If you’ve never been a parent before, you think it’s easy to be a parent. Kids are the most expensive entities in the world. The most troublesome, stubbornest little cute pieces of burdens, actually. Yet, parenting is the most rewarding work in the world. No salary, no monetary gain (in fact, the most costly financial decision anyone could make), no guarantee and yet it is what makes all the difference in the world. Here are 7 things about parenthood you haven’t really noticed, even as a parent.
1. It is the ultimate sacrifice
There’s nothing in this world that’s going to bring you more joy than bringing someone into this world and watching them grow to become great. This is more than being the one who gave out the money to a brother who won the lottery or the one who supported a friend till they made it to the top. This is pouring out your life and soul and resources into another life. Parenting is the ultimate sacrifice, a different feel of love, and until you’re a parent it will never make sense.
2. It requires your best life
If you’re going to be a parent, it’s going to take the most and best part of your life. It will take not less than half of your entire life on average. Therefore, if you fail as a parent, you should know that it’s going to be the biggest regret of your life. This is not to scare you but to give you a certain kind of perspective.
3. It should determine your spouse
If you’ve been picturing a “happy ever after” with the love of your life, well, don’t forget the kids. In fact, if anyone asked for my opinion concerning who to marry, I’d say choose someone who’d help you raise a happy home. It will be about the two of you for a few years. The rest of the years is mainly about the kids. Many rich successful people at the end of the road usually say that they wished they had spent more time with their family.
4. It’s a lot more complex than you think
Many say to themselves, “I’m awesome. I came out just fine. I’m going to raise my kids just like how I was raised. Except that I’m not gonna do these 5 mistakes my parents did and then my kids are gonna come out much better than I did”. No, it doesn’t work like that. It’s like saying you’ve been watching videos on heart surgery and you were smart enough to notice about 5 mistakes the surgeon did. Therefore, you can perform heart surgery. It just doesn’t work that way. In fact, parenting is much more complex than heart surgery. There is no fixed way of going about things. That’s the nature of relationships.
5. Knowledge cannot be compared with experience
Though you’ve been around and have been helping your parents in their parenting, you probably didn’t notice how they really make it work. You may think you can dance when you’re watching a dancing tutorial till it’s actually time to dance. That’s what I want you to understand. It only looks easy because they did over and over, but doing it over and over is the hard part. A lot of trial and error has gone into it. Parenting ain’t easy. If you think life is hard, try being responsible for another life.
6. There is no perfect parent
So appreciate your parents now that they are alive and be proud of them. Don’t hold that “entitlement attitude”; you’re-my-parent-so-you’re-supposed-to, I-didn’t-ask-you-to-give-birth-to-me bullshit. Parenting is not like running a business or having administrative duties, it’s a lot more complex than that so don’t make it too hard for them. They are doing their very best. Don’t wait till it’s your turn to be a parent to really realize this. Of course, they are not always right. So are you. Not always being right is completely normal. No need to make a big deal out of it and use it against them.
7. It has a ripple effect
As human beings, we usually replicate what we have been exposed to. Your parents are raising you in many ways like how their parents raised them. Funny enough, you are going to raise your kids surprisingly in many little ways like how you were raised. We don’t know any better. I’m not talking about what we know. I’m talking about what we’ve experienced. So if you want to raise your kids in a much more excellent way, be intentional about it and start now.
It’s a good person that becomes a good parent. It starts by being a good child. So I edge you to break those generational curses and pass on the generational blessings. When you know better, you do better.
I love you ❤️