As picturesque as becoming a parent may seem on TV, the truth is that there’s nothing picturesque about certain aspects of parenting. While it’s true that the day you become a mom or dad your heart expands in ways you would have never imagined,, you can also find yourself facing struggles that you never even realized would come into the equation.
The sleepless nights, the homework struggles, and the poop— so much poop. Usually, these less pleasant aspects of parenting aren’t included in ABC family sitcoms. So, to help you better prepare for the realities ahead of you, here are three things that no one tells you about becoming a parent.
Parenthood Doesn’t End After 18 Years
One of the biggest misconceptions that people have about parenting is that it’s like clocking into work the day they’re born, and clocking out the day they turn 18. The truth is that you will be a parent for the rest of your life. From the minute you hear their heartbeat at your ultrasound appointment, to the day you’re living in an assisted living facility, you will always be a parent.
The more you accept that you’re in this for the long haul, the more you realize that it’s up to you to build the foundation for your relationship with your child now that will last an entire lifetime. Your relationship will change and grow at each stage of their life of course, but it doesn’t end once they become an adult. Your role as a parent will transform, but they’ll always be your child.
There Will Be Moments You Don’t Like Your Kids
You heard it here— there will be days you don’t like your kids. However, it’s important to note the difference between love, and like. As a parent, you will always love your children regardless of how many tantrums they throw or how many times they draw on the walls. But make no doubt about it, there will be days when you will almost certainly dislike your kids.
After all, they’re still learning to become reasonable humans. Leading up until adulthood, they’re going to do plenty of unreasonable things, and there will be days and maybe even months that they will be downright insufferable. Your job as a parent is to weather these tough times and continue supporting them even when you can’t stand them. Think of yourself as a superhero. Your superhero power is staying calm even when you want to tear your hair out. This too shall pass!
All Kids Are Different
A lot of first-time parents find themselves buying every parenting book on the market. While there’s certainly good advice packed in many of those pages, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for all kids.
Every child is different, and as such, every child will require different solutions and strategies. Any parent with multiple kids can tell you that the temperament of each of their children is entirely different. So, remember, just because something worked for one of your friends with their child doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you and yours.
Parenting is a wild ride. There are ups and there are downs, but one thing is for sure – it can be one of the most rewarding and meaningful roles you’ll ever have. Be kind to yourself, be patient, and remember, let kids be kids!