There are a lot of things “they” say about parenting, but you really never understand it until you are in it.
As I navigate this new territory of having two kids I have found myself getting lost and yet, exposed. Exposed, not yet found.
Marriage will change you. It changed me. I had someone else to consider, someone who (lovingly) pointed out some things I could improve on and also lovingly praised the things that he loved. Parenthood is on another level. Parenthood is being caught under a spotlight.
Parenthood is having your toddler repeat something you’ve said with the same tone and same face, making you realize you don’t always speak so kindly.
Parenthood is seeing your toddler comfort someone when they are sad, making you realize she sees you care.
Parenthood is losing your s*^t 20 minutes into the day, making you realize you aren’t as patient as you once thought you were.
Parenthood is having your child give you a hug at the end of a long day with a “Lub you” to top it off, making you realize even though you thought the day went horribly, she only sees how wonderful it was.
Parenthood is wanting your kids to go to sleep and then wanting them to wake up because you miss them, making you realize what you really want is just an “easy” day.
Parenthood is realizing there are no “easy” days.
Parenthood is a death to yourself and a rebirth of a new self.
Parenthood is realizing all the ways you can improve and also realizing you are kicking ass in ways you didn’t think you ever would.
There are moments (many moments) where I feel like I’ve failed. At the end of the day, I sit on the couch shrouded in the guilt of who I was that day. Not proud of the way I spoke or lost my temper. There are also moments where the clouds are lifted and the heavens part, and the day seems to go almost flawlessly. Where I sit on the couch at the day’s end and think, “I’m a freaking super hero”.
As I write this, it’s my 31st birthday and I’m reflecting on the past year and what is to come. Last year was difficult. One of the most difficult years I’d ever encountered. I was experiencing depression from living in a new city, being a newly stay-at-home mom, being far from family, having another miscarriage, and then getting pregnant again and feeling more alone than ever. But towards the end of that year, I saw prayers answered. We were brought back home (an answer to prayer) with jobs and a church family that were answers to many years of prayer. Like every year there were highs and lows and I’d be remiss to think that will ever change.
But as I enter this new year, I am allowing myself to stay under that spotlight rather than resent it. I am allowing myself the grace to do some hard work to rediscover who I am, what makes me me, and how to become the version of myself that God sees. Every year is an opportunity to ask myself what I want, and how I can get there. Every year is an opportunity to rise again.