Is parenting hard? I mean, is it hard work?
My experience has taught me to not overlook the obvious question; and intentionally ignoring it does not make it go away.
Here is the truth about parenting. Every child is worthwhile and every child comes with hard parts. It is those hard parts that makes your child so worthwhile; makes your parenting through the day so worthwhile.
The fantasy we tell ourselves is that in time, over time, parenting gets easier. If I can just get him through preschool; when she gets settled into second grade; as soon as seventh grade is over; sophomore year has got to be better; or after high school graduation I will be able to breathe again. It can seem that the parenting plan is to pare down the hard parts.
Here is the truth again. Parenting never gets easier. It does not get easier because it never stops being worthwhile. Get it? Worthwhile stuff is always hard and only those who do the hard work find the satisfaction of having done what is worthwhile.
Is parenting hard?
Perhaps the better question is, “Is parenting worthwhile?” It is not likely you will find contentment with the first question until you have settled the second question.
Anyone can find parenting fun when one distances themselves from the hard parts and the hard questions. Avoidance, complacency, and dissociation are all expressions of pretending parenting is easy or will soon go away.
We do not make parenting worthwhile. Parenting makes us worthwhile. Qualities like awareness, attunement, and acceptance is hard work, and as we focus and feature these values in the life we live and the work we do, we become worthwhile; worthwhile parents; worthwhile grandparents. Yes, that day is coming too.
Is parenting worthwhile?
As for me and my house we accept Seth Godin’s challenge, “It is time to get serious about the parts that are worth our effort?”
Roderick Logan, DPTh, CCTS, CFTP, FFTT
Senior Faculty at Arizona Trauma Institute and Trauma Institute International
Blog host of Trauma Informed Parenting
Trauma & Recovery Specialist Making Space to Heal
Dr. Logan has more than 30 years experience as a trainer and facilitator. He holds a Master’s in Biblical Counseling and a Doctorate in Practical Theology. His trauma certifications CFTP and CCTSF are with TII and IATP. He is prolific at presenting transformative care principles and life skills for paraprofessionals, non-clinical caregivers and industry leaders desiring to change within their culture. Roderick is proud to be part of a community of healers seeking to prevent toxic stress, raise awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and support trauma recovery and resiliency building. As a trauma specialist, he works routinely with foster and adoptive parents, grieving families dealing with loss, and caregivers seeking to become trauma informed.