Is Parenting Hard, or Is It Just Me?
At almost nine months' pregnant, I plopped down at the top of the stairs and started sobbing.
My 2-year-old had just pooped in his crib, removed his diaper, and proceeded to make an indescribable mess, the 4-year-old and 6-year-old had been playing “crafts,” which meant sneaking scissors into their room and cutting up papers into teeny, tiny little pieces all over the floor, and it was barely 10 o'clock in the morning.
I was exhausted, it was 90 degrees outside, and I felt like I just couldn't take it anymore.
So I did what any sensible mother-of-almost-four would do, right?
Um, not so much.
As I sat crouched in the hallway, crying, my kids became eerily silent and watched me, unsure of what to do. And in that moment, I felt single handedly like the worst parent in the world.
Which led me to ask the inevitable question: Is parenting really this hard? Or is it just me?
Sometimes, I really and truly feel like other moms are doing a way better job than I am.
The small things of motherhood really get to me in a way that I feel like they shouldn't—the way my son always bangs his fork at the dinner table, the constant sniffles of cold season, the way I dread my daughter's fingernails digging into my skin when we swim in the pool together. I mean, those are tiny, insignificant things that a good mother would never even notice, right?
I feel like sometimes I let those little things build up because I lose sight of the big picture of motherhood—the one that would tell me that, in the grand scheme of things, it won't matter if I have one tear-filled breakdown on the stairs or if my son stays in pajamas for the whole day (again) or if I silently hand my daughter a tissue so she will stop the sniffling.
In the grand scheme of things, my children's childhood will be made up of the moments that they saw a mom who was there for them—a mom who loved them, who would do anything for them. A mom who was, well, human, but still did her best.
I will always wonder if there are other mothers out there doing a “better” job as a mom. I will always wonder if parenting is this hard for other mothers as it seems to be for me. And I will always probably wonder if I did the right things in raising my children.
I may never know if “it's just me” or if parenting really is this hard or if it's a combination of the two (most likely), but at the very least, I can be assured that at the end of the day, I am doing my best.
Even if my best means wiping away my tears, pulling my kids in close for a big group hug, and starting fresh in the middle of the day.
What do you find to the be the hardest part about parenting?