Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Highs and Lows of Parenting

I've noticed that the writing on this blog swings between two wildly, opposing tones. I either can't believe my good fortune to have such a lovely, beautiful and strong daughter, or I find Claire to be the most frustrating person on the planet.

I have posts that practically beatify my daughter. I talk about about how much I learn from her. I wax about her growth. I marvel at her grace and kindness, her bravery, how smart she is (sometimes all of these wonderful attributes flow forth from me in a single, reverent post).

Then there are is the writing in which I'm counting down the minutes until I can hand her off to her father. I complain about how she doesn't listen. I bemoan the appearance of toddler tantrums. I talk about how hard it is to be a parent (there are too many posts to link for this one, although this one will do).

highs and lows of life

I must admit I'm becoming paranoid that my readers find me a tad bit schizophrenic (and that my daughter is going to catch on soon too).

Yet, I've noticed a similar swing in other mom blogs too, so maybe I'm not alone. Janine from Confessions of a Mommyholic writes about expecting the usual fight with her daughter, and sharing a precious moment with her instead. Deb at Urban Moo Cow expresses her desire to get the weaning process over, only to discover that she mourns the loss of breastfeeding after it's done so quickly.

Before I had Claire, I had plenty of schizophrenic relationships. I'm no stranger to bad-boy boyfriends, who I would describe as addictions and who certainly weren't good for me. In those relationships, the ups and downs were part of the attraction, and seemed to keep things exciting in a codependent, neurotic kind of way.

Funny, I would never describe my relationship with my daughter as an addiction. She is definitely good for me, and schizophrenic is the wrong word too.

Really, this ebb and flow is a rhythm inherent to the parent/child relationship. It's one of the fascinating, maddening, confusing and beautiful things about parenthood.

Being a mom stretches you in ways you could never imagine -- to the depths of despair and the heights of grace. These two states seem wildly opposing also. In reality, they are both at the heart of what makes us human.


Connect with: Bloglovin'FBTwitterG+Pinterest

30 comments:

  1. Rachel, I think you read my mind today, because I was looking at my posts from this past week for my weekly wrap-up that I am starting to work on and I realized from one day's post to the next I practically sounded like just as you put it "schizophrenic". Seriously, my first thought was wow this makes me look like I have two personalities or something. But after reading your post (and I thank you for the mention, too), I am grateful to know that I am not alone in having these complex feelings about being a mother to little kids. So thank you also for that, too, because it is truly nice to know I am not alone and it isn't just me!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so painfully true for me too. It's so very bi-polar of me. The extremes feel so vast some days! So well put!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Parenting is not for the weak. A weak person will probably raise a brat. Keep up the good work and don't let things slide when she's acting up. Be on the offensive. Ignoring bad behavior never works. As she gets older, remain assertive and tell her the rules like, "You may not act like that," and set the consequences.
    By the way, you can also try and find out what her love language(s) is/are... touch, quality time, gifts, acts of service and/or words of affirmation. Each child feels loved when their loved language(s) is/are met. I believe everyone has two primary ones. Of course, when they are small, usually touch (hugs and kisses), praise and quality time is what they all want. :)
    Wishing you lots of good times and less bad ones!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Rachel: you're just normal! Welcome to the world of parenting! Just remember, whatever else happens though: it is a contract FOR LIFE. All ups and down of it - and after 44 and a bit years of it, I wouldn't have it any other way!

    Isobel: www.ColdhamCuddliescalling.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oops, make that 43 and a bit - ah well, what's a year then?

    Isobel

    ReplyDelete
  6. Take heart. My son is grown. He is already out of medical school, married--I have grands. It turns out that some of the things I agonized over as a mother, punished myself with guilt for years over are things he doesn't even remember. Then there are the things he remembers as key, defining moments in his childhood that I just took in stride and barely remember myself. It's just like that :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Truth.

