Hello, May I speak to Honesty? Is Honesty in the building? Can we start an honesty jar? Will the real truth please stand up?
I'm just wondering when we’re gonna get real about parenthood. My kid woke up at break of dawn so please excuse me as I have a moment of super duper clear transparency. The jig is up on this “I JUST LOVE PARENTHOOD” thought process. In the wee hours of the morning, I had a revelation: Parents aren't honest about how much we *don't love parenting all the time. We literally don't keep it real enough. So here it is: Parenting is hard as hell, and nope, we're not telling the entire truth about it. Well that ends for me today.
I'm going to admit I struggle often with the highs and lows of parenting. I admit that as we potty train and our toddler gains more independence, these last few months have been very trying. I'm going to admit that most days, the only thing I can say about parenthood is that it's a crazy cycle of crazy. Yep. CRAZY.
But this admission holds the most weight: I admit that most days I feel defeated. There will be days of regret, anger, fear, sadness, excitement, exhaustion, allll of that. I’m here to tell you, I'm no longer afraid to say that I've had days where I've questioned this journey. I have. I can admit that I've said, "What the F, more than I've prayed and said hello." We talk about the milestones and how our little ones get there, but we don’t share the frustrations that go along with them.
The moment we admit that being a parent is hard as hell and that everyday isn't Pinterest parties, rainbows and my 2 day old baby can read days, we'll be a lot better off. Stop telling parents "You'll miss this stage." Maybe the hell they won't. Let folks live in the moment of: "I can't stand this phase" and allow them to be cool with it. If we're going to tell it, let's be real and tell the good, bad, and the ugly. It may not get "better", it definitely gets crazy. I'm learning that we ultimately become more savvy with dealing and coping.
There are days when I sit back and tally all of the things my mommy friends, the innawebs and the parenting books didn’t tell me. I literally say to myself, " This is the stuff they don't tell you." But why don't we tell it? Why don’t we share that it is possible to love your child to the moon and back and not be 100% flowers and meadows about parenthood? We don't share because we're afraid of how people will see us as parents. It's why we hide the fact the postpartum depression is tearing us up. It's why we hide the fact that we can't wait for 8 pm and dinner time is over and we can relax. We hide it all behind, "We're so over the moon." I'm calling bull. Often times, we're really just over it. We’ve romanticized parenting to the point that people won’t share their truth about parenting because it makes them look like a bad parent. That just isn’t the case.
Nope. I don't love every stage of parenthood. I don't even like every stage of parenthood. That is my honest admission. I'm admitting that I sometimes don't feel adequate or that I always like this parenting thing. It doesn't mean I love my daughter less. It doesn't mean I'm not grateful. If folks knew the whole truth about how this dream of parenting was gifted to me, they'd know just how thankful I am. When I consider that I was told I'd may never carry a child. I’m eternally grateful. Seeing something I grew- grow and be is MAGICAL. There are moments of awestruck. But there are also moments of "What am I doing here?"
So let’s make it a point to be honest about being parents. Let’s tell the truth to new parents. Let’s tell the truth to ourselves. When we don’t, we’re doing this life as parents a disservice in thinking that we'll love every single moment. Be the purveyors of honesty and share it. Share it when it's fun, but also share when it sucks too. I’m sharing because this is the hardest job I've had outside of marriage. I’m sharing this as a form of therapy. I’m sharing this because, well dang it, it's my truth. I'm sharing, because we need to talk about it. Without fear. Without reservation.
Admitting that I struggle with loving parenthood doesn't mean I don't love my daughter or that I even hate parenthood. It just means timeout for not being honest about parenthood.
Truthfully, parenthood is a roller coaster of wins and losses. And for me, each day that we make it with only one of us crying it out, is a win in my book.
Candace is MidWestern born and bred wife, mom, daughter and bacon lover. She resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with her San Francisco 49er loving husband Eric, and their giggly daughter, Madison. She is a home chef and food business owner always up for cultivating new flavors and putting her own spin on traditional classics. She is the Chief Foodie and spice slanger at Food Love Tog. In addition to being a lover of family, Candace works within the community using food as a connector of people. Connect with her on social media in the following places: Twitter, Facebook & Instagram