On Trying Not to See Parenting as Hard

I told you before that I think parenting is hard.

It’s the one thing I’ve worked hardest at without measurable success. I know my kids are awesome and stuff but I won’t really know what grade I got on this 18 year research project for a while yet. This kind of delayed resolution doesn’t sit well with me.

My fellow blogger, Christine recently wrote a piece entitled, What Is the Hardest Thing About Being a Solo, Single Mom? where she presented her challenges while single and married moms offered theirs in the comments below.

In reading Christine’s piece and the subsequent comments, I was reminded of a piece I wrote a while back, All Moms Have it Hard. Does it Matter Who has it the Hardest?

While I stand by my position that degrees of parental challenge shouldn’t fuel the mommy wars, I’ve come to the realization that my own thinking about motherhood has become my worst enemy.

There are moms (single, married, divorced, rich, poor, bilingual, gay, straight, Republican, Democrat, thinner, fatter, prettier, nicer, more religious, less religious, etc.) that have it harder than I do.

There are also those same moms who have it easier than I do.

And then there are those supposed perfect families that have it harder than all of us combined.

The point is, no matter how “hard” or “easy” another mom has it, we’ll never really know. We’ll always be on the outside looking in and focusing on what they have that we don’t, not fully knowing the whole story.

I’m tired of beating myself up trying to get a good grade in parenting. There’s no one-size-fits-all to any parenting dynamic. I’d rather spend my time focusing on what motherhood has provided rather than taken away.

Take a look at the ways I’m focusing on the blessings of motherhood in spite of the challenges:

  • Checking my expectations 1 of 8
    Checking my expectations
    "Happily ever after" never meant a life without challenges. Choosing to be happy and grateful in spite those challenges will be the stuff of my happy ending.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • They need me 2 of 8
    They need me
    As much as I doubt myself as a mom sometimes, I know in my heart no one could love my kids better. They need me just as much as I need them and I am good enough.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Laughing about it 3 of 8
    Laughing about it
    Motherhood is the most ridiculous, hilarious, and amazing experience I've ever signed up for. Sometimes I've just gotta laugh to keep from crying.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Being thankful 4 of 8
    Being thankful
    Sometimes I sit back and watch my kids, unable to believe my good fortune. Knowing these amazing young people are destined for great things humbles my heart.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Making it fun 5 of 8
    Making it fun
    Motherhood feels like Groundhog Day more often than not. For this reason I'm always looking for new and creative ways to break up the monotony. Related: Grooving to 80s hair band metal music while cleaning just happens to be my new favoritest thing ever.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • This too shall pass 6 of 8
    This too shall pass
    Whatever crazy phase I happen to be going through with my kids, I have to remember that it won't be this way forever. We'll get through this challenge and stumble upon the next one soon enough.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • I’m not alone 7 of 8
    I'm not alone
    Just when I start to feel like it's all too much, I remember that I'm not alone. I'm part of an army of women who face the same challenges and struggles in their pursuit of maternal greatness. We're all in this together!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Forgiving myself 8 of 8
    Forgiving myself
    I'm learning as I go and that just has to be OK. It has to be.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

How do you view motherhood?

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