Being a parent is the greatest adventure you will ever undertake, and it also comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility. Becoming a parent is like being catapulted into an unfamiliar world and role without any sort of training or preparation. Sounds fun, right? Well, it is. Or at least, it should be. The key is to step back and think once in a while. In fact, every parent needs to keep these things in mind, even though it's easy to forget in the day-to-day. Read on to find out more.
Time Goes Fast
Children grow up fast. How many times do we hear this as parents? We know, but it needs to be said again because they do grow so fast. This point has a double meaning because some days we need to hear it to reassure us and other days to remind us.
There are often times in our kids' lives when they do things that they soon outgrow. The problem is that when they're going through a hard time, it can feel like it's taking forever. Many parents have stories about how their daughter woke up in the middle of the night every night for a few months, or how their son wouldn't eat his vegetables. Most families go through these kinds of things, but they are just phases that they will soon grow out of.
On the other hand, they do grow up so quickly, so enjoy these years while you can, even when they are hard. You might not want to nap with your baby girl after she has a bad dream, but in a few years, she won't ask to be close to you all night. Before you know it, she'll be a teenager getting ready for college, and these nights will be a dim and distant memory. Make the most of them.
You Can Enjoy Yourself
Yes, we know, parenting is about sacrifice. But does it have to be all about sacrifice? The answer is no. And don’t feel bad or guilty if this has filled you with pleasure – the truth is you might be a parent, but you’re also a human being. You’re not a superhero. You are allowed to take time out for yourself and do something fun. You’re allowed to go shopping and buy yourself that Police jacket you’ve had your eye on. You’re allowed to go back to school, get a job, change jobs, stop working… you’re allowed to do what you need to do.
Now, of course, we’re not advocating that you bypass all parental responsibilities completely – you are a parent, and that’s a fact. However, there needs to be a balance. All work and no play etc, is a good motto to keep in mind. If you don’t take a break and do something for yourself, you’ll get sick, mentally and physically, and taking care of the kids will be even harder.
Everyone Is Doing Their Best
You see them, don’t you? Those moms dropping their kids at school with their perfect makeup and hair. Those dads who always seem to have time to be there for every event while holding down a well-paid job. You see them, and you wonder what they’ve got that you haven’t got.
The answer is nothing. They might seem a little more organized, a bit more in control, but it’s highly likely that underneath, they’re panicking as much as you are. No one knows what they’re doing, and we’re all just winging it. Remember that when you feel those pangs of envy, and you’ll realize that you’re actually doing just fine.