My Motherhood Journey

Why is Parenting so Damn Hard Now?

I ask myself every now and then, why is Parenting so damn hard? Personally, I feel managing toddlers is the hardest in parenting because we have a lot going around us all the time. I often sit down with the question, where am I going wrong?

If parenting is hard, then parents are harder! I loved reading the myth of joyful parenting and enjoyed it thorougly because look at how our mind works. When we have children, we think about their future, build up for them and them blame them!

When kids listen to you, you are on top of the mountain and when they don’t you just feel down in the valley. Our thought process has become similar to our parents. My kid listens to everything I say.

In the early days of parenting, the learning is daunting since it drains us emotionally and intellectually. We need to change ourselves continually and there is a lot going inside and outside of us.

Parenting is a whole new chapter in our lives and initially baffling. It involves lifelong learning about ourselves and the little one.

Imagine giving birth to one kid who is this exquisite mix of everyone from both sides of the family lineage! You are in for a rollercoaster ride and you think Karma is a bitch!

Assume you were looking for a home, and your grandmother offers your ancestral home to you. You are super happy about it, only to realize you have to spend so much time taking care of the house than actually living in it.

For the first few years, children look upon us for everything. Everything we do and say are followed to the tee. Whereas, we look at them and learn so much about us, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I can relate facing parenting criticism to hosting a LIVE video. The people joining this LIVE are regular visitors to your home. People log in, some leave midway, some stay until the end, watch what’s happening, share their positive and negative feedback, and eventually log out. 

It is the host who bears the responsibility of running the entire show hearing out the participants. We learn to appreciate the good comments and learn to deal with the negative comments. We must move on.

As parents we also learn that constant evaluation of ourselves help us get better. That’s why parents are the primary pillars of children while they grow up. We are often told we don’t parent right, still, amidst the chaos, we do what’s needed for our children.

Behold The Parenting Journey:

Parenting struggles are there for everyone. Everyone goes through different patterns of struggle, but we all have some common ground. It has been there for generations too.

You are not alone. It is just how we treat this whole parenting thing today that makes it look exhausting.

It is not a hard journey when you have a regular child; most of us are just making it hard. It is not the easiest, either. We can laugh about it, cry about it, finally, when we let it all go, we start to enjoy it.

Most parents of gifted children are keeping it real. They are not blessed with patience, either; but take time to develop it. As parents they are continually evolving, and they accept it. 

I used to cry a lot about negative comments about my daughter’s weight. Slowly, when I started observing the activities of my child, rather than the world, I learned much better.

What I realized was people who did not have children, knew much better about children. They do not have an ideal version of children; they have a more realistic version of Parenting. Some of them are walking books worth knowing.

If some of the people I know had decided to become parents or had the chance to raise a child, they would have done it better; I can honestly say that!

There are so many times I have dived into the comprehensive ocean of parenting and came out understanding nothing. I don’t know much about postpartum depression, but I know a lot about parenting with anxiety.

I have got sucked into the norms of Parenting. It has given me tough times and a lot of awkward moments in the past. The motherhood journey is not a ride on a pony, but it is a ride on the horse which sprang from the sound of a firework.

During this, when we jump and cry out loud, the horse runs more out of control. Instead, when we focus on calming ourselves and redirecting the horse, the horse senses our change quickly and slows down.

My husband and I did not start as best parents, and we are nowhere close to being best parents. We are pathetically flawed, but we are learning from continuous feedbacks about what works for us and what doesn’t and what we must do to make something work.

I had to make a lot of peace with myself. Maybe, I had to scribble peace all over me! That’s how many parenting decisions I have made in just three years. 

Perhaps the entire world is not watching us, but our children’s eyes are on us all the time! They are learning everything from us. 

I believe even their first words depend on what they frequently listen to at home. It has so much impact. 

Slowly, I have started to think a few things like my parents. Why they did something, what they did right, and what they could have done better. 

As a parent now, I have enormous respect for many of my fellows. It has made many twisted memories pretty straight now. 

Let go of Guilt

Kids are like vacuum cleaners. They suck every bit of energy from you and still run on high power mode. 

Spending every minute with your kid as a stay at home mom for the first few years can engulf you with guilt! I have had many people judging me for spending time with my kid. 

