I don’t think anyone in the history of mankind has ever said this.
From being a parent of a colicky baby up all day and all night screaming…
To being a parent of the toddler who is running around the house naked, crayon in hand from cheerfully writing on the walls, exiting the bathroom from stuffing a shirt down the toilet…
To being the parent of an elementary-aged child who is convinced that all their friends are “mean” or that they are “not smart” or “everyone is better at things than I am”
To being the parent of a pre-teen who is bored and more bored
To being the parent of a teenager who has slammed their door for the hundreth time and told you how much they hate life …
No parent has probably ever said they had it together! (If you do have it all together, awesome! But most of us don’t!)
I don’t know about you, but my children are awesome, and they also have all the feelings, all the dreams, all the ideas. Somehow we have been led to believe all the “bigness” is somehow wrong – instead it should all be figured out in little checked off boxes. I don’t find parenting to be like that.
I think we should talk about being “normal” in family life more often. Being “normal” doesn’t mean the “perfect” children were everything goes absolutely right! It isn’t us, as parents, bending over backward to create a perfect world for them! So what is it then?
It is showing them how to be calm in the face of chaos, courageous in the face of adversity, and to see humor in the things life throws at us.
It is showing them that life is getting back up again and again, and it’s pulling ourselves together after we have fallen apart.
It is standing together hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder and being ready for whatever needs to be done to get ahead, because a family is the very first team your child will ever play on!
It is teaching our children to stand up for what is absolutely right and true, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.
It is living life in the most vibrant, beautiful, and sometimes messiest way possible!
So, give yourself a hug. None of us have this figured out; we all have different experiences that are tragic, beautiful, funny, absurd, thoughtful, meaningful, shallow, serene in parenting and family life. Life is about that entire spectrum of being human!
Go and love it and own it. That’s how you get this parenting thing down!
Lots of love,