Creative Child

5 Reminders When Parenthood Feels Heavy

by Rebecca Eanes

During different seasons and situations, I’ve felt the weight of parenthood like a heavy load laid upon my chest. It hurts emotionally and sometimes even physically. It’s especially bad for me when my children have to deal with things that are heavy for them, things I can’t remove or fix. It also feels heavy when I feel like I’ve failed; when I can look back and see what I should have done differently and then start wondering what I’m doing today that could be tomorrow’s regret. On the days when parenthood feels heavy, these 10 reminders help me get through.

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  1. My kids are a work in progress. I know this seems ridiculously obvious, yet I still sometimes feel like the kid in front of me is the finished result. I have to remind myself that they’re still growing. They’re brains have a lot more maturing to do, and they have a lot more to learn and experience. Who my 8 year old is today isn’t who he will be 18. He’s a work in progress. Just like me. Plus, I have a feeling that the more I find to like about him today, the more there will be to like when he’s 18. So, I try to remember to see the good in my kids, even when they’re driving me sort of bonkers.

  2. Their problems are not mine to solve. Not always. Of course, I want to help when I can, but they have to struggle through some things. They just do. It’s how they learn resilience. Life won’t always be fair to them. People won’t always be good to them. More often than not, they don’t need me to solve their problems anyway; they just need me to be there for them while they work through it, and they need me to believe in their ability to do so. They draw strength from that.

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  1. It’s never going to be perfect. It sounds like another obvious statement but I had some pretty wild expectations when I started this motherhood journey, and I’ve felt really disappointed to find that it’s never just right. I’ve found myself holding my breath, waiting for the next phase when they’ll be more independent or more self-controlled or more mature. I’ve held my breath waiting for some magical patience potion to appear or a day when a deadline doesn’t loom and the house isn’t a disaster zone of toys, empty juice bottles, and dog fur. Guess what? I eventually had to exhale because I realized it just isn’t going to happen. There is always something I could be bothered about, always something else to wish for. The load feels a little lighter when I decide to find the joy in the chaos.
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