I’d like to think, after nearly 12 years of parenting, that I’m getting pretty good at this gig.
If I’d been doing anything else for 12 years, I would likely be considered an expert.
With 12 years of higher education, I could be a doctor. Twice.
But after 12 years of parenting, the big “a-ha” has finally come and it’s not what I thought it would be.
It’s not “I’ve got this!”
I have no idea what I’m doing.
The rules keep changing. Every time I think I’ve nailed the routine, the playing field alters.
The big revelation after 12 years of parenting, is that there is no such thing as a parenting expert.
We’re all just parenting survivors. Comrades on the battlefield. We need to stop trying to be experts and tell everyone else how to raise their kids and just help each other survive. Share a canteen and a chocolate bar.
It’s not going to get easier when….
It’s not going to get easier when they sleep through the night.
It’s not going to get easier when they start school.
It’s not going to get easier when they can tie their own shoes, make their own bed, or pour their own bowl of cereal.
It’s not going to get easier when they graduate high school, or move out, or get a job.
I hate to be the one to break it to you.
There is one bit of good news, however.
You are not alone. We’re all lost. We’re all confused. We’re all trying to feel our way through this quagmire in the dark.
There isn’t anyone who has it easier than you. It feels like there is. I know you’ve thought (as have I) that parenting just comes so easy for them….
But it doesn’t. Not for anyone. Whatever phase they are successfully striding through at the moment will quickly be replaced with another, more complicated phase down the road.
As such, give that parent next to you some grace today.
Tell a mom she’s doing a good job.
Tell a dad that he’s an inspiration.
Tell that couple over there that you can see how much they love their kids.
It’s the best we can hope for, grace from each other, and the knowledge that none of us really have this parenting thing figured out.
I’m not the only one who’s lost. Neither are you.