Some of my single girlfriends have asked about what life with kids is like. Is it difficult to give up all the luxuries of being single? When they say this, the things they’re referring to are probably something like: going out whenever you want, staying up late and sleeping in, spending your own money however you’d like, etc. When I think of the luxuries I miss about being single it’s more like: going to the bathroom in peace, taking a shower when necessary, eating three normal meals a day actually sitting at the table, oh and just the absence of stretch marks and “stretchy skin” for that matter. Yes, it’s true. It is difficult sometimes.
I recently started reading “Dad is Fat” by my favorite comedian, Jim Gaffigan. It’s HYSTERICAL. It’s been my entertainment during those late nights with Tuck, where I feel like I must be the only one awake in the world. A “must read” for all parents. One of my favorite quotes that just hits the nail on the head for me is this, “When I didn’t have kids, I didn’t get it, and I shouldn’t have. I had never fought in the Vietnam War and had dinner in Paris on the same day. I had no context to understand the casualties or the romance a parent feels on the same day. ” It IS so true and crazy how you can feel the two extremes in the same day. I’m only a third of the way through this book but it’s already made me laugh so hard. Being a father of five kids, he has truly learned to find the humor in parenting. I love all his stories and they definitely make me feel like I’m not alone in this journey of raising kids and the highs, lows, quirks, and ironies of family life. Although his tone is mostly sarcastic you can definitely tell he loves his kids and wouldn’t trade his life as dad for anything.
One of the hardest parts about being a parent is something I’ve heard some refer to as “mommy guilt”. There’s a lot of it going around! The worst is when moms pin it on each other. It can sometimes seem like a bit of a rat-race trying to keep up and be “super-mom”. I spend all day, everyday with my kids. I give them all of me. But, sometimes I feel like I still didn’t do enough. How is that?! Like, by sitting on the couch and drinking my coffee, I’ll feel I’ve somehow failed them. I should have been reading to her or cuddling him. I loved Gaffigan’s chapter on this guilt that parents feel because it shed light on the fact that I’m not the only one. Every parent feels some of this at some point. He says, “No matter how hard you try to be a good parent, you always know deep down that you could do more.” He goes on to list all the things he could feel guilty for in a day including, “when I’m spending time with my children and I am not doing something constructive toward their intellectual development.” I’ve come to the conclusion that this “guilt” is just part of being a parent. The other part is knowing you can’t be “ON” 100% of the time. You are human. They are still loved, blessed, entertained, and happy.
Being a parent truly is a journey. A journey I can honestly say is worth all the trouble. At the end of the day, these kids are truly a gift from God. They bring the most rewarding kind of joy to life. I can’t imagine my life without sweet Emmy and Tuck. I saw this verse this week and it really blessed me…
“Don’t you see that children are God’s BEST gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy?” -Psalm 127:3
Now go buy “Dad is Fat” and laugh off any parenting stress on your mind. 🙂