Parenting- Just keep swimming

Parenting is hard.  Anyone who tells you otherwise, is lying….

Every parent has it tough, whether they have one, two, three or more kids.  Every time a couple has a baby, there is a new learning curve and life is harder than its ever been before.  Life, with kids, is a balancing act.  We all want balance, but it’s hard to achieve between a job, the kids, extracurricular activities, cooking, cleaning, etc., especially in the time of life that we’re in.  If the kids and I look put together (at this point it’s usually just the kids looking good these days) or we make it somewhere close to on time (ha! never happens), you can bet the house isn’t clean or picked up.  There are always piles of laundry to be washed, dried, or folded, always dishes to be put away or washed, always toys to be picked up and put away.  It’s a never ending cycle that keeps repeating day after day after….

I go to bed, most nights, feeling like everything I did got undone and that tomorrow I will wake up and do all the things I did today, yet again while they’re being undone! (Not sure if you followed that but I’m sure you’ve heard about eating Oreo’s while brushing your teeth scenario… same thing).

This is the endless cycle that is being a parent.

* * *

Before I became a mom, I was a lifeguard and swim instructor.  Of course, the first thing you learn is how to recognize when someone is drowning.  I was surprised to know that a drowning person isn’t usually the one flailing and shouting in the middle of the pool.  It’s often the one who swam too far out, the one who overestimated their ability to swim, or the one who’s least likely expected to drown.  Usually the drowning person slips below the surface quietly, simply because they are too tired to keep swimming.

Somedays, I feel like parenting is like drowning.  I don’t know any other way to describe the hopes of keeping up with work, a clean house, and daily meals, but also the overwhelming tiredness. The desperate struggle to “keep your head above water”, but feeling like you’ve failed.  That somedays you can’t catch your breath and there’s nothing to hold on to.  In ‘parenting’, there are few lifeguards, yet everyone assumes that you can swim.

I admit, I can’t and don’t do it all on my own.  Aaron is a wonderful father and husband.  He goes above and beyond the duties of what most fathers do.  We work together and make a great ‘team’.  Yet, even then, though we’ve got each other as a sidekick and partner-in-crime, we still get discouraged.  But as hard is it, I trust that, because we put parenting as a top priority in our life and because we want to raise good kids, that God will make up the difference.  He’ll make it possible for us to get things done and to grow and to be capable parents, so that in the end, everything will turn out OK.  Despite the emotional weight of raising our two children, they are our lifeguards.  They are the ones who tell us to keep going and that we cannot stop swimming.

So, to all the ‘drowning’ parents out there- Just keep swimming!



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