I was reading this article in yesterday’s Straits Times, which was taken from the New York Times. It was basically saying that many parents experience distress, even 5 years after the birth of the child. However, it seems only socially acceptable to acknowledge that everything is ok, because after all we love our kids dearly so how can it be depressing right?
When we read about other people’s lives via their blogs or on social media, we see images of adorable kids and happy families. But what actually goes on behind closed doors? Not only are there the sleepless nights, endless crying and financial worries, but as they grow up, you wonder if you have done a good job parenting. And if your teens start to stray or pick up ideology far different from yours, it can be heartbreaking.
We tend to keep it to ourselves, and face it alone. Because we think we might be seen as failures or bad parents if we admit that sometimes we feel depressed with the overwhelming challenges we face or when some days we look at our kids and don’t like what we see.
So let’s give ourselves a break, and not look at the impossible standards around us and feel we have to live up to it. For they are just the nice bits. The reality is that all parents will sooner or later face set backs, disappointments, even despair somewhere along their parenting journey. Some more so, some less. I used to think that once the kids grow up and enter school, my job will be much easier. Yes, definitely physically easier. But it is replaced by other challenges. I think the only way is to expect that it may happen, and be ready to face it. And to have good friends to share their experiences or even a listening ear.
When I had so many questions swirling in my mind, I found my answer in something a friend shared on Facebook. It read: No matter how the craziness of this whole parenting thing turns out, the reward of loving is in the loving. I was lamenting how difficult it is to keep sacrificing selflessly without expecting anything in return. Finally I get it.
As Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote in his poem in 1850,
I reckon the same can be said for parenting. No matter how rocky the road has been and will continue to be, I am honoured to have the opportunity to take on the role of everything a mummy stands for, to 6 persons brought into this world, and even if I had known that the path will be fraught with challenges, I wouldn’t have chosen any other way.
I chanced upon this quote last week when I was feeling miserable. Don’t you find it comforting? I would love for someone to say that to me and I hope I’ve been doing some of that to those around me. I’m going to keep that in mind, and remember to give a hand to my kids, friends in need, new mums I meet.
Just when I was feeling wobbly about this whole new phase of parenting teens and wondering what on earth am I doing as a blogger when I myself haven’t got the answers, it cheered me up to learn that I made it to the Top 10 finalist for the Best New Blog Category of the Singapore Blog Awards 2014. Yay. If you have enjoyed reading my blog, do spare a minute each day (one vote allowed per day until the end of July) and vote for me 🙂