There is nothing easy about parenting. It can be fun and rewarding, but I would never say it is easy.
Excellence in parenthood requires:
- more discipline and precision than a lion tamer
- more devotion and love than Mother Teresa
- more patience than required when you are late for work in rush hour traffic with lane closures
- more endurance than training for a triathlon
- more perseverance than a twelve pound dog eating a fifty pound rawhide
- more split second decisions than NASCAR
- and more hope than you can imagine.
There is no salary, in fact you have to find a way to pay all the bills and still be a good parent. So who in their right mind would sign up for such a job?
Some of us just fell into parenting. We didn’t read the manual and we didn’t take the course. We just found ourselves in the middle of the struggle before we knew what hit us. It’s like a good movie, at first it is exciting to think about that new life inside of you. Imagining how cute your child will be and how wonderful it will be to hold it for the first time. Life is rosy and wonderful. Then the plot thickens and it gets scary when that new life inside of you comes out and you have to take care of it. You have to learn a new language and interpret facial expressions. You have to figure out how and when to feed it and change diapers. And then it gets sick. The trial and error method of parenting makes great theater.
Oh and by the way, it is not an “it”, but a he or she. Decisions have to be made. There are all kinds of color choices, because you don’t want your boy to have anything pink. (Or do you?) Girls are pink and boys are blue. At least that is the way it used to be. And if you don’t want to know ahead of time then you make everything green or yellow. You want your boy’s clothes to define him so no-one calls him a girl. You want your girl’s clothes to make her look sweet and pretty so everyone knows she is a princess.
There are some steps you can take to make parenting easy.
- Never have intimate relations
- Bear no children
- Don’t adopt children
- Get a dog or cat for companionship
People who choose to follow these steps will not be considered parents and can live under the illusion that parenting is easy. But for the rest of us, we will forever know that raising children is the greatest and most rewarding challenge we have ever had. And when the kids are all grown up we realize that God gave us the guts and stamina for a life full of challenges and hugs, bruises and triumphs, sickness and growth spurts, rebellion and obedience, love and hope. We can look back in awe of what actually happened and be amazed that we made it.
Now it is time to watch our children struggle with our grandchildren on their way to adulthood, and the cycle continues. Being a parent isn’t easy but it is worth all the effort. Let life win, be a parent.
Enjoy your week; I’ll be back next week with more.