Letters to a daughter from her parents, starting from before she was born

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Honest Parenting

People always put their best face forward on Facebook. Their profiles, hell...my profile is full of pictures of my smiling child never misbehaving, throwing a tantrum, or looking strung out at 2am after being up for two hours and crying for much of it. In my blog I've mostly written about the positive. I've had friends write to me and say how encouraging my blog is to them, and helpful. I worry that I may have led them astray. That I wasn't honest enough about the difficulties and the struggles. That maybe I smile to cover my insecurities.  Here's the thing; you've been charged with being the biggest influence in someone's life. Not only their life, but potentially the lives of GENERATIONS after them.  That is terrifying. It's a weight on your shoulders that never lessens, and never lets go.  Not only that, but you have to do it all while dealing with all of the unpredictable aspects of every day life.  Good luck being on your best behavior at all times.

Last night, at 1am, when my daughter was whining and not quite awake or asleep, I came up with the idea for this blog. I promise it sounded better in my head, but the gist of it is an honest look at parenting.  So here is the truth as I've experienced it over the last 10 months.

Sometimes you  just want to kick this creature out of your damn space. They touch EVERYTHING, and find your vulnerabilities faster than an NSA hacker.  You, outlets, cords, remotes and my goddamn cell phone are all at the mercy of a little tyrant who is unrelenting and single minded in her attempts to make them hers.  Luckily she doesn't get mad at being handed different actual toys to play with...now, but I'm pretty sure that's going to change when she gets older. Then, we're screwed.

Mommy rage at 3am, when you lose your absolute shit because your kid woken up AGAIN; is totally a real thing. Frustration and anger build up as you realize that no matter how much you want to be, you're not in control of the situation. You'll probably hate yourself, but your baby will eventually stop crying and go back to sleep.  You'll probably throw the baby monitor...more than once.  Truthfully...I'm surprised mine works. Take it easy on yourself.  It's okay, it will pass.  Sometimes I just need to wake up my husband, who is snoring happily next to me with ear plugs in his ears, so he can just go rub her back for a little bit.  I must have this note of utter desperation in my voice to prompt my sleep obsessed husband to drag his half asleep ass out of bed to go attempt to put her to sleep. By the time he gets frustrated, I've cooled off and can deal.

On that note, sleep. Nothing pissed me off more than some well intentioned stranger telling me to enjoy my sleep now while I was pregnant. "Of course I'll sleep once the baby comes!" I'd think to myself, since obviously no one can live without sleep and I was already getting up 3-4 times a night to pee. My daughter does sleep. She gets up twice to nurse though, so my sleep is broken up.  It's difficult, but not impossible.  I have friends with kids that really don't sleep well though, and it's rough.  Continual sleep deprivation is no joke. I can feel myself getting more ragey, more angry, more depressed every day that I don't get at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

You'll never really understand how you can miss a child when they're just a room away, but you will. How you can be up every few hours during the night, but still function; but you will.  How you can be so unsure, yet be the center of someone's world. Your heart will melt every damn time they smile, and those moments make us not eat our young.

I charge you with this my fellow parents: be positive, but be honest.  Every parents is scared, worried, tired, frustrated and annoyed at some point.  Know that just because someone is smiling doesn't mean that they aren't struggling. Know you aren't alone in your struggles.  Parenting can be one of the most isolating things in someone's life, and realizing we aren't along in our struggles can be the thing that gets us through a hard day.  


  1. Passing this on to friends of mine on Facebook who are struggling with all the positivity pressure. Maybe gym-sized punching bags are the best gifts for parents? That tension has to get released somewhere! :D