What defines being a parent? The reality of being a mom hit me the day after I gave birth. While I understand this may differ from person to person. I chose to have natural childbirths with no drugs and left in awe of my physical strength. The pain endured is difficult to put into words because I literally forgot moments later. I remembered arriving home with a newborn and feeling overwhelmed with finding time to do the basics while trying to care for my newborn. After a few days of motherhood, I learned how to feed my newborn even when my body was beyond exhausted. Also, I learned how to schedule a quick shower and find a way to sneak in enough food to give me a snippet of energy. As a new mother, I mastered how to get myself dressed, a newborn fed, diaper changed and clothed to leave the house. This sounds simple but it is a major achievement.
The lessons I learned:
- It is not a part-time job
- Parenting is 365 days a year, 7 days, 24 hours
- Sleepless nights are REAL
- I wear many hats
- There is no such word or place as privacy or private
- Spending quality time is a must
- Being a disciplinarian is not an easy job
- Advocating is a worthwhile effort
- It is not always easy
- Spending time by myself is a MUST
BEING A PARENT IS NOT A PART-TIME JOB
What irritates me most is the idea PARENTING is scheduled and a part-time job. It is not a job with the same benefits provided from your livelihood. PARENTING has no sick time, vacation time or days off. I see no time in which you get to schedule hours sitting in an ER, consoling my children at the pediatrician’s office during immunizations, waking up in the middle of the night when my child cannot sleep, cleaning up unsightly fluids when sick, being there for activities and the list goes on and on.
PARENTING involves sacrificing myself beyond any realm of understanding. It is not for the faint of heart, selfish, manipulative or narcissistic. I know it means consistently giving unconditional love and not choosing to participate when convenient. PARENTING is not scheduling when convenient.