When you think about having kids, you rarely think seriously about how truly gut-wrenchingly hard it can be. Everybody wants a cute little baby that they can later come to adore and admire, but there’s this whole in between time that can be incredibly difficult. The time when at least half of what you say is received with a groan and a roll of the eyes. The time when they are embarrassed to be seen with you or when they lie to your face, clearly thinking you are too dumb to notice that that’s what they are doing. No, you don’t think about the hours that you will spend obsessing over an argument or worry that you have accused them unfairly.
I have been blessed with three beautiful children and if I could have, I’d have had more. The joy they bring me far outweighs the sorrow, and yet there are still moments when you wonder, “What the heck was I thinking?” We are generally prepared for the sleepless nights that come with an infant but we ignore those who tell us that the real sleepless nights come in the teen years. During that time, you are either waiting up for them to come home, worrying about how you are going to pay for college, or wondering if what you said in the midst of an argument needed to be said or was going too far. You think back to your own childhood, reviewing what your parents did right or wrong, wondering if you are repeating patterns. You agonize about when to intervene between your child and their siblings, friends or teachers. You are on a never ending roller coaster of emotions, and yet if you are lucky, it will all turn out.
Bottom line is that kids are a lot like all of those drugs they advertise with the six hundred warnings; if they don’t kill you first, they can greatly improve your life.