It’s Not Supposed to be Easy

“What parent has it easy? I just never make the difficulty of it an obstacle. I just do it.” — Marlee Matlin

My parents shared this quote with me this weekend, based in part in my fretting in last Thursday’s post.

I assured them that I don’t actually think about parenting too much. It may look like I over think it, but that’s just because I talk about it “in public” as it were.

It’s true, parenting is a tough job. It’s easy to over think (if you are an over thinker, like I am). Despite the obstacles, once you are a parent, when you are a good parent, Matlin has it right. You just do it.

As one of my history teachers in high school used to say, no one ever claimed life was going to be easy.

I am okay with parenting not being easy. I am okay with not feeling like I am a “natural” parent, like I struggle to parent my children well. I *want* to parent my children well, and I think that’s important.

And yes, I worry, I fret, I over think. And maybe I do make it look harder than it actually is. (Seriously considering making this my new tagline: “I make parenting look hard, yo.”) But I write about it, and I crowd source my parenting, because if I didn’t, this would be one of the things that kept me up. I fret publicly so I can let it go and don’t have to have anxious thoughts at 3 a.m. about this. (I still have anxious thoughts at 3 a.m. They are seldom about how I’m parenting.)

This site has enabled me to find resources to help me parent better. It helps me parent better just by giving me a space and a voice to express myself. Writing things out helps me process the problems, and find my way to solutions. From the people who comment here, to the friends I’ve made on Twitter and IRL, this “blogging” thing has proved very valuable to me. I stumble sometimes, worry about what to write about, but in general, I will probably not give up this space any time soon.

I need it. I don’t care that it doesn’t make me money, and I don’t care that I don’t have a readership of thousands (or even hundreds).

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for worrying that I worry. I do. This space helps me do it constructively.

Thank you, readers, for checking in here and for reading. Thanks especially to my commenters (facie is right; why isn’t this a word?) here and on Twitter. You help me feel less alone in the world of parenting, and you always have something constructive to say. I appreciate that more than I can put in words.

12 thoughts on “It’s Not Supposed to be Easy

  1. I agree with all of this. I’m so thankful for my blog being a place for me to vent. I know that parenting is difficult. If I thought it was easy, I’d have a full time nanny, boarding school and lots of wine. We do what we can do, and we do it the way we see fit. Are we perfect? No! I’d hate to be that!

    You do a fine job. And those parents who say they don’t have issues with their own kids, then they’re lying to themselves.

    • There are aspects of parenting that were harder than I expected: social isolation, for one. However, for the most part, I feel okay about what I’m doing. I just like to talk about it, and talk about some of the hard stuff. Because I need to get out of my own head. I have no expectation of “easy” or “perfection”. 🙂

  2. Dude, Hilary Clinton was not just whistling Dixie when she said that it takes a village to raise a child. It just so happens that here in the 21st century our village extends to the online world.

    I also think that those of us with above average intelligence who also have intelligent children think about it waaaay more. We have the tendency to worry if we’re doing it right and just how much therapy our kids will need in adulthood. I’ve said on more than one occasion that a dumb child might just be easier because let’s face it, Mama June sure ain’t worrying that she’s making mistakes with Honey Boo Boo.

    • You called me and my children smart! You’re my favorite.

      And to your point: intelligence and, to a certain extent, privilege lead us to having the luxury of being able to worry. I’m not fighting to feed my kids or survive the world. I sit in front of a desk and worry about whether or not forgetting to send a treat with my kids on their birthday is going to lead to them in therapy as adults.

  3. I agree with this 100%. My blog is such a great place for advice and reassurance and I love reading about what other people struggle with and how they face it. Keep on bloggin’!

  4. I don’t think you are looking for an easy answer or an easy way out. What you are saying is, “I’m going through this…anyone want to chime in here?” If no one does, that’s fine you will move along and do the best you can with your kids. But if someone who knows you has been through a similar situation, it helps just to know that. It helps even more to share;especially if it’s a tale of “I tried A and I strongly recommend you do B instead.”

    I had the good fortune to spend a weekend at the beach with a dear old friend recently who has two daughters as I do. My favorite quote is hers: “No one gets out unscathed.”

    • Ha. My MIL has a little magnet on her refrigerator that says, “Raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens.” Some days I feel that more than others!

  5. I have mad respect for all my blogging momma chickas. You all take parenting seriously, but you don’t take yourselves too seriously. In other words, you love your kids and you’re doing your best. No one can ask for anything more.

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