I attended a photography seminar years ago led by one of National Geographic‘s top photographers. “Wow.” I thought. “Now here’s a guy living the dream.” He opened by mentioning that when most adults were asked what they thought the most fun job would be, National Geographic photographer topped the list.
Then he went into how it is the greatest job he ever could have asked for, but fun? Eh. Debatable. He went into detail about the vaccines required to visit other countries, he talked of malaria, death, drought and war. He talked about the hours spent on cramped planes, weeks spent away from his family and days holed up in tents, all alone, just waiting for that one shot.
I never thought about that part.
I love photography, but y’all, it is A LOT of work when you begin doing it for other people.
I love being a mom, but y’all, it is A LOT of work, period. And just like there are rewards that come along with being a photographer, for families or National Geographic, there are parts that (dare I say it) stink.
The crappy parts won’t last forever, and the end result, which is either a perfect photograph or a decent human being that you send out into the world makes all the hard work worth it, eventually. Until then, here’s a few parts of parenting that are the photographers equivalent of being alone in a tent, receiving a battery of vaccines or dealing with bugs the size of a dinner plate.
Vomit 1 of 10I'm no stranger to vomit, but with my own I can control where it ends up. With little kids? Oh no. Vomit is awful stuff.
Sadness 2 of 10I absolutely hate it when another kid is a jerk to my kid. I want to grab the other kid by the ear and string them up like laundry. But it's not my battle to fight. I'm always so proud of her when she handles meanies on her own with grace and control, because I wouldn't be so nice sometimes.
Manners. 3 of 10This one is so important with the decline of humanity and kindness. Surely all the times I remind her of manners and poise are being stocked away somewhere deep inside her, not just in one ear and out the other. (Because that's what it feels like sometimes.)
Attitude and Drama 4 of 10SHE'S ONLY SEVEN! THE EYEROLLING! THE HEAVY SIGHS! DON'T YOU GIVE ME THAT ATTITUDE MISSY! And no, you're not grounded from everything you love forever and ever, you're grounded from screens for 24 hours. There's a difference.
Messy Crafts 5 of 10I don't, I mean, I love making a mess as much as the next person. But when it comes to very long, involved crafts that require the use of various mediums that stain and stick? Oof. Martha I am not.
Teaching 6 of 10Oh how I love it when something finally clicks with her, and I really do practice crazy patience with her when it comes to teaching her things, but oh, I'm so not a teacher, which is why I write her teachers thank you notes regularly.
Constant Messes and Responsibility 7 of 10I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Step on a Lego once you'll rue their existence everyday of your parenting life. Someday she'll just figure out that cleaning her room isn't optional and no, her shoes do not put themselves in her closet, right?
Potty Training 8 of 10So I've been free and clear of this one for over four years, but it's coming up again in about two years. I'm amazed I made it out of potty training sober.
Self Feeding 9 of 10Again, several years removed from this but I remember washing that high chair tray thousands of times. I sometimes wonder how well I actually did as I scrub up milk dribbles every morning from the dining room table.
Enduring to the end. 10 of 10I'm not so sure parenting has an end date. You can never retire and some days the thought is overwhelming. I hope I'm doing okay, I hope she knows that anything is possible, because it is.
What’s your least favorite part of parenting?