    I was actually thinking the same thing... that I alternate between very serious posts and sarcastic/funny ones. Guess we're not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Not a thought about Schizophrenia, we all know because we all go through the exact same thing. :)

    I love Beth's response above, I have found that same thing to be true w/my oldest two, now grown, when they talk about their memories. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Its even weirder when you have all these emotions in the same hour! It amazes me that in one moment my girls can be so cute and loving and in the next I am standing there wondering what the heck I got myself into!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kids, can't live with them, can't live without them!! Enjoy the good days and pray bedtime comes early on the bad!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is the nature of humans to shake the emotional bag and see which one falls out every day, every hour. I think having daughters just makes the shake happen a little more often. But I already dread the day she moves out of this house. Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think this is how it is for everybody. Everybody has good days and bad. I do. My kids do. My cats do. It's human nature.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Haha! I could have written this post myself. I have no niche. homeschool? Faith? Motherhood? Humor? Sarcasm? Heartfelt? I have blogger schizophrenia for sure. I kind of like it that way. I'm not real sure how it works for my readers, though. :/

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are so right on! We all have that relationship with our kids, and I think anyone who says they don't isn't being honest! I did the Messy Mom's radio show and admitted that there are days I tell my husband that "he better take my son before I kill him". So keep it flowing, write about where you are and we will keep on reading!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Bravo, Rachel. Bravo. I vacillate between wanting to slow time down because I am having a blast playing air-traffic controller with my son. Three minutes later, i wish he were napping because, well, duh, I need some time for me and I'm sick of him pulling me where he wants me to "yook!" at the same #$5 airplane I yooked at 42 seconds ago. But it gets beautiful, tool. Partly because these moments are so fleeting. Already I miss him falling asleep from breastfeeding. Already I miss his little bald head. I love his hair because it's awesome sauce hair, but I miss it too. I try and tell myself that during my schitzo moments when 2 minutes ago, he was awesome and now in this moment, not so much, that it's all SO FLEETING. Just like you said. "the heights of despair and grace" - what a perfect sentence. <3

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great post! I love the comments as well. :) Thanks for linking up with me!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey Rachel! I learned about you through the Epic Mom blog hop and I am now following you through Bloglovin. You are absolutely right about ups and downs with motherhood. Most days I am happy and things are fine, but there are some days (especially when my daughter is teething right now)that I can't wait for my husband to come home so he can take her and give me a break for a little while. However, the good times far outweigh the difficult.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Being a parent is just like riding a roller coaster - but no matter how scary you never regret getting on the ride.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Kate x
    http://www.kateathome.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm so right there with you. I keep a list of potential blog topics. Half of them are always things like "5 Reasons That Toddlers Suck" or "Why Having a Toddler Is the Toughest Job in the World." Then many of them are completely the opposite, with titles like "The Joy and Wonder of the Toddler Years" or "10 Fantastic Toddler Milestones." It's so true!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Being a parent is a sure ride! I also dated the bad boys and looking back into that time, I thought, what was I doing. By I realize by doing that, it led me to my beautiful family! As for family, good days and bad days all in a ride! Right? I miss you linking up to my Sat laughs! Hope to see you soon! You always put a smile on my face:)

    ReplyDelete
  21. No doubt about it, being a parent is the hardest job I've ever had, and a totally different relationship than any other.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one. One minute I am thinking about how blessed I am and my children make me smile and laugh.... the next I just wish they would leave me alone long enough for me to pee in peace or read through the days mail.

    ReplyDelete
  23. "to the depths of despair and the heights of grace"-->Couldn't have said it better myself! There are moments when I'm positive that somebody--anybody--else could do this job so much better, and there are moments when I feel so much peace and joy in this job that it's unreal. Oh, these babies! They ruin us for life...:)

    ReplyDelete
  24. The ebbs and flows are the stuff of life itself really I guess. There is too much pressure on people to be balanced all the time. To have it all figured out. To be in control. That's just too hard.

    We all have good and bad days and we get through both types.

    Thanks for linking up!

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ahh, the roller-coaster ride of parenthood. Ya know something? The ride minimizes it's intensity, but never goes away. Another thing you and I have in common....I no stranger to bad-boy boyfriends either, as a matter of fact I married one and boy was that another whole roller-coaster ride in itself!

    Thanks for linking up Rachel, it is very much appreciated!

    ~SimplyyMayra :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have been reading a lot of your posts when I've been given the chance. Yes, I definitely feel you completely on the whole process of going up and down with our emotions!!

    My three kids definitely send me through the roof on some days, and then on other days they make me the happiest person alive!!

    I have many posts where I've vented about my kids on www.tidbitsofexperience.com as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think it makes sense. The super highs and the really lows are what give us things to think about, not those days in the middle.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh you are so right... as a mom you must learn to be flexible. I am there with you on the highs and lows.

    Thank you so much for sharing at the Oh What a HAPPY Day party.

    Holly at Not Done Growing

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm following GFC from Friend Connect Blog Hop. please return the favor and follow me back at Evoluchun's Miscellaneous

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...