I've been talking to different types of parents lately -- first time parents, parents with multiple children, young parents, seasoned parents, by-the-book parents, spontaneous parents, relaxed parents, helicopter parents, etc. Three things always stick out in these conversations:
1. Parenting is life changing.
2. Being a parent is difficult.
3. Parents have strong opinions on what's best for their children (and sometimes other children).
There is a distinct difference between parents that have had children recently (I define recently as any time after the year 2008) and now. I feel like we are all more vocal and open about how difficult it is. I'm not even just blaming this on moms because I hear dads express how difficult it is now, too. How did the generation before us make it look so easy with multiple children? To this day, I have never heard my mom complain about how difficult it was to raise me. Never. Did parents just keep it bottled up inside? Were we just too young to notice how hard their days were? Was it just not acceptable to talk about postpartum depression, baby blues and the struggle? Whatever the case may be it has made me admire parents everywhere, specifically mothers.
When I heard moms say, "My baby was up at 2am,3am, 4am", I just said "oh no! That's no fun" not realizing the toll it takes on someone emotionally and physically. I would hear moms say, "I can't make it, thats my kids nap time", "we can't find a sitter", "we have to go it's time for my baby to go to bed" and I used to scoff in disbelief and almost in annoyance.
I have struggled with ONE child - especially in the beginning. Having an infant looks all fun and cute on Instagram but there have been some days that I have just sat and cried for hours, sometimes days at a time. Those days made me feel weak and defeated. I didn't tell anyone and no one really asked anything beyond the "How are you doing?". You just have to push through sometimes. It's difficult to tell your family members and friends without children what your day is really like because honestly, they won't truly understand. I thank God for my mom, MIL and friends who consistently checked on me and still do. Let me tell you something, you will KNOW who your real friends are after you have children! Those superficial friendships will disappear rather quickly.
I'm finally at my point of it all. Call your mom, grandma, aunt with children, sisters with children, friends with children and check on them. Spend time with them! Not just during the infancy stage but throughout life. The love mothers have for their children is unmatched. The sacrifices mothers make for their child(ren) are one of a kind. The sometimes lonely struggle mothers face is like no other. While every day may not be hard or a struggle, it's still nice to have someone to talk to. Sometimes a simple call/text can change someone's day who may be struggling.
I'm not sure who wrote this but I thought it was helpful...