The Hardest Job EVER!
Raising a family is, by far, the hardest job I’ve ever had. I had no idea it would be harder than negotiating multi-million dollar contracts for a commercial airline or starting three different businesses—all were tough but in comparison to raising 2 boys, they were cake-walks. I thought motherhood would be joyful, but it sucked. Surely, I was doing something wrong.
Now, several years later, I actually feel joyful being a mother—most of the time, that is—and I see that, yes, I had done something wrong. I had prepared for the predictable.
Love the Unpredictable
I thought I knew how it would play out. Like most mothers, I prepared for parenthood by reading, listening and watching other people. I approached parenthood as if it were a job that required a set of skills. I mistakenly thought that all I needed to do to be the perfect parent with the perfect kids was to learn the skills. Boy was I WRONG!
Kids and Pianos
I thought I could control the cause/effect cycle as if parenting were like learning to play the piano. Practicing skills gives you great control over the outcome when learning to play the piano because the piano doesn’t change in response to your practice. Kids are most definitely NOT like pianos. Kids respond unpredictably making the whole parenting thing chaotic and overwhelming much of the time. The minute I tried something with my boys, I set in motion the wild and spontaneous evolutionary process; I wasn’t prepared for that.
“If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: ‘Take two aspirin’ and ‘Keep away from children.” —Unknown
It takes a flexible mindset to stay paced with the evolution in your family. Chaos pops up from time-to-time, spiking high here and there, but the way you feel about the chaos will determine the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or joyful. By remaining in awe of the process and open to evolutionary changes in your children (and in your own thinking) you’ll come to appreciate the beauty with which life unfolds.
However, until you can see the beauty of it all, be ready with the aspirin advice. (Wink.)
Can someone be prepared for the evolutionary process of parenthood by reading books? Do you think overwhelming feelings can be softened by recognizing the awe in the moment? What happens when you try to prepare for “everything” that “could” happen?