Parenting is late nights – whether washing bottle parts, catching up on mindless Netflix, nursing a newborn or rocking a toddler, or comforting a teen melting down over tomorrow's presentation.
The days are long and the nights are short, but one day I'll miss this...I tell myself as I empty the eleventieth sippy cup whose remaining milk has started to for a solid.
Parenting is also unbelievable joy – when your little one says their first word, takes their first steps, goes to kindergarten, makes a friend, is kind to another, brings home a good report card, overcomes a fear, or decides on a job or a college.
Parenting is carpools – so.many.carpools. It is drop-off lines and pick up lanes, taking the neighbor's kid, and remembering orange slices for soccer.
Parenting is also belly laughs – like the noon-time jokes told by a toddler, the late night spontaneous movie party with your elementary kiddo, the spa day with your tween, or the up all night long overdue chat with your college kid.
Parenting is anxiety – because you now worry if they ate enough, will they ever sleep through the night, are they still breathing, will they make friends, will they make the team, will they make right choices, will they be safe.
Parenting is also beaming with pride – when they choose kindness, when they help a friend, when they choose inclusion, when they accomplish a goal, when they remember to call home.
Parenting is decision-making – and you will always, ALWAYS second guess yourself. It is part of the job description. No one has lived your exact journey so there is no full-proof manual or even survival guide.
Parenting is also wins – when you made the right choice, when they finally sleep past 6am, when they learn to read, when they perform on stage, when they tell you thank you, when they do something selfless.
There are no guarantees in parenting, except maybe that at some point, you will likely convince yourself that you are doing it all wrong. Mama, I promise, you aren't.
You are in the same trench we are – whether with a newborn, a toddler, an elementary kiddo, a twenty, a teen, or a young adult...it is all hard for different reasons. And we all think we could do better.
But here's the thing, we are the best we can for our kids. Sure we mess up, we fall down, and then we teach our kids resilience when we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back at it. Because we are fearless. We are wizards. We are freakish badasses. We are parents.
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