Parenting Is a Human Experience

I teared up when I read my friend’s status update on Facebook yesterday…

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 knowing how much Miranda has struggled with her son’s sensory issues lately, knowing how much that small moment really meant to her.

Earlier this month, this same friend, on that same Facebook page, was called into question by someone for “complaining too much” about parenting… about her struggles with motherhood. Scrolling through her page, all I see is a real parent, facing real issues, handling them in a very real, very human way.

Unfortunately, that’s always going to come up, at some point, for each and every parent. There’s always going to be at least one moment, if not hundreds, where someone will witness you behaving like a human- not a superhero or a perfectly programmed robot- and they will question your parenting.

Why can’t you be grateful? Why can’t you get over it? Why can’t you make them listen? Why do you yell? Why don’t you yell? How could you make a mistake? How could you fail?

The moment you become entirely responsible for a child, no matter how it comes to pass, no matter how hard you did or didn’t have to work for it, it’s an amazing transformation. You become a parent. 

But…

You do not stop being human. 

It doesn’t matter what books you read or what parenting philosophies you align yourself with. Nothing takes away the human element of parenting.

Humans experience a full spectrum of emotions, often more than one at the same time. Humans get tired. Humans need help. Humans doubt. Humans stumble.

Humans fail.

And if you think people are quick to call parents out for “complaining,” they’re even quicker to completely write them off when they fail. The world is swimming in judgement for parents who are caught in very human moments.

Don’t assume because you see a parent fail that they are a failure as a parent. Don’t assume because YOU fail as a parent at times, that YOU are a failure. 

Parenting is a HUMAN experience.

It’s not a stationary state of existence. Parenthood is not a place we check into and get programmed with all the answers the moment we become wholly responsible for that other life. It’s not a peak of a mountain where we can see above the fog.

Parenting is a continuous state of motion. It’s always growing, always learning, always changing, always diverging from paths to try new ones, always trying to balance. Parenting is a long, windy walk through the fog and around the mountain… over and over again.

Parenting is never about not struggling, it’s never about being perfect, it’s never about not failing. That would remove the human element from it.

And only humans could watch their child excel at swim lessons after months of struggles, and let that soften their heart enough to cry tears of happiness. Only a human gets to experience that joy.

Don’t deny yourself the joy that comes from the struggles. Don’t forget that parenting is a human experience.

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