Finding The Joy In Parenting

Those of you who are my companions in the trenches of parenting know that it is not always a joyous process. Hell, in my opinion, it is usually a mundane, tedious process filled with laundry and dishes and “No, don’t touch that” and “Stop hitting the cat” and all the little day-to-day necessities of caring for my family.

I think God plays tricks on us as parents in that, when we look back over the weeks and months and years, we mainly remember the good times. Oh, we know – vaguely – that there were periods that were not so great but we’re convinced that everything was amazing for the most part. It’s like how time dulls the memory of childbirth enough that women are willing to go through it again.

However, without the benefit of the rose colored glasses of time, sometimes I forget that things are truly amazing for the most part.

Which is why I’ve found that it’s so important for me to try and recognize the joyous moments when they do occur. And I’m fairly lucky in that these moments tend to crop up with surprising regularity, if I can remember to get my nose off the grindstone long enough to look for them.

Nov.6.13.2

This was a joyous moment

Nov.6.13.3

So was this, even though she’s poking me in the eye

When I was a very, very new mother and very, very overwhelmed by my new motherhood, I somehow stumbled across an essay written by Glennon Melton titled “Don’t Carpe Diem.” And it seriously resonated with me then, as it still does every time I reread it. (And I have. Frequently.) It helps me to remember – and truly recognize – that the entirety of parenting is not a joyous process. It is not all fun and kisses and cuddles. (Which is why, when older women tell me they loved every second of being a parent, I want to punch them in the throat. Damn you, rose colored glasses of time!) But there are beautiful moments that completely make up for the monotonous ones.

The trick is taking the time to find them.

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