I have resented a lot in the past, for almost everything. There were times guilt was written all over me. Parenting is initially baffling, and it is the same for everyone across generations too.

Elders must give new mothers some time to get used to this stuff. If that isn’t happening, take the shield in your hand and learn for yourself. It is all going to take time. 

I have noticed that generations have changed, but their comments have not! Here’s some from my very own journey:

  • What a messy home you have
  • Does your husband cook
  • I know why your child looks puny?
  • Do you ever visit the kitchen
  • You seem to be gaining weight, but your kid doesn’t!
  • An elder calling you a lazy woman because you are spending the whole day with your child
  • Another one is calling you an unfit mother because you do not know to manage the house.

Make peace with all of this! Maybe they went through this journey and did not know how to work it out for them! 

Understand that a messy home and kid go hand in hand. Slowly, you graduate to a moderately clean house when you learn to communicate to your kid about the necessity of a clean house.

Personally, I don’t have a Over Cleaning disorder, but in general I have a cleaning disorder. Honestly, I learn a lot in the process of communicating with my daughter about the quote, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Most people would hardly know you are an exhausted parent who is working hard to tick off everything on your checklist.

When mothers constantly crib about me time, I feel they are not keeping things real at home. We need to let go of our guilt and get those 1 minute breaks or 5 minute breaks.

We are all there sometimes; it is alright. From my personal experience, I can guarantee you that things are going to get better. Parenting often brings out your worst first, helping you see the better stuff inside you.

It is okay if you have shown your parenting pressure on your child. We have all yelled, raised our hand, and screamed our hearts out. 

Children understand when we apologize. They know various emotions; they feel every emotion too. It builds a better bond when they see you at your best and your worst. They understand when a parent is angry, happy, sad, or tired. 

When does Parenting become hard

Parenting is hard when you want your child to oblige to everything you say without giving them a chance to think it through.

a woman in a black t-shirt holding the board with the words save the children
Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Parenting is disappointing when you are not accepting reality. Every child is different; all we need to do is give them the time to figure it out. Each of them is at their own pace.

Parenting is tricky when we have to negotiate with children without bribing them. Children don’t share, sometimes neither do adults. Chuck it out, they cannot share everything, and that is alright. However, talking to them about taking turns helps better.

Parenting is stressful when the parents of a rude child enjoy their destructive behavior rather than talking them out of it. 

Parenting is difficult when you are trying to impress everyone with your children’s skills. They are not a show doll; they are doing something because they like it. Enjoy it, just because my daughter sings well today, I’m not going to dream about making her a singer someday.

Parenting is annoying when you sit down and explain to your child for the 100th time why you must not take someone’s toy. Or, why you must give back someone’s toy after playing with it.

Parenting becomes miserable when you think you are always right. This behavior can affect children and lead to flawed practices. Learn to listen and apologize for your mistakes to yourself and also apologize to your children. 

Parenting is sad when you are not content. Kids and tantrums go hand in hand. There is no denying it; let them not get into the whirlpool of crying and getting their way.

Parenting is exhausting because we want to make every moment of their learning productive. It is tormenting when we don’t let them be. Watching TV is learning too, provided it has a time limit. Building tasks that they never play can make you feel miserable.

Parenting is cleaning the mess all the time until your little one’s potty training is successful. My daughter has a never-ending conversation about potty and bathrooms. They are curious, and that’s okay to have a regular potty conversation with your kid. Let them get familiar; what goes in, comes out!

Parenting is teaching children not to be annoyed when anyone farts. It is common, and it is loud sometimes. There is no reason to be embarrassed or blame someone when they fart.

Parenting is hard because it has a lot of inconsistencies about being a parent. One day I am a great parent; the other day, I wonder why I became one. I go through a lot of conflicting emotions about being a parent. And, this has nothing to do with loving my child or spending my time with my child.

Parenting brings a lot of mixed emotions. It is hard, yes, because there is a lot to look after. It is not easy to raise a family. Also, being a woman, motherhood brings a lot of power and responsibility. 

Finally,

Parenting is learning all your life. Your children would understand your work when they grow up and stand on their own. 

So, if you have a dream, do not give up on it for the sake of the family. Always find a way to express yourself. Things will fall into place when it has to.

Do not try to put your dreams on your children. Your goals are yours, and only you can give life to it the way you have thought it through.

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