Parental Truth Telling

Have you ever had that friend that called it like she saw it? Told the truth even if it made you squirm a bit?  Stacey is that friend to me.  I’ve known her since college, and I look forward to the many more years of our friendship.  She’s a quiet, gentle soul, but she’s got spunk.  She’s not afraid to say the truth.  I’m truthful too, but I’m much more guarded in what I say.  I take things in, process them through rose-colored glasses (which I inherited from my mother), and then consider all audiences and their feelings before sharing my thoughts.  Stacey just says it.  I love that about her!

Recently Stacey stayed with my family for a few days.  It was so good to see her.  I always feel like my tank has been filled, my soul has been repaired and restored, after visits with her.  While here, Stacey, my husband, and I enjoyed reconnecting with each other’s children.  Stacey finally got to meet our sweet daughter, and she showered her with snuggles and attention.  She also talked to and played with our loving, energetic four-year old son.  Scott and I marveled at how much her teenage boys have grown, and we smiled as we watched them relate so wonderfully to our children.

Stacey also had the honor of witnessing the multitude of tiny (and sometimes big) meltdowns our son had while she and the boys were here.  Due to the change in routine and extra stimulation of having visitors, E had even more tantrums than usual.  At some point on the last day, hearing me sigh after yet another scream from Mr. Fussy Pants, Stacey put her hand on my shoulder and spoke two words that, after my initial shock, warmed my heart.  “Parenting sucks,” she said.

Now before you get too offended, please know that Stacey loves her children more than anything.  She is an amazing mom (the mom, other than my own dear mother, like whom I constantly hope that I can be), and she is a talented, loving teacher.   I, too, love my children, marvel at them daily, and count being their mother as one of the greatest gifts God has given me. But, full disclosure here, parenting IS hard.  It is exhausting.  To be so invested in these little beings, these special extensions of my heart, and then to have them scream or tantrum or make poor choices—it’s enough to knock down the strongest of parents.  Not to mention the worries and frets they cause you as you watch them now or think about their futures—yikes!  Following Stacey’s bold lead, it just feels good to be honest about this.  For a moment, at least.

This truth telling may seem to run against the themes of my other posts.  I know I’m not alone.  We all post happy pictures of our kids on Facebook or Instagram, gushing with pride and love.  It’s not dishonest.  Those are the parts that we hold onto at the end of the day.  Those are the moments that lift us up and make our buttons burst.  If I am like my mother, I’m pretty sure those will be the ones that I remember when my children are grown.  But maybe we need to hear from each other now and then, so we don’t freak out that we’re doing something wrong.  Let’s just remind each other.  Parenting is hard.  It can even “suck” sometimes.  Totally worth it, wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it isn’t easy.  Thank God we have our spouses, our dear friends, and our families to lean on in the process.

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6 thoughts on “Parental Truth Telling

  1. Jill H says:

    Oh how I love this post. I know a mom whose mantra is “everyday that you are a mom is a good day.” It has always made me feel incredibly lousy because every day that I have been a mom has not been a good day. We’ve had frightening illnesses, debilitating disabilities, broken hearts, hurt feelings, sleepless nights, and hours spent on my knees praying…and not necessarily thankfully. Some days stink. And it’s hard. I didn’t know how much it would hurt when they hurt and how thick I would want their bubble of protection to be…or just how much I would compare them to others even though I vowed I wouldnt. So thank you for the honesty. It does suck sometimes. And it’s good to know it’s not just me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your reply, Jill. I learn so much from friends like you and Stacey who have gone ahead of me and have a few more parenting years under your belts. I know I’m just beginning to understand the emotional toll of this journey, as important as it is. Glad we can know we’ve got friends on this journey!

      Like

  2. Linda Wold says:

    Another beautiful writing by my amazing daughter. God has blessed you with a beautiful heart and a gift with words.
    E and A are blessed to have you for a mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tracy says:

    Some days it’s all about survival. Me. The kids. Sometimes both. If you ask me, the picture perfect image of motherhood does more harm than good. I was fortunate to realize SuperMom is a figment of society’s imagination pretty early on. I know mothers who are 10-15 years in and are still running themselves ragged to be *that* mother. Truth is none of us know what’s going on. Some of us just hide it better. I never was any good at hiding.

    Liked by 1 person

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