Call it an epiphany. It’s that moment when, as a parent, you finally realize that you can only do so much. Mistakes will be made, tears will be shed, and questions will be asked of ourselves. It’s something you won’t find in any parenting book, nor will you grasp its full meaning until it happens to you. It’s the realization that, as parents, we are still human beings.
Consider this – you need a license to drive. You need a license to hunt. You need a license to fish. You need a license to carry a concealed weapon (okay, I digress, you SHOULD need a license for that), but the point I’m trying to make is this: the hardest, most important task that can be assigned to a human being – parenting – doesn’t require a license. Why? Because it’s not something that can be taught by any book, any teacher, or any other parent. It can only be taught by your own child and your own instincts. And with that, comes the constant pressure that you place on your shoulders to do everything short of (and sometimes willingly including) going to the ends of the Earth for their satisfaction.
Enter the human aspect of parenting. It seems as though your routine turns you into a robot. Wake up, make breakfast, play, put down for a nap, make lunch, play, try to run errands and get things done around the house, make dinner, bath time, bed time, repeat. It’s hard to find the time to take a step back and breathe. Eventually, the stress of the routine and everything in between begins to wear on you. For starters, your frustrations show through much quicker, you and your other half (I use “other,” because using “better” is subjective…;))may argue more, and, ultimately, you will begin to question whether or not you’re cut out for this job (as if questioning from the peanut gallery isn’t enough). You’ll start to question everything you do, everything you’ve done, and everything you hope to do – in some sort of feeble attempt to justify the fact that you’re feeling like you don’t belong in the parenting world. It’s natural, and it’s a cycle that every parent will go through.
As parents, there’s something inside us that will always critique everything we do. It will always push us to do better, to make better decisions, to allow ourselves to self-evaluate, adapt, and adjust. It is called love. It’s the root of the pressures we place on ourselves as parents. It’s the motivation that pushes us through the tough times. It’s the never-ending desire to do better and to go above and beyond for the happiness of your children. But, when frustrations begin to mount, and you begin to feel completely overwhelmed, we must always remind ourselves of this – love is also the root of the realization that, as parents, we are still human beings.