Opposites of Parenthood
One of the best things about parenting is the love. I love my children. They love me. It’s great. I get hugs and random notes and snuggles. It’s like marinating in the best love-sauce ever. I never get enough of it. Parenting is the best job in the world just for the love. When my kids come slinking up and say “Mom, I need a hug,” I slap a sympathetic smile on my face and hide my inner cheers of “more hug!”
Alas, there’s a flip side. No, the other side isn’t hate (although sometimes I do get that temporarily from my teens), it’s worry. I worry about my kids. A lot. Okay, maybe more than I should. I try to stop. They’re fine, I tell myself. Leave them alone and they’ll come home, all in one piece. But, I say, what if they need help? What if they’re in trouble? Maybe I’m a bad parent. Maybe I ruined them. Maybe I should have done something differently, better, more, less…The sleepless nights of physical demands from infants turn into sleepless nights of worry.
Another great part of parenting is watching my kids grow up into good people making good decisions. Yes, she made a new friend today. Yay, he listened in church. Whew, she resisted bad peer pressure. Hooray, he aced a test. Hallelujah, they didn’t crash the car! Maybe I’m a good parent, after all, or maybe my kids are just that good all on their own. I’ll never know, but I guess it doesn’t matter as long as they turn out well. They have so much promise, and I love seeing it develop.
On the other hand, it’s parental anguish watching them make bad choices, particularly when there’s nothing I can do to help or fix things. I want to help. Oh, I want to help, but there are times when either I CAN’T do anything, or, for the sake of their growth and independence, I SHOULDN’T do anything. Either situation is sheer torture because I want to save them, protect them from the world. I hate watching them be short-sighted or endangered. I cry when I think they might not get the chance to be as amazing as I know they can be.
Being a mom was always my career of choice, from the time I was a little kid, and it still is, even now that I know how hard it is. Parenting is the best of times, and the worst of times, all rolled up in one adorable, hair-whitening package.