My parenthood journey was not quite what I expected it to be. Along the way, I’ve been learning lessons about life and about myself from the experiences that I’ve been going through. My son has been teaching me many lessons even at a very young age.
Being a Parent is Hard
Being a parent is the hardest role that I’ve taken on in my life. In my mind I thought I was more than ready to take care of another human being considering I waited until I was well into my 30s before having a child.
I didn’t think it would be as hard as moving countries, which I’ve done 3 times now. I didn’t expect it to be harder than defending my graduate school thesis, which is a culmination of 4 years of study and research.
No amount of books or research could have prepared me to the physical and emotional demands of parenthood.
I didn’t image that I would have to spend many sleepless nights sitting down because my newborn son refuses to sleep unless I hold him in my arms. Certainly, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional pain that I feel every time he get’s sick.
I know being a parent is as hard as the amount of love that I have for my son. I’ve been putting all that’s in me to be the best parent that I can be for him.
We’re a Great Team
Mornings for us these days almost always involves rushing to get out of the door to make it to school on time. It’s not uncommon to hear me say encouragements like a drill sergeant, such as:
“Let’s go, let’s go!”
“If we’re late we cannot start the day right!”
The other day, as per usual we were getting ready to brush his teeth. I filled his orange water cup and squeezed into his toothbrush just the right amount of his favorite sparkly blue toothpaste. I was about to brush his teeth when he suddenly started fighting for his toothbrush and exclaimed,
“Mommy, let me brush my teeth. We’re a team, like Joey!”
Who is Joey? Joey is a 3-yeal old kangaroo who can do amazing things. He is the star of my son’s book Amazing Me – It’s Busy Being 3!. We’ve just read the book again recently for bedtime. Joey is amazing and can do all sorts of things by himself. But when it comes to brushing his teeth, Joey’s Mom lets him brush his teeth and his Mom’s job is to help out. They were a great team! You can read the book here.
My son’s words prompted me to suddenly slow down. No more fighting over the toothbrush. No more rushing.
I learned that I needed to allow him to do certain things for himself. I am here to guide and to give a helping hand when needed. Yes, we’re a team. We’re a great team!
My Family Will Always Come First
Sometimes the lessons that I’ve learned from my son were not from our conversations but from our experiences.
I’ve always believed on trying to do the best that I can, whether I’m doing something for family or for work. Sometimes, work becomes more demanding with my time. As a consequence, I become more busy and very focused with work.
However, every time my son gets sick, I get a reality check. He’s all I could think of. I find myself wishing, hoping and praying that he’ll get better. That’s all I want, nothing more.
I recently came across a blog post from Physician on Fire about the head coach of The Ohio State football team, Urban Meyer, and his contract with his family. After going through many years working in an all consuming job, having a health scare and retirement, Urban Meyer eventually returned to work again as a coach. But before signing a contract with Ohio State, he signed a contract with his family first.
Number one in his contract with his family is this:
“My family will always come first.”
Family takes the number one spot because it’s the most important thing in life. Sometimes, I have to be reminded of this. My family will always come first.
This parenthood journey may be hard and may sometimes involve (many) tears. But seeing my son happy, excited and fulfilled makes it all worth it. All the love surrounding us and within us makes it all worth it.
Cook, Julia, Jana, Laura A. (Authors), Valentine, Allison (Illustrator). Amazing Me – It’s Busy Being 3! Bright Futures, 2000. Print.
“Urban Meyer Has a Message For You, Doctor.” Physician on Fire, 27 Sep 2017, https://www.physicianonfire.com/urbanmeyer/.