The Ugly Truth about Parenting

Once you have have a baby, or know someone who’s had a baby, you learn that there are two sides to this parenting gig.

First, there’s the beautiful, sweet, loving, and picture-perfect side that is full of moments worthy sharing on Facebook or Instagram.

Second, there’s the truth.

The ugly, imperfect, chaotic, uncontrollable, disastrous truth.

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What the outside world may not realize is that the first side listed above, the one of beauty and wonder, those moments are often far and in-between the more long-term, persevering ugly truth.

When I say “ugly,” I don’t really mean hideous. It’s not that parenting is disdainful or evil or unpleasing to the eye (at least it shouldn’t be). Rather, I mean “ugly” as in moments I tell myself, “Oh boy, this is SO not a Facebook-worthy picture to post!

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The truth is, parenting is hard.

It’s difficult. It’s challenging. It tests you beyond anything you’ve ever experienced.

You’re sleep deprived (especially in those first months), you’re tired, you miss your old life, you are worn and beat from CONSTANTLY worrying about another human being (or two)! Seriously! There is NEVER a moment I am not worrying about or thinking of the boys unless they’re physically not in my care (such as daycare or being cared for by my family).

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You try to sike yourself out, tell yourself that parenting is perfect, wonderful, exciting, fabulous, and ALL YOU’VE EVER DREAMED OF!

You post only the pretty pictures, the graceful moments, the best take out of 93728390 photo attempts you just made in hopes of capturing a single good photo. Did I ever mention HOW INCREDIBLY IMPOSSIBLE IT IS TO TAKE A PICTURE OF TWO BABIES LOOK AT THE CAMERA, LET ALONE SMILING?!

You tell others you couldn’t be happier, that you are so blessed, that your babies bring you all the joy in the world.

You keep smiling because heaven forbid someone calls you out on your resentment and anger and frustration. You push through the crankiness and fussing and crying because, well, because you have no choice. You want to shout and cry (and sometimes you do) and give up.

I have many moments I’m not so proud of.

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Yes, I couldn’t find my cup and later found it in the medicine cabinet… 

There’ve been dishes in the sink long enough to be concerned about the reeking smell that is not attributable to the poopie diapers.

There have been nights full of cleaning and cooking and exercising, but instead I watched three episodes of Scandal and devoured a huge bowl of ice cream.

Frozen has played an insurmountable number of times to make me kick myself for ever thinking I could keep the boys from watching TV before the age of two.

And of course I can’t deny it. There’ve been one too many times I’ve poured a glass of wine, yep that’s right, when there sun was still up.

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And yes, it is true. Babies are blessings!!!

They’re fascinating to watch grow and you care for them so much, often more than yourself.

I know this because I know the journey to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and give birth to a healthy baby can be extremely difficult. It can be heartbreaking and there can be moments where you feel you were not cut out to do this. But in the end, every baby is a miracle.

wpid-photogrid_1419438966108.jpgWhenever I feel like a failure (which is pretty often) or I wish I could try harder or I wish I didn’t do some of the things I do… I remind myself that,

my best is always enough.

Looking back at 2014, I will certainly remember the highlights. I’ll remember the boys thriving, growing, flying across the country, having endless fun with them, their first birthday, and being loved. Oh, they are loved so much.

I will also look back humbled, thinking of all the times parenting was NOT the perfect picture painted in my head. I am brought to my knees and taken off my high horse realizing that it’s not only me. In fact, every parent has his or her battle to face. And everything is relative.

While the ugly side of parenting is unavoidable and the mere thought of it saddens me, I take a moment to forgive myself and then use those moments to grow stronger and be proud of myself for how far I’ve come. I hope you parents out there will do the same!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What other aspects of the “ugly side” have I missed? Are there parenting moments you are not so proud of yourself? Share with me in the comments below!

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12 thoughts on “The Ugly Truth about Parenting

  1. At one point I’ve had 3 girls of different ages in nappies, but I can only admire a mom with twins. I think you can forgive the glass of wine and the occasional chaos and pat yourself on the shoulder. I think mothers are too hard on themselves and if you have happy kids that’s enough.

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  2. PREACH!!! I definitely commend you for taking awesome care of your TWO adorable little boys! 🙂 I only have one and I still can relate to most of what you posted – lol! P.S. I have the exact bottles/sippy cups for Ethan. #GoodStuff

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      • Loved this post. Ditto about ever thinking I could wait until they were 2 years old before watching any TV!! A TV break keeps my sanity, how could I ever live without it!!?? And getting two babies to smile for the camera, let alone look in the same direction – nearly impossible! Some people say to me, “Your girls are always so happy!” referring to pics on Insta, or they are genuinely shocked when I tell them they actually have tantrums and meltdowns daily, sometimes hourly! “No way! Not your girls!” Yes, my girls! All a part of the ‘ugly side’! So ugly. But, for every scream, tantrum, and meltdown – every laugh, funny face, and new word, makes all of the ‘ugly’ SO worth it!!!

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        • Thanks! Yes – keeping the sanity is definitely worth the little bit of screen time. Hopefully we both refrain from ever letting the kiddos become dependent on the TV or phones/iPads. I usually bust it out as a last resort or after we’ve had a long stretch of time and I know they’ll be getting cranky soon! And yes to the front – when people say how good our babies are, I reply, “Nah, they’re crazy.” 🙂

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  3. This is so true, parenting does have an ugly side to it. By golly, I stayed up till 6am this morning to really clean up all the messes and find the hidden half-eaten bread, cookies and candy wrappers under the couch, their cabinets and god-knows-where. I miss sleeping, going out any time I want and being able to shop in peace. And I hate most when I lose my temper, because after that comes the guilt and the grief.

    Praise God for his forgiveness and his sufficient grace that I’m still here, getting up every morning with the hope that I’ll be able to love the whole day. 🙂 Great piece Sharisse.

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