Today I have been a body pillow and a moist towelette.
A candy dispenser.
A personal assistant.
I was a master gamer.
A joke teller.
A boo boo kisser.
Being a parent is difficult to explain.
It’s easy to go from one extreme to another in a matter a moments.
The whole world is going great. Everyone is happy and content. The kids are playing peacefully as I lounge on the couch sipping a nice hot drink.
Suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere, everyone is crying, including myself because I have spilled my coffee all over myself and I have a steaming burrito all over my lap.
Where did the burrito even come from? We don’t have any such food anywhere in our house!
Then, as quickly as the storm swelled, it calmed.
The children are all in separate rooms, reading or putting together a Lego set quietly in their own corners of the house. There is no keeping up with the constant fluctuation of moods and situations in a house of six people.
Some days it feels like I am just along for the ride.
Parenting can be overwhelming.
Sometime being a parent means I’m just a victim of the raging storms tossing within the walls of my home. It can be easy to feel at a loss when the realization hits of how little control I have on any particular situation.
That is not to say I do not have any control. However, in some seasons it certainly feels like all I’m doing is hopping along for the ride.
Being a successful parent does not hinge on one good or bad day.
Don’t get so caught up in the chaos of any one particular moment during the day with your kids, over even a chaotic day during a week.
Or perhaps it’s been a crazy month during the year.
We spent much of December with someone in the house sick. It felt like the sickness held onto our family for so long because it moved through the house so slowly.
That can be overwhelming. If I allow it, sickness can make it feel like I am doing a terrible job as a parent.
I didn’t play any games with my kids this week.
I did not prepare any meals.
There were absolutely no vegetables consumed in our house.
Dishes were piled high.
Plus I had to keep telling the kids to get out of the same room as me because of a headache or to stop trying to cuddle because my body felt like it was already on fire.
It could be easy to look back over the course of that week and think, “Wow, I am an utterly rubbish parent.”
Or, I can look back and realize people get sick and it changes the dynamic of how we work for a time.
Life changes quickly in a house with small children.
Realize you cannot be in control of all of the changes and make the best decisions you can along the way.
And don’t forget to give yourself some grace.
There is so much good in parenting.
I cannot begin to explain how many bad days at work have immediately been made better by the smile of a toddler.
There is no feeling like walking in the door after a several hours away to the exclamation of “Daddy,” followed by the patter of little feet as a child rushes to wrap his arms as far around you as possible.
When a small voices says things like, “I love you,” completely unprompted the entire world melts away.
Their love is unconditional.
It never ceases to amaze me how much these kids want to be like me.
“I will take over your job when I’m older.”
“My favorite part of the day was cuddling on the couch.”
“Can we play a game?”
“When will you be home tomorrow?”
All of these are reminders of a small one who wants to be like us and wants to spend time with us.
That’s pretty amazing.
There are a lot of ups and downs in being a parent.
Unless you’ve had children it can be difficult to understand.
One thing is true, though.
Being a parent is:
a roller coaster ride.
The best thing ever.