Parenting – it’s a constant Balancing Act; for the parent(s) and the child. And it SUCKS when you are in a middle of a temper tantrum in the store, arguing with your spouse/partner in front of your child, or are in a heated argument with your teenager. It is NO Fun, especially when you did not get enough sleep, are hangry, have a stressful job on top of juggling a household, got stuck in traffic are late for an appointment or need to pay a utility bill instead of a your child’s birthday party, sleepover movie night or prom outfit.
But it’s also GREAT and tremendously rewarding; when you, even for a moment, “get it right” and a cloud-soft blanket wraps around you, covering you in genuine and selfless love. Hold on to those moments in time of despair and frustration (I try to).
As parents, we get so much flag from the outside world about what we should do in any given moment, what to say, what not to say, do or not do and the advice usually comes from either our own parents, grandparents, friends who are parents or friends who are parentless, but base their knowledge on observation and scientific papers. The truth is: parenting is HARD!
We do not get a customized manual for each of our children outlining exactly what to do in any given situation based on their specific personality style and friend circle. We do OUR best based on our own upbringing – prepared with positive and negative experiences, notes on what we wish our parents would or would not have said and done, friendships that worked out or did not at all. Our parenting style is basically a mashup of our own personalities that survived being parented by the generation before us. And let’s not forget that our parents were parented by the generation prior to them and so forth. Each generation has their own struggles that are incomparable to the previous or current one; we can try to find similarities, but it’s never with 100% accuracy, because how do you truly explain to your child a time before the internet when today’s generation is essentially born with a smartphone?
The baseline struggles are the same and overall universal, most certainly. However, the solutions are variable and can only be solved with open and honest communication.
Every generation is experiencing their own teenage years with their own trials, triumphs, disappointments, and heartaches, and frustrations. We suck, we make mistakes, we freak out, we stress, we struggle, we cope – we are human beings with real emotions as well. We strew up! More than once.
And while we learn to best help our kids, we also have to learn about our own world WE and THEY live in RIGHT NOW – as we learn and cope, we have to help our kids learn and cope. We try so hard to make sense of the world WE and THEY live in and it is like a trip on the Gavitron Spin Ride – dizzying, confusing, frightening, nauseating, and fun. We are merely grown-up versions of our kids; we encounter our own struggles in the “adult-ish world” and then try our best to make sense of it all to best help our kids with the knowledge gained and the battle scars (physically and emotionally) to show as survival badges. We have never been a parent of each of our kids before – it is always first-time parenting for each of our kids as they come with a unique catalog of traits, skills, and personalities. That’s part of the fun and joy we experience, but also our struggles. We do our best to provide them with a backpack full of skills to benefit them long-term no matter what life throws at them. We love them so hard! Even when they give us “stares of hate” and “words of defiance.” We don’t always love their behavior (and vice versa), but we always love THEM as a person and as our child. Love matters most – it’s tremendously precious and priceless.
To ALL the types of parents out there: YOU ARE AMAZING! And I know, you are doing your best! After all, we all are perfectly imperfect people living in a perfectly imperfect world.