why parenting shouldn’t be easy

photo courtesy and copyright of kindred hearts photography

My husband said something that really struck a chord with me while we were at Niagara Falls last weekend.  We’d had a hard few hours, the boys were tired and cold, and we were super hangry. In that moment of weakness, he captured me. He said, “You know, you have some  really great days as parents, but it’s never really easy.” How true are those words, you guys? I love my little men more than life itself, and we have some of the most fantastic times together. But…it’s never easy.

Here’s the thing: I don’t think it should be.

We’re raising tiny little humans. These little humans are going to grow up (nope, in denial) one day to be big humans. We’re going to send them off into to the world to be big, functioning members of society who do things. They’re going to have an impact on the world. Maybe that’s not a huge, global impact, but they’re going to influence the world around them.

What part of raising these tiny, someday-functioning humans should ever be easy?

Easy implies simplicity. Easy means that we never put the effort into correcting bad behavior, or investing time in teaching them manners. It means we let them run amuck – beyond reason, that is – and never taught them that the world is so much bigger than just them. It means that we failed to parent, which is our role in this season. We are shaping the future every single day that we talk, interact, and encourage our little people.

I liken it to a job sometimes, albeit a job that I love. 

If I apply half-ass effort to my job, I’ll see half-ass results. In the same way, if I give half-ass attention, love, discipline, and worth to my children, they’ll lack the determination, will, and perseverance to really succeed in life. It’s my job to build these little people up every single day. Together, we learn new things, we explore the world around us, we exercise our manners, and we show people that we’re growing, both as individuals and as a family.

And, as we foster our children’s individuality, we start to take a back seat. They start to shine. Their personalities blossom, and they start to make an impact in their tiny corner of the world. Even now, when I drop Spencer off at daycare each day, I watch how he goes to interact with his friends. He shows his toys, is learning to share, and he exudes excitement and love for everything around him. That is why it’s not easy.

Parenting is work. It’s also the best kind of work, especially when you have more than one child. Moms of multiples, I salute you. I don’t know how you do it, but you’re doing it, and you’re rocking it.

So, if it’s hard today, or you feel like you really didn’t accomplish anything, know that you did. If it’s hard, know that you’re doing something right.

Know that it’s worth it.