Parenting is one of the greatest joys in life, and it can also be one of the greatest struggles from time to time. Quite simply, it is one task that many are blessed with that truly means something. Through ups and downs, lessons learned and adventures played out, a parent will laugh, cry, love and experience frustrations unlike any other when raising a child. Without a doubt, there’ll come a day when each of the following parenting quotes means something special to mom and dad.
“You’re the perfect parent until you have a kid.”
Before your first little bundle of joy came along, you probably had it together, didn’t you? Three kids in, and now every kidless man or woman who makes a subtle comment or suggestion regarding parenting must be outside of their everloving minds.
“It’s not about having time, it’s about making time.”
Time is a luxury in the world of a parent. It seems like everyone wants some of your time, and there’s simply not enough to give. You learn early on that you must prioritize, and then proactively make the time for what’s truly important.
“Children need your presence more than your presents.”
You can’t buy dedication, loyalty, respect or love from your kids. It may work for a time, but lasting relationships are built on quality time, not quality gifts.
“Your child will follow your example, not your advice.”
Have you ever heard the expression, Monkey see, Monkey do? This is essentially what you can expect from your children. There’s a very small window of time in the first year of life where they’re not paying attention to you. Otherwise? You are who they watch, and they will mimic your habits over time, despite what you say to teach them otherwise.
“Silence is golden…unless you have kids, then silence is suspicious.”
If you’ve ever had a two-year-old, you know that no good comes from a silent room. Pay attention: The next time clanging pots and pans or meaningless jabbering gives way to silence… prepare yourself for disaster. And bring a mop when you go check it out.
“Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens and happy kids.”
Perfectionism isn’t for parents. You will run yourself ragged and miss the good parts of raising kids if you concern yourself with trivial matters, like obsessively cleaning your house or catching up on laundry. Face the facts: In the grand scheme of things, you have a little bit of time to spend with your kids — they’re going to destroy the house again anyway — make a good decision and turn your perfectionist tendencies and cleaning time into quality time with them.
“Behind the child that makes the most progress is an actively involved parent.”
Right about the time school starts, you start to understand that, while your child may be smart, their success depends largely on your involvement. You must push them to succeed, encourage them, sign them up for things, drive them places, help them with their homework. It’s just not possible without you, you might notice that from time to time when you go out of town and the system breaks down.
“Parenting… if you’re not tired, you’re not doing it right.”
Gone are the days of getting great rest if you’re a parent. Sure, sleep will return eventually, but between middle of the night feedings, sickness, and over eager toddlers who pop out of bed at 5 AM ready to go… you can’t ignore it. The attention the kids need will come at a high cost, and that cost is sleep.
“Great parenting lies somewhere between ‘don’t do that’ and ‘ah, what the hell.'”
So many times we get caught up in rules, and we forget about grace. Kids need to see us show grace, simply because it teaches them to show it as well. Every now and again, a good parent will let dessert come before dinner. It doesn’t always have to be “No.”
“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”
At the end of the day, there is truly no greater responsibility, no greater joy, no greater honor than raising a child. Sometimes frustrated parents may lose sight of it, but it’s so important to be reminded frequently, and to never take it for granted. Your child is the future of the world you live in, which makes you a huge part of shaping that world. How amazing!