20 Apr Parenting: Not for the faint of heart!
by Brittany Gilbert
Being a mom is the most difficult role I’ve ever had — but it’s also the most rewarding.
It is exhausting, inconvenient and stressful at times. There are long nights, early mornings and no sick days. You can’t get up and go whenever you want, and you are constantly on-call. There is conflicting advice on how to be the best parent and there are more opinions about parenting than most anything else. Sometimes it is hard to know what is right for your child. It’s messy and as soon as you clean something, you turn around and it’s dirty again. Sounds like the perfect job, right? Oh, and the pay is zero. Dollars, anyway.
While parenting is not for the faint of heart and is definitely not easy, it is enriching. Being a mom is fun, adventurous and challenging in the best way.
Being a mom is more fun when you don’t forget to play. Sometimes I can get down on myself for not being the most organized person and not having the tidiest home. When I look around and see toys everywhere, I tend to criticize myself, whereas my kids probably remember the times when their mom was playing with them instead of trying to pick up every toy they get out.
The role of a parent can be so challenging. I think it’s completely common for parents to worry if they are teaching their children all of the things they need to be teaching them and wonder if their kids are at the same level as other kids their age. More parents need to be encouraged that you are doing a great job. There are always things to improve on, but be confident in your ability as a parent.
In order to make the most out of your experience as a mom, my biggest advice is to stop comparing yourself to other moms. This is your journey, and your kids are different from your friend’s kids. It’s one thing to get advice and counsel from parents that you admire and trust, but it’s another thing to compare yourself with others. We wouldn’t want our daughters to hate their bodies because their friend is skinnier. Trust that God knew what He was doing when he made you the mom of your children. He chose you for them just as He chose them for you.
Another thing to consider is that people don’t usually post their problems on social media. Normally, what you see on Facebook and Instagram are the highlights. What you don’t see are the dozens of unflattering pictures leading up to that one perfect picture where everyone was posing just right. If you’re comparing yourself to your friends on social media, remember you are comparing your worst days to their best.
Being a mom isn’t a job — it is a privilege. I have the opportunity to take care of and watch the cutest little boys in the whole world grow up. I have the honor of meeting their basic needs and the challenge of teaching them the values that we believe are important. For payment, I get cuddles and lifelong memories and the joy that comes from watching our family’s legacy grow every day right before our eyes.
Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have two sons and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.