Parenting is hard.
I don’t care who you are, what you do, how much money you have, where you live, how you parent, or even how many children you have. It’s hard.
I have many friends that have recently become parents and this topic has become a common theme. I ask how things are going and they always start with the rainbows and butterflies of parenting. But then I ask, “No, really. How is it going?”
And then the whole truth comes out.
Sleepless nights, inconsolable crying, tension and stress, tantrums, post-delivery discomforts, breastfeeding pains. These are the things we feel like we have to hide from others, that we aren’t fantastic parents if we don’t have giggles and smiles all day long. Facebook does an injustice to future parents, painting a picture that children are easy to care for, parents sharing pictures only of the happy moments. Where is the picture of Jack inconsolably crying at two in the morning when you have to be up at five? Where is the picture of Johnny figuring out how to open the front door and taking off down the driveway, or Susie laying in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store screaming because she can’t have a bag of Skittles?
We all have good days and we all have bad days. We all have good moments and we all have tough moments. When you’re having a tough moment, try to remember the wonderful things. Take a breath. If you are able put your baby in a safe place and take a parent time-out, do it. Phone a friend, a relative, anyone who has had children, and vent to them, let out your frustrations. Because one thing I have learned for sure is that if I let my negative emotions get the best of me, nothing gets better.
Parenting might be hard at times, but remember you’re not in this alone. Others have been there before, others will go through what you’re going through in the future. Build yourself a support system. Parenting is hard for everyone.