We’ve all heard it before, “Becoming a parent was the best thing to ever happen to me!”. Before you have a child, you kind of just blow this statement off. But when/if you’re lucky enough to experience having a child, you know that feeling. That sudden rush of overwhelming love pulling at you like an undertow, making your heart feel 50x bigger than you could’ve ever imagined it could grow. Life now has purpose, unlike you’ve ever known. You see the bigger picture. This is what it’s all about. And it’s true. As ridiculously mushy and sentimental as it may be, all of it is true. Having a child is the best thing to ever happen to you. Having said that, it is also the most challenging.
Everyone knows there are quite a bit of downfalls to having a child. Although, most of the people discussing these downfalls are not parents. But, it is a fact. I suppose it depends on the person as to which is the worst of all.
Some believe it to be the ‘Terrible Twos’.
Although this is a VERY difficult part, as long as you keep your patience and understand that your child is learning how to express emotions they don’t understand and it’s your job to teach them, you’ll be alright. And truth be told, sometimes when they’re stomping their tiny feet and screaming at you, it’s hard not to laugh.
Some think the worst part to be teen angst.
I must admit, this part really does scare me. But at the same time, I went through it and survived, and so did my mother. I’m aware it’s something I will have to deal with, but it wont be the end of the world.
A lot of people (especially people who don’t have children), think their inability to go out drinking and having a grand ole time with their kids free friends all the time is the most devastating part.
I guess for some, this could be a real issue. But honestly, good parents lose interest in partying and prefer to spend time with their children. Even those who once were what some would call ‘wild’, change their ways by instinct. Most of the time this naturally fades.
This one is a downer…the ‘Frumpy Mom’.
It’s hard, ladies. I know. With a baby on your hip, or a toddler at your heels begging for attention, it’s not easy to get/keep yourself lookin’ fly. There are times when you forget yourself all together. Your clothes are out dated and baggy. Your hair is a rat’s nest. And for goodness sakes, when was the last time you shaved your legs in private (or at all)?! But by taking the initiative to have some ‘me time’ every day, week, etc., you really can prevent this. Mostly it’s just a misconception that moms who take care of themselves are selfish. Which is complete hogwash. A woman who takes good care of herself, is always better equipped to take care of others.
Now, all of these things are not fun, but they aren’t the worst. In my opinion, none of these hold a candle to the real downfall of being a parent. The real horrible part of being a parent is the fear.
The moment that little baby looks into your eyes, you’re suddenly aware of everything that could possibly ever go wrong and everything that could ever harm them physically, mentally, emotionally…any way possible. The world is a much more dangerous place than it was mere months ago. I know, because it has been the main thing raining on my parent parade.
Driving is nothing short of terrifying. Any cough or runny nose could be a disease. Someone could break into your home any day now. What if you’re parenting them wrong and they turn out with some sort of dysfunction and need therapy? Is public school really safe?? What if other children corrupt them? What if they’re picked on? What if they can’t concentrate and the school board blames it on a learning disability? What if they try drugs?
What if they have some sort of food allergy you wont know about until they almost die?? What if they break a bone?
What if some psycho snatches them out of the cart in the grocery store while you’re checking prices on cereal??? The fear is infinite. There is always something to be afraid of because you want the best and only the best for your child, but you also know the world. It’s a rough one. Life is hard. You know they’ll get hurt. You know they’ll get sick. You know bad things will happen to them. But how do we stop the fear from taking over the millions of joys we should be enjoying?
If I knew, trust me, I’d share it with you. Unfortunately, I have no clue. I do, however, have some ideas on the subject.
Besides having to go through whatever is going to happen simply because “time marches on”, I think there are ways we can avoid living in fear and go through whatever happens with joy and faith. First of all, we can make the decision. I know, it’s not as easy as it sounds. But the truth is, determination has so much power that most people don’t use. If you decide to keep your joy and have faith that your child can overcome anything, that can be the first step to living a fear-free parenthood. And a lot of it has to do with our lack of faith in our child and how we raised them. We need to make sure we instill our children with strong morals, values and principals. Not just for themselves, but for the good of the world and how they treat others. Not only can we teach these to our children, but we need to lead by example. A child who sees their parent overcome a rough situation, is much more likely to overcome one themselves when it comes their way. If we teach or children to be strong and keep faith, while also doing it ourselves, maybe we can knock out the problem all together.
I mean, fear will always be there. But it doesn’t have to control us. And I know I certainly wouldn’t want my daughter suffering from fear that holds her back. But it’s all easy to say and plan, but fear is the strongest, most controlling emotion next to anger and love. It wont be easy. But it is worth a good try.
How do you control the fears you have as a parent?