When Parenthood is Hard

Originally published on June 7, 2016. 

Today lunchtime was a series of unfortunate events. 

My infant got his head stuck in a Little Tykes shopping cart and was screaming, my toddler took handfuls of quinoa and threw it all over the kitchen that I was working hard to clean. I tried to plug in the baby monitor with a fussy infant on my hip and a lamp came down and hit me in the head, ruining the lampshade. I burnt my lunch. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is what everyone can agree with me on- Parenting is hard. Mothering is hard. 

As doulas, we are the question answerers. How do I make my baby sleep through the night? How do I make my baby take a bottle? What baby carrier is best? When should I introduce solids? We support the family in finding information and options that will work with their family. Our hope is that clients find an option that is easy and works well with their lives. 

But if I'm honest, parenting is just plain hard. It doesn’t matter if you’ve fed from a spoon, breast, bottle. It doesn’t matter if they’ve gone to the best preschool or you’ve kept them at home with you. It doesn’t matter if they’re never allowed screen time or if they have unlimited amounts. It can just be hard, regardless of your choices. 

Sometimes, there's not enough advice in the world. You don't need studies, a statistic, a book or people's experiences. You don't need to know that someone else's kid is sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old and never cries. Sometimes, all you need is a little support. Maybe that means calling your partner or your doula or your best friend or your mom and venting as your head throbs from the lamp. Some days are just difficult. Getting through them with support makes it easier. Maybe someday you'll even laugh about it.

So if you're reading this and parenting has been hard for you on one day or all of the days, I hear you. You are a good parent. You are your child's world. I'm standing with you in solidarity as quinoa covers my kitchen floor. Its okay to step back and take a little break. I support you. 

This parenting gig is hard.