The Roller Coaster of Parenting
Being a parent is the most rewarding, and yet THE HARDEST job in the world. Kids can make your heart explode, move your soul and teach you love deeper than you thought possible. They can also bring you to the brink of insanity. They can turn your switch from patience and understanding to anger and complete frustration in the blink of an eye. Just when you think you have things under control and are feeling like a “good” parent they throw you a curveball (sometimes through a window) and you start to lose your shit – again.
Last night was a pretty standard night in our house. After supper, a meal that the kids actually ate and enjoyed without complaining, they did the dishes and we sat down for a card game. It was a great night, filled with laughter and love. Then when came time for quiet time alone in their rooms, it started to fall apart.
Our kids can be bouncing off the walls as if they had just chugged a case of Red Bull, and then when it is time to head upstairs somehow they turn into sloths. It is as if we blindsided them with bedtime, the first time they have ever heard of it. Last night, after at least a thousand “Go Upstairs Please” requests (huge sarcastic emphasis on the ‘please’) I lost it. My SuperMom endurance quickly decreased, my volume increased and my patience disappeared all together.
I took a few minutes to myself and read a bit, it always mellows me out. When I felt human again I went to check on them. I tiptoed to each of their rooms, opening the door a crack to peak in. Our oldest child was lying on his side in bed, quietly reading a Garfield book with Griffin curled up beside him. Our youngest was sitting at his new desk, teeth brushed and in pj’s dutifully finishing his homework - without reminding!
It is in these quiet moments that I appreciate the roller coaster kids have you on. One minute everyone is getting along, you feel like a great parent, your kids are happy and you are on top of the world. Then in an instant everything comes crashing down, they can turn into demons, you lose your mind and everything goes helter skelter. A second later they turn into your sweet babies again, your love for them is overflowing and all is right with the world. They say life is a trip. I think the trick to parenting is learning to enjoy your ride together, appreciating the ups AND the downs.