Yes, it’s true. There are some positive, dare I say wonderful, parts of parenting (albeit not many, but it’s about the quality not the quantity).
A few weeks ago I noticed that my little sister, pregnant with her first child, commented “I’m scared” on one of my recent blog posts about parenting. I know she was joking, but it nonetheless made me take pause.
After all, just as my sister arrived at her baby shower that I hosted, Owen threw a toy and broke our chandelier and I screamed something along the lines of “This is why people should NEVER have kids. They RUIN EVERYTHING!” (unsure of the precise wording, since I was in the middle of losing my shit.) Not exactly the most appropriate start for a baby shower.
My sister is also often on the receiving end of my “venting” text messages. They tend to be more negative than positive with a lot of stressed out and angry emoji.
She reads messages likes this EVERY SINGLE DAY from me.
So as I reflected on my behavior, I began to notice all the negative things about children and parenting that constantly come up in my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds. With all the laments about picky eaters and the atrocities of postpartum life, it’s a wonder that anyone on this planet willingly becomes a parent. And I’m contributing to the griping. Kind of a sad thought, right?
Don’t panic. I don’t plan on discontinuing my funny posts about parenting. I appreciate the need to complain and vent. I know that sharing our common parenting challenges is cathartic and even supportive. Plus, a lot of the “parenting sucks” stuff out there is downright hilarious, entertaining and entirely true. Toddlers really are assholes and parenting really is hard. So I’ll keep on sharing my parenting problems and I’ll keep reading Scary Mommy.
BUT even though parenting is hard, it’s NOT bad. And I want my sister and other moms-to-be to know this. Being a mommy is actually pretty darn fantastic. My blog articles might suggest otherwise, but I LOVE being Owen and Carmendy’s mom. So don’t feel discouraged, future parents! Here are a few perks of membership in the motherhood club:
You can forgo pointless stuff, like wearing accessories.
You no longer need to worry about matching a scarf or necklace with your outfit or applying a top coat on your toenails. If you’re a person that enjoys taking time to accessorize, you most likely won’t be after you have a kid; you won’t want anything slowing you down when you’re rushing to get changed into PJs and out of your bra. And you won’t want your child to choke himself (or you) with those fancy statement necklaces. This might not sound like a positive thing, but really it is. It’s oddly freeing to get back to the basics and spend less time on appearances.
You learn to say NO.
Trust me, you’ll be saying “no” A LOT. And not just to your children. As a parent, you can’t do everything and therefore you sometimes have to say no. No, you can’t make cookies for the bake sale. No, you can’t make it to a distant relative’s bridal shower. As a rehabilitated “yes” person, I can happily say it’s such a relief to finally be able to tell others “no” and not feel guilty.
You never feel bored or lonely.
Sure, there are moments when you wish you could be alone after becoming a parent. But it’s truly a blessing to have the constant company of your family. To have a full life. The motto of our household could be “Never a dull moment.” And when you think about it, that’s pretty awesome. How lucky am I to spend lively days with my children and partner?
You don’t worry as much about what other people think.
Because you have more important things on your mind. Or you’re just too tired to care. Or you’ve become immune to embarrassment after that latest temper tantrum at the grocery store. Regardless, it’s nice to be able to tune out the noise of other people’s opinions and judgments. With motherhood, I’ve become comfortable and confident in my own skin. I spend a lot less energy wondering what others think of me. Honestly, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been because I finally know who I am — a mother. And thanks to my children, I can be myself without giving a damn about what other people might be saying about me.
Finding love and purpose is easy.
I know it’s possible to find love and purpose without children. But there’s nothing like the instant love and fulfillment that comes with having a child. It’s deep and primal and absolute. Suddenly, when you see your newborn’s face you’ll feel like you’ve discovered the meaning of life. Yeah, you’ll be exhausted, out of shape, poor, and scared shitless by the enormity of love you have for your children. But all of this is nothing compared to the endless happiness that your children will bring. Parenting is hard, but it’s all good.