So you met the perfect woman, and want to start the perfect family and have the perfect life. People are motivated by the love stories and beautiful tales they see on the big screen, so it’s not their fault for buying in. While it’s not impossible to begin a quest for this, it’s important that everyone be made aware of the reality that lurks behind the curtain.
When you are with your significant other, it’s easy to make decisions and agree upon plans and ideas. You can drop all at a moments notice and disappear on a private island, or special part of the house. Then, you decide it’s time to expand your love and bring a child into the world to celebrate your life together. Still a great thing, but now comes the interesting part of your life when the baby is alive and sitting before you. Let’s be clear about the point that children are a blessing and a fantastic part of a relationship — that being said, we will now enter the realm of the parent zone. No matter where you work, or how much responsibility you may have, you will NEVER have a job more demanding and mentally challenging than parenthood. Something unique happens inside of your brain, making you constantly second guess your moves and decisions.
Looking back at your own childhood, you recall the way your parents resolved matters and how they counseled/punished you, and you pick and choose what you thnk will work. Funny enough, you may find them to be ineffective and seemingly out-dated. The best part of parenting is when you find yourself repeating familiar phrases once spoken to you as a child. This is when you find yourself saying, “Oh, my…I sound like my parents.” Surprise! The words you swore you’d never repeat to your kids are now flying out of your mouth. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a parent thing.
As time goes by and your children reach their teens, this is where you begin to question your mental fiber and durability. Yes, they will need to have an measure of independence and space, but you will feel as though you no longer have an impact on their decision making. Whatever you say will be challenged and weighed on a scale against what their friends have to say, or what their friends parents allow them to do. It becomes an ongoing debate session, where you have to continually re-invent your technique to maintain control and seem like you have the upper hand.
As children get older, we start to lose our allure of “knowing everything” and suddenly we don’t have a clue about their lives or what they are experiencing. We are out of touch and are informed that the world doesn’t work the same we it did when we were kids. Oddly enough, we know how untrue this is and just how out of touch with reality they really are, but we allow them to rant and rave and try to convince them that times haven’t changed and we have “been there, done that.” Amazing how the transformation of a happy smiling child who hugs and kisses you, becomes the “Einstein” who is embarrassed at public affection from parents.
You find yourself, as all parents will, questioning where did you go wrong? What did you do to make them act this way? Take solace in knowing that all parents will pass through this and find themselves looking for answers to the same questions. It’s nothing you’ve done, or failed to do, it’s simply the reality and natural way of parenthood. To put it simply, we always strive to make our childrens’ lives better than ours, and give them more than we had, and we get confused and frustrated when they appear unappreciative of our efforts. Keep in mind that you were once ther,e too, and thought your parents had no clue about your world and your issues. Stay on track and don’t lose sight of the morals and lessons you learned as child. With a little luck, your children will come full circle and thank you for your care, and you can maintain your sanity…for the most part.