Being a parent is an experience unlike anything anyone could ever imagine. There are the discomforts surrounding all of parenting’s uncertainty, anger, and disappointment, as well as happiness, memories, and the give and the take – and more take and more take. At times, there is talking back and other “slaps” that you receive, as well as internal struggles as you discipline your children. Parenting is tough work!
The interesting part about parenting is that children don’t even realize the impact of some of the things that they say to us, or of their actions. It really isn’t until you become a parent yourself and you think back to the things that you might have said or done to your own parents. Not that you did it to deliberately hurt them, but children do it all the time. It is like they have a button connected to your heart, and their words and actions affect you deeply. Parenting is tough work!
As a parent, forgiveness is something that you practice all the time. Love is also something that you express all the time, whether they reciprocate it or not. It is just what we do as parents — we don’t think about it. We might discuss it on occasion, but we are action people: we are verbs, we are action, we are doing, giving, sharing, loving, crying, laughing, eating, sleeping, dressing, teaching, constantly learning, practically every day. Parenting is tough work!
Sometimes parenting can be so disappointing. Not in the sense that they don’t turn out to be their best because of what we did, what they did, or what we all didn’t do — rather disappointing when it comes down to those little nuggets of a word spoken or intention held that your child refuses to accept or even acknowledge.
A child’s ability to express themselves influences their adulthood. It affects how they will interact with the world, ask for what they need, and how they will be able to communicate and share.
So as heart wrenching as it is when our children are expressing themselves in ways that challenge us — whew, Lord… we’ve got to be patient. Sometimes you just have to get up, leave the room and go somewhere private, as I am doing while I write this column. Parenting is tough work!
Yes, parenting is tough work, each and every day, and it never ends, until either we go to glory or our children go to glory. Hopefully, our children will want to be parents one day and learn to appreciate the struggle — not that it is a payback. It is just another important life lesson about relationships. Parenting is tough work!
Yet, even with its challenges, parenthood is such a beautiful thing. I love being a parent to my daughter. I love her immensely, and I am just prayerful that when she becomes a parent, she will remember my words, actions, thoughts, and emotions, and hopefully realize that I have always wanted the best for her in life. Until next time…PEACE!
cj is a poet, educator, motivational speaker, and inspirational writer who resides in Philadelphia. If you were moved by this piece, shoot cj a “like” or comment at [email protected].