Parenting is hard…..right?

I know you have all heard people say, or perhaps you have said it yourself; "children do not come with an instruction manual; there is no rule book for parenting".  If there was, I am sure it would be the wordiest book in the history of mankind.

Every stage of parenting provides it own set of challenges and obstacles.  We cannot wait for our babies to learn to walk and talk, and then we spend years telling them to sit down and be quiet for a little while…seriously, we just need five minutes to ourselves! 

We send them off to school, then cry when we realize they are quite happy to be off with their friends, discovering new and wonderful things, while we watch the clock and arrive at the school early to pick them up because we missed them so much.

As their personalities develop and they start the dreaded ‘puberty blues stage’, eye-rolling and attitude is what greets our attempts at conversation, because even though they do love us, they just want to be able to go and do whatever they want….as long as you can drive them, or provide the funds to do so.

Move on to the High School years, where our kids are both excited at the prospect of being ‘older’ and almost ready to start their journey into adulthood, yet terrified of being held accountable for their actions and being out on their own without the safety net that parents and a home life provides.

Even when they have graduated High School and either gone into the workforce or off to college, we wave them off with one hand, while trying to hold them close with the other. They need the freedom to start their lives and make their own way; we just find it hard as parents to watch them make mistakes or worse, make decisions that have a negative impact on their world…..and ours.

When our children do make mistakes, or make us feel that we have failed, we are often too proud to admit that we find it hard being parents. There is no shame in that, although most of us feel just that; shame and embarrassment, or emotionally drained that we are not doing or saying the right things. Even the strongest people feel that way at times.

A local businesswoman, very bravely posted a Facebook Live video telling all, that the picture perfect scenario she had in her mind, had in fact turned completely around and she felt the need to find a positive in the obstacles she was faced with, when it came to parenting. As I watched her video, my eyes filled with tears, as I realized I was not the only one who was questioning the precarious relationships we have with our offspring.

Whatever it is that gives you comfort, whether it be your faith, spirituality, support groups…whatever, give it up to them. Talk about it, let it be known that none of us have all the answers, let us support each other and hopefully, collectively, we can get through this journey together.

Barbara Dale is the receptionist for the Crestview News Bulletin. Email her at bdale@crestviewbulletin.com.