Who else remembers the images of having children and how simple and beautiful it would be?
'Oh, MY baby will sleep soundly in her beautiful bassinet. She will wear smocked dresses and big bows, she will smile and coo all day, and then sleep 18 hours, while I organize my closets and make a lovely meal for my husband. It will be beautiful.'
THEN YOU HAVE THE BABY.
The baby screams all day, you never shower, meals are whatever you can slop together, while your gut hangs out of your pants that are littered with puke and poop stains. And THAT is actually a good day.
The visions of having children, aren't quite what we imagine are they?
And then as the child grows, you keep thinking, 'well, once they can feed themselves, or once they are potty trained, or once they can talk, or once they shut up, or once they are in school' THEN this parenting thing will get easy. But then it dawns on you....
THIS JOB WILL NEVER BE EASY.
I cannot escape this job. There is no leaving it at the office. There are no vacations. There are no sick days. And there certainly is not a 401k.
But oh my gosh, while this job may not be what you think it will be, you cannot love a creature more. Sometimes, I feel like someone has punched me in the gut, you know, like a love punch. A feeling of love being SUCKED out of you, a pleasure mixed with love that you cannot describe.
So, when your child hurts. You hurt. When a week into school, they cry to stay with you while you manually force them out of the car. IT HURTS. I put on the tough face while I can, but then I drive away and sob. And then I think, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME HOW HARD THIS PARENTING JOB WOULD BE?
I guess I wouldn't have listened. I would have thought, 'my beautiful, bow wearing angel, will defy your hard parenting sob stories.'
And I think I semi-get it now. Once that helpless creature is placed in your arms, you've given up your heart. And since parenting revolves around your very heart, the challenges can feel monumental.
And for today my challenge is leaving a crying child at school. And trust me, I'm grateful to have that crying child, as I know so many mothers have sick children or God forbid have lost a child. I know in the scheme of life, this is in fact small, and possibly petty on my part to feel this way about it?
But I do.
And like so many mothers before me, I will survive this, and I imagine even one day laugh about it. But in the meantime, it's no fun. And venting about it, just feels right.
And possibly drinking wine.