Are You Afraid to Admit the Challenges You Face As a Parent?

by Sandy Gordon Frankfort on December 10, 2012

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I often look into the eyes of my friends, or strangers in Target with toddlers and babies in their carts and ask, “How’s it going? Most of the time I get the big smile and the cheerful voice telling me, “Great!” I stare a little deeper and I ask again in case I might be the one person they want to tell the truth to. If I still don’t get the answer I’m looking for, I’ll ask again, “Do you ever find that it’s hard?” “Do you ever have really rough days?”

I have found that I desperately want to connect and relate with others in the reality of parenthood. I feel the magic, Love, gratitude and magnitude in each moment. This love overwhelms me in the most powerful ways. I am truly thankful for being given the greatest role of my lifetime. The gift of being the mother to my two sons. This said, I find that many people don’t want to admit how crazy hard it can be sometimes. Even when I am standing there giving them the space, or at least that’s what I’m attempting to do, to speak the truth. To let it out. To relate. To understand that you are not alone. I want you to help me realize I’m not alone just as badly.

I am a very positive person and I have so much love inside and so much love to give. I am an extremely patient person as well. Patience may be one of those things that comes easily for me or a choice I make in each moment, yet sometimes, even that doesn’t make certain situations any easier. Yesterday, I broke down a few times in tears and felt completely helpless. I knew why it was rough but that didn’t make the hours go by any quicker and it didn’t resolve the stress and sadness I felt.

I believe we all do our best to know ourselves. Know our limitations, our bodies when we are sick, and our instincts when something doesn’t feel right. I also believe we do our best to know and understand our children. For example, I have learned recently how important a solid twelve hour night sleep is for my boys. They wake up cheerful, enthusiastic and playful the following day. It’s so simple and yet, so true.

Well, my boys have had stuffy noses the past few days and this hasn’t allowed for much restful sleep. That is my excuse and justification for why the past 24 hours have been absolutely and beyond…challenging. I now understand the need to lock yourself in a closet for just a minute to cry and regroup. It is just necessary sometimes. The crankiness, the crying, the attitudes, the not listening to anything I say, the getting hit in the ear with a wooden plank (accidentally)…all of it. I am laughing now as I write this because the visual seems amusing in this moment, but trust me, there was nothing funny about my day yesterday.

At times like those, even with the excuse I tell myself about the lack of sleep, I look at myself and wonder what I am doing wrong. I wonder where I can improve. I wonder if anyone in the world experiences days like these. I just want to cry. I want to go to sleep and let a new day begin.

I got the boys to bed early last night and they slept a full and tranquil twelve hours. Like a scene out of the Sound of Music, a new day began this morning. Big smiles and hugs from everyone, birds chirping, a shower WITH my hair washed, a lovely and peaceful breakfast, boys playing together, a dentist appointment with no crying, and smiles, love, and fun this entire day. I am thankful, recharged and happy. We skipped and laughed and hugged and as I was walking through my day, I felt compelled to share my thoughts.

I believe we are all grateful for those enjoyable moments spent with our children. We are grateful when we get through a store or a day without any ‘episodes’. I just had to express to you how hard it can truly be sometimes. I am not afraid to tell you that. I would love to ask you to express the same when you need to. If it isn’t me you want to vent to, please tell someone. I see so many people in our society working so hard to pretend their lives are perfect. Facebook, a platform I adore for many reasons, is one of those places especially, where I witness the ‘My life is perfect’ syndrome. There is comfort in hiding behind the protection of a computer screen, and fabricating the life you want to present to the world. It is really comfortable though?

I also believe that many of you, including myself, truly are positive and happy and feel compelled to share wonderful moments or photos publicly. I get it. I also believe that when you are down, putting out positivity or even receiving positivity is helpful in beginning a day with a good attitude…even if you don’t have one in that moment.

I’m not telling you to spill all of your hardships onto the social media masses. All I am saying is, don’t be afraid to be who you are. Don’t be afraid of what people will think of you. Don’t be afraid when you divulge a certain truth, that people will discover you are not perfect. Guess what. None of us are. We are not. Our children are not. Our lives are not.

Whether we have kids or we don’t, we go through ups and downs. I believe it is our attitude and the way we approach and respond to those downs that will get us through. Dig deep for patience in those moments. I know sometimes it may seem impossible. Go cry in the closet. The moment will pass. The day will pass. A new day will begin with another chance to experience the miracle of being alive.

I also want to acknowledge those with newborns. I always think of you. Hang in there. While you are enjoying first smiles and precious glances, you are also experiencing sleepless nights, fatigue and responsibility for another like you’ve never known. Hold on to each moment. Enjoy it. Find the beauty. Find the patience and the Love. Be present. I promise you this. You WILL sleep again. You will have moments to yourself again and most importantly, I promise you this. It all goes by faster than you know. This is it. This is your chance to be the mother or father you never had or like the mother or father you did have and respect so much. This is your chance to be YOU. This is your chance to be the best Parent you can be. There isn’t a greater role or responsibility on Earth…in my opinion.

Much Love and Support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sandy Gordon Frankfort (12 Posts)

Sandy Gordon Frankfort is a proud Attachment Parent and loving Mother of two boys. Sandy founded her company Baby Love Wrap based on her firm beliefs in Attachment Parenting. She writes in order to connect and share with others on this amazing journey of Life. Please join Sandy and her family on their trip around the world at Four Love of the Globe and get involved in the discussions all things, Parenting, Life and Love. Stay connected on Facebook as well on Baby Love Wrap and Four Love of the Globe Much Love and Support to all of you doing the most important and rewarding job on Earth.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy Nunes Vaz December 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Hi from one Sandy to another! It’s so true. The reason we find it so much harder to cope when we’re tired or unwell is because the primitive part of our brain takes over, using the blood supply that normally feeds the rational, thinking parts of our brain. It becomes incredibly difficult to think things through, be a good parent and generally be nice! At least if we understand what is going on in our brains, we can start to deal with it and most importantly ASK FOR HELP when we need it without feeling useless or guilty. We created a course called How Babies Learn to help support pregnant and new parents through challenging times. You can try a bit for free http://handinhandlearning.co.uk/how-babies-learn/info_10.html

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Megan December 11, 2012 at 2:25 am

Thank you for writing this. I feel too often we do hide and then sit and home and feel depressed that we aren’t doing a good enough job because every other parent is always smiling and doing a million pinterest crafts with their kids. It is easy to forget we all have rough patches of various lengths and we can rely on each other. I personally love to see a screaming toddler at a store because I know I am not the only one. Life can be good and hard at the same time!

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Sandy Gordon Frankfort December 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Hi Megan!
I’m laughing at the pinterest crafts comment because yes, I feel the same as I see the posts and the crafty photos posted each day :) When I see the screaming toddler in the store I just watch them. I know they feel I’m judging but really I’m empathizing and feeling their pain. It helps me feel like I’m not the only one also :) I agree, life is amazing and hard at the same time. We just have to do our best with patience and a good attitude during the rough periods. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share. Have a great day!

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Michelle Dunne December 11, 2012 at 7:27 am

Sandy, I find this to be true until I am able to share somethig that was difficult for ME – then, the stories flood out. In the recent pop-culture of ‘attitude of gratitude’, many people think that sharing challenges is emitting a negative vibe. My own mother has a very “don’t bring me down’ approach to sharing difficulty. I once tried journaling 1000 gifts ala Ann Voskamp and while I believe it is a powerful and positive excersize, it wasn’t until I came across Dr. Sarno’s advice (to also journal every little thing you can ever remember that made you angry) that I could get past some of my resentments and into a place of gratitude.
Thank you for being open and inviting others to do the same. There are no perfect parents, no perfect children, and no perfect days….and that’s okay!

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Sandy Gordon Frankfort December 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Thank you for sharing Michelle! Those are interesting points about the attitude of gratitude and your mother with the attitude of “don’t bring me down” when sharing difficulty. I believe this is exactly why I felt compelled to share my thoughts on this subject. So many people hide their true realities or simply lie about them in order to give off the “my life is perfect” perception. I feel bad for them and I also feel like I need to say this in an attempt to not only share my truth but also, hopefully make it easier for others to share theirs. I also am so thankful for the responses I’ve been getting with people being so honest in ways they weren’t before. It connects us as mothers, human beings and it gives the support we need in getting through another day and not feeling alone in the struggles we all face. Wishing you a good day today Michelle and don’t be afraid to share here with me :) I need it!

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Joelle Wimmer January 22, 2013 at 12:54 am

I am so happy to have found this today. I am a young mother with a new little one and today has been a rough one. Tears have flowed far too easily, and my heart has felt heavy several times as I’ve struggled to hold myself together. Why is sleeping so hard?! It is the bane of my existance. I can hardly keep my eyes open, but hers seem to never want to close! Should the binky stay or go? How long to cosleep? Am I a crazy lady for trying to attempt this attatchment parenting thing because I’m kind of feeling like I’m falling apart! Am I doing the right thing or have I dug myself into a hole? WHY is this so hard?! I’ve been asking myself these questions often lately. Everything in my heart tells me I want to implement attatchment parenting into the way I raise my kids, but I question daily whether all of this frustration is going to pay off in the end. I knew when I had my baby 4 months ago that she was going to depend on me for everything, that I would be her lifeline, but how can you really know what that will mean until you do it? I keep hoping one of these days it will all magically fall into place, that one day things will feel “normal” again, but until then this was a much needed reminder to just treasure up the time and roll with the punches. My little gal is changing so quickly and I just need to take a step back and breathe. If she wants me to hold her through every nap, I will hold her. Tomorrow I will treasure up the time I have now to look at her beautiful sleeping face while I hold her close, and take the time to cry tears of gratitude rather than frustration. I’m sure I will still ask myself everyday whether I’m making the right decisions but I will also try to remember that the time I have with her is precious and I am so lucky that she is mine. Thank you.

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Sandy Frankfort January 23, 2013 at 12:40 am

Joelle,
Thank you for reaching out and sharing your truth. I know how you are feeling. I know that the lack of sleep and the changes in your life are unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. In the most amazing ways ever as well as the most challenging.

I want you to know that this part does pass. It does get easier. New phases replace