but it’s not the full picture. Parenting also breaks people.
Parenthood is exhausting, plain and simple. You have to be “on” 24/7 without any vacation days. No one prepares you for just how hard it actually is to be a parent. It’s a lifelong 24/7 thankless job. The benefits, of course, are amazing but it doesn’t come without hardship. It can be so torturous and relentless that it wears moms and dads down into mental illness and abuse or abandonment. When we are completely depleted and sleep deprived and stressed, and still holding it all up on our shoulders, what helps is empathy and recognition, help and encouragement.
Each age comes with new blessings and new challenges. My kid is not older and more independent, but that comes with a whole new wave of challenges. Parenting nowadays also has its unique challenges, such as social media safety.
“Silence is golden. Unless you have a toddler. In that case, silence is very, very suspicious.” – Unknown
I don’t know about your experience, but I know that every time I speak up about the more difficult moments, someone is there with comments such as:
- “You wanted this.”
- “Life is short. You should soak it up.”
We realize that these comments are said not to dismiss parenting struggles and more of a reminder that life is short so you should appreciate what you have and we do. The intent of the comment does matters and the intent is a good one, but when parents are at the end of their wits, these comments can feel like you are dismissing every feeling of being overwhelmed or anxiousness u have while having a little one.
Struggling as a parent can make you feel guilt and failure like nothing else. It’s supposed to be natural. You’re supposed to thrive in every moment.
I have had a lot of difficulties getting pregnant and staying pregnant due to Graves Disease. I am so grateful for my miracle, but that doesn’t stop the fact that parenting is hard and they are good and bad moments. It’s okay to soak up all the good moments and It’s okay to vent about the bad moments. We need to stop asking parents to be grateful for every minute of every day. It simply adds guilt and stress to an already difficult job. Yes, parenting is messy and hard. Yes, parenting is so worth it and yes, you do end up missing the “good old days”. The one goes with the other and it’s okay to acknowledge it.
“I used to think I was a patient person, but then my kid got out of bed for the 11th time, and asked why ducks don’t have arms.” – @closetoclassy