Being a parent is hard work Posted on September 10, 2019September 11, 2019 by MamaJordan Sometimes, at night, after the children have gone to bed, I go to take a hot shower and I cry. I hide in the hot, steamy, solace of my bathroom and I let all the stress and anxiety of the day melt off and wash down the drain with the water. I’m not sad or depressed, I just need to let go of all the emotions I’ve been holding in all day. I don’t do this every night, only on the nights after we have had an especially hard day. Being a parent is really, really hard some days and I just have to let it all out. You see, I learned a long time ago not to pray or ask God for patience. The last time I did that he gave me a child with severe ADHD. I am not a very patient woman. So, I have had to learn to be much more self-controlled, slower to anger, and more restrained with all my emotions. I have had to let go of my need to be in constant control of everything. I have had to swallow my own pride and ego and admit that I have no idea what I’m doing. Being a parent is not for the faint of heart Being a parent to a child with ADHD and another child with a speech delay can be very trying. Parenthood is one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences I could ever imagine. I love being a parent, but let’s face it, it’s HARD WORK. They NEED me to be in control of myself and my emotions all the time. If I am losing my temper or letting my anxiety show, it signals to them that everything is not going to be okay; and I need them to know that it IS going to be okay. When one of my children is having a hard time, or a “meltdown” as we call it, or even if they are just misbehaving, they need to be able to look to my husband and me and see that everything is under control. When we are out of control it scares them and makes things so much worse. But, friends, I do NOT always feel like I am in control. I have serious anxiety, which I have battled since I was 13 years old. So wearing a mask of control and confidence for my children is unbelievably hard and draining. You have to have a support system My husband is so much better at this. One of the things that drew me to him in the first place is how cool, calm, and collected he seems all the time. He seems to be in control of himself, his emotions, and his surroundings no matter what. Cody has always been my anchor, my calm in the storm. He is my lighthouse, my constant, my strength when I am weak. Often times I wonder for how long he can be “the strong one” while I have very little emotional stamina. I try desperately to stay calm and strong. I try to be a contributing member of this marriage and father/mother team. There are still days, however, that he must carry the both of us. Then there are days where I manage to be strong too. Those are usually the days that I end with crying in the shower. For a long time, I was ashamed of this fact. I tried to hide what I was doing in the shower for so long, praying that the steam would keep my eyes from getting puffy or red. I would even turn on the music on my phone so that maybe he wouldn’t hear me. Until he did hear me; and let me in on a little secret. He isn’t so sure he knows what the heck he is doing either. He even lies awake sometimes at night, after everyone else is sound asleep, and worries that he is messing this whole fatherhood thing up. You are NOT alone Friends, hear me when I say this… We are all just doing the best that we can. You ARE a good parent. You are not perfect, nor will you ever be perfect, but if you’re trying, and if you love your kids, you’re doing just fine. Who cares if your hair is perfect or you have the cleanest house on the block? Who cares if you have a brand-new car or never miss a PTA meeting? The important thing about being a parent is making sure your child gets to Heaven and preferably stays out of prison on the way. You can’t worry yourself to death about things that won’t matter 5 years from now Stop worrying about what Susan next door thinks. Quit giving yourself an anxiety attack over how much gluten your children are eating. Stop driving yourself crazy because you didn’t meal prep fancy lunches for your kids and they ate out of the cafeteria instead; and, for the love of everything holy, stop making yourself feel guilty because you can’t be everything for everyone. Stop mom (or dad) shaming yourself for all the things you THINK society is expecting from you that you’re not delivering. Take care of the things you CAN do. Here’s what you should worry about. Are your kids loved? Have you hugged them today or told them how special they are? Do they know Jesus? Are you taking the time to love your spouse, even on the hard days? Do YOU know Jesus? Are you making memories and taking the time to laugh with your family? Are you taking time to take care of yourself and your mental health? Those are the important things. And just let go of the things you can’t change Don’t keep crying alone in the shower, friends. Don’t keep suffering in silence. If you’re feeling burnt out or stressed out or just flat exhausted, talk to someone! Chances are they are feeling that way too, or they have in the very recent past. When my husband found me crying about what a horrible mother I thought I was he didn’t turn his back on me or tell me I was right. He wrapped me up in his arms and said, ‘hey, I think I’m messing this up too, but we are going to figure it out together’. We are all doing the best we can That’s what I’m saying to you now. We are going to figure this out together. When we are feeling weak we can lean on each other. If we need to vent we can talk to each other. You won’t find judgment here. You won’t find disdain or criticism from me. You’ll only find understanding and solidarity. We all cry in the shower sometimes, but you don’t have to stay there alone. Being a parent is hard work, but together we can survive and raise great kids. All the love, Jordan Three Guys and A Lady is a fun, carefree, no-judgment zone. We are here to support and love each other in this thing called life and parenthood. If you like what you’re reading remember to subscribe here. For more posts on parenting check out Parents need a break sometimes.