Two Parenting Truths to Always Remember
It’s no secret that we like life to be easy. When we face challenging or difficult times, a natural response is to ask, “What did I do wrong?” It’s also no secret that parenting is not easy. The simple fact of raising a child with a mind of his or her own can bring a challenge to the simplest task. (Consider bedtime, for instance. Who in their right mind doesn’t want a good night’s sleep? A typical toddler, that’s who.)
So, in the middle of the challenging moments, it’s vital for you to keep these two parenting truths at the forefront of your mind.
- You are making a difference.
With nearly any other task or job you undertake, you can see the difference that you make. If you work as a farmer, you see plants growing and crops ready for harvest within months. If you work as a writer, you can see your wordcount steadily rising as you write more each day (and hopefully you see your book published before long). Doctors, landscapers, real estate agents – all see the results of their labors pretty much right away. Not so for parents.
Yes, you can rejoice when your child takes those first steps or finally goes through the night without wetting the bed. But after those stages, it seems like years can pass without any huge successes. You enter the tedium of day-to-day life as a parent, and though parenting is a reward in itself, you can still wonder if you are truly making a difference.
Every day, your children are learning from you. They are taking their cues on how to deal with the things life will eventually throw their way by watching how you “deal.” They watch you respond with kindness to a surly neighbor. They see how you walk the dog each day even though you’re really a cat person.
Your decisions and actions every day are making a difference in the way your children are growing up. If that’s not an encouragement, I don’t know what is.
- It’s worth it.
At the risk of stating the obvious or sounding cliché, I’m going to put this out there anyway. It is worth it – so completely worth it. Every parent on earth would likely confess that there is no task tougher than raising a child. Those same parents, however, would just as readily claim there is no task they would rather have.
Parenting is worth it. You are learning priceless lessons just by experiencing precious moments every day with your child. It’s not only worth it for the day they will eventually walk across the stage to accept a diploma, or for the day they will call (or text) you with the news that they got their first real job. It’s worth it now for the very fact that you are raising a child who has the potential to make a magnificent difference in the world.
Keep that in mind during the challenging moments and through the tough times. You are making history because you are a parent!