You’re going to be a parent and that’s great. And it’ll be full of wonder and joy, and you’ll have lots of moments where you’ll stare at your little bundle in disbelief at what you’ve created.
But you know all that already.
What you may not know about is the dark side of parenting.
Because we don’t often talk about it.
Because we don’t like it.
And it’s an ugly beast to live with.
But, you should be aware of it, sooner rather than later, because it will rear its ugly head and when it does, you’ll be glad to know you’re not alone.
So, here are the top 10 things that all parents-to-be should know about parenting.
1. Parenting will not at all be what you expected, it’ll be much worse (and yes, in many ways, much better).
2. Your child will not be the person you dreamed of and they will not behave the way you expect them to. Nothing you do will change that. You jut have to accept it.
3. You will have break-downs, often and of epic proportions. Expect them, ride them out, and know they mean you’re just a normal person.
4. You will be criticized, challenged, made to feel inadequate and dumb. You’ll doubt yourself every single day. Take it all with a grain of salt.
5. Your life pre-kids will immediately cease to exist and you’ll never get that back. That’ll be hard to adjust to and you’ll probably resent this for a while. But, your life is not over. It’ll just be a very different path from the one on which you started.
6. Raising a child will be the hardest thing you ever do and you will have to work on it every day of your life. Period.
7. You will be tested mentally, emotionally, and physically in ways that border on torture. Quite often you will doubt your ability to survive with your sanity and well-being intact. Somehow, you will.
8. Your marriage will be tested. Your friendships will be tested. Your relationships with family and colleagues will be tested. You will discover who really matters.
9. You will be disappointed in yourself, ashamed of some of your thoughts, embarrassed at some of your actions, and angry at many of your failings. Then you’ll move on.
10. And because of all of this, you will want to quit, walk away, throw your hands up in despair. But you won’t. And that is most important thing that nobody tells you about parenting. Yes, it’s the hardest, most thankless and at times grossest job you’ll ever have. But, parenting breaks you down to the core of who you really are and forces you face yourself with honesty and integrity. What you’ll find is an amazing person capable of achieving extraordinary things. In this darkest and ugliest of realms, you are – in the truest sense of the word – a superhero.
* image attribution: diloz
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