I was fortunate to go away with just my son this past weekend. It is very rare that I get an opportunity to get away with one of my children for longer than a few hours at a time yet alone an entire weekend and twice in a 6 month period. Back in April was the first time when my oldest daughter’s dance team had an amazing opportunity to travel to Disney World and perform as well as take an exclusive workshop with cast members. For the first time, I packed up myself and just one of my kids to take a trip together.
Just me and ONE child!
Let me say that again….Just me and ONE child!
I forgot what it was like to have just one little person attached to you. It is so peaceful. No one is competing for your attention. There was no fighting. There was no one saying something wasn’t fair. I wasn’t being pulled in so many directions at once. I was enjoying my child.
I find it very hard to say the words “enjoying my child(ren)” on a regular basis. It has been something I have struggled with for some time. It has been something that has made me feel like I am failing them. When you are the one person that more than one little person depends upon, you often find yourself being pulled in so many directions. And when you are pulled in so many directions it is so hard to find the enjoyment in this crazy world called parenthood.
I mean think about it, what is there to enjoy about being the disciplinarian or being talked to with an attitude? What pleasure do you get from having to repeat yourself 100x’s to get someone to pick up their belongings, throw their trash away, or flush the toilet? Where is the enjoyment of running like a mad person to get everything together-dinner, lunches, laundry? No one likes to be the person who does so much with so little in return. This is the side of parenting that is not fun and you can never fully prepare yourself for.
But then there is the side of parenting you experienced what seemed to be so long ago. The side that is always there but as your kids get older seems to be rare. The side when you enjoy your kids. You enjoy their snuggles. You enjoy their little voices saying “Mommy/Daddy you’re the best!”. The side where you make everything right in their little world and they are so grateful. The side where you can do no wrong in their eyes. The side where one hug just seems to take the weight of the world off your shoulders for a brief moment.
I am in the midst of parenthood where the “enjoying my children” feeling is very hard to find some days. I KNOW it’s there. On the tough days, I just wish there were more of those moments. I think the only way to have them is to make sure I am present and I am looking for them when it gets to the point of feeling so beaten down by the daily demands of parenting. There are no books or articles that can really prepare you for this flipside of parenting. I think the one thing that can help us all is sharing the days of “not enjoying” our kids and how we got through them.