I remember before I had kids, I was going to be so good at parenting. All the kids I saw running crazily about in the world would never be mine due to my carefully placed boundaries and expectations. It was so much easier to parent in my imagination than it has been to actually parent.
Here is a list of ‘certainties’ I had about parenting before I had kids:
1. I would have at least five kids because being pregnant is adorable and you glow with the life you are creating inside of you.
2. Having five kids would be super easy financially because while money doesn’t grow on trees, my love for them does.
3. The newborn phase would be hours of blissful snuggling with a baby who effortlessly breast feeds.
4. My kids would be fun to take to stores and keep me company while sitting angelically in their strollers.
5. My kids would be respectful and follow my rules. Sure, they may test a boundary every once in a while, but knowing who’s boss, they would quickly fall into line.
6. I would get to do lots of creative art projects with them. Our creativity would bond us and bring us joy.
7. As they grew, they would sit and snuggle quietly with me for hours.
8. They would be excited and delighted to try new foods.
9. Siblings are automatic built-in best friends.
10. Parenting would be a piece of cake.
Of course, pretty much all of these in some for or another, turned out to be false. Being pregnant was not a walk in the park for me. I only have two kids and breastfeeding was a struggle with both of them. My two boys were rambunctious, rarely snuggled, were on the move and tested behavioral boundaries constantly. To get my oldest to do an art project was like pulling teeth. Getting my boys to eat healthy was a long-standing battle. I really had no clue food would be such a power struggle. My boys definitely are close friends, but there is that underlying current of sibling rivalry between them. Some days they are each other’s biggest competition.
It is so easy to judge someone or something if we haven’t experienced it directly. Usually these judgments are way off base much like my pre-kid assessment of parenting. At Riverview Counseling Services, we understand parenting. We get that it often presents us with challenges that are hard to understand. We offer a place of support for you and your family. We offer guidance instead of judgment. We can help you get your family back on track. To learn more about how we can help you please contact Cheryl Denz at 630/587-3777 x103.
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent