Posted by: Kate | May 22, 2008

Parenting is Hard Work

I never thought much about being a parent as a young woman, or as a child, although I certainly looked after more than my fair share of children during the babysitting years. I wasn’t one of those girls who dreamed of having children, it wasn’t something that I yearned for or felt a natural need for. I don’t remember ever talking about being a mother with my parents. We talked about me being a journalist, or a writer, or a scientist.

My husband and I waited five years after getting married before we had a child (which meant we had lived together for nine years before we had a child). As I have talked about before, we realized early on that we could be only-child parents, but we agreed we certainly did want a child.

I knew parenting could be difficult. I thought – if you had a difficult child. I have an older brother and let’s just say life in my house was difficult with him. But I thought that was more to do with him than parenting in general.

I was so wrong. Parenting is hard. It sometimes sucks to be the one to lay down the law, to make all the rules, to decide when it is time to be firm and when it is time to be soft. To have to have the answers when there are behaviour problems or fears or issues with friends. And I realize that every child is at times difficult, while also being wonderful, and loving and mean and all those messy things we humans can be. And that you can’t pick which parts of your child you get to keep, or get to love. You love it all because it is your child – who is his or her own complete person that is not you, or who you were as a child.

I love – no more than that – adore, my son. Beyond what I had any idea was even possible. But there are days when I don’t love being the Parent.

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Responses

  1. Amen.

  2. If there are days you don’t love being a parent, then you’re dong it right.

  3. As mother of three (grown now, nicely, in spite of me) and grandmother of three… I hear ya! You are a thinker, and you’re willing to question — these things probably make you a great Mom, so I’m sure you’ll have many more days of loving it than not!


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