Monday, January 5, 2015

The Hardest Part of Being a Parent

Being a parent is tough work. It's a tireless job that never ends. It's full of sacrifices, tremendous worries, and you never get a day off. But, despite all of that, I love every second, except one. No, it's not when I'm up all night with 4 kids puking their guts out or being trapped under an avalanche of laundry. It's not the enormous pile of dirty dishes or the crushing weight of responsibility. For me, the hardest part of being a parent is watching my children grow up.

Somewhere between getting their first tooth and nap time, my children suddenly grew up. No longer do they need me to help them tie their shoes, brush their teeth, or read a story. Those days are just about gone around here. Sure, they still need me in others ways, but I sort of feel obsolete in some ways now. I have had babies for so long back-to-back that it seems unnatural NOT having to change a diaper, wash bottles, or read One Fish Two Fisk ten times in a row.

In the blink of an eye my children have grown up and there's no stopping it. Watching them growing isn't the only part that's hard, but watching them pull towards independence...as exciting as it is. Now, the older they get, some times I just have to watch them fall or learn a lesson the hard way. When they were little, I could say "Don't touch, it's hot." But now, that doesn't always work. I have to stand back and let them learn things on their own, even if it might sting a little. For me, that's tough! Every parent wants to protect their child and no parent wants to see their child fail or get hurt. But, some times it's the only way for them to learn their next lesson for life.

Although watching the kids grow and step away towards independence are the hardest part of being a parent. It's also exciting. I get to see the results of my hard work. Watching my child be able to do things on their own, solve a problem, show empathy, kindness, and responsibility--- there's simply nothing greater. And, although I can't rock them to sleep any more or count their piggies, each year brings exciting new milestones, and I am so very proud of them. Plus, no more lugging around diaper bags!!

As hard as it is to watch and let my children grow up, there's no stopping it. If it's already this hard letting them go and we haven't even reached middle school yet, I'm going to be a mess when they go to college. I'll stock up on tissue now.

What about you? How do you handle your children growing up? Do you find it difficult to have to step back to watch them fall before they stand? 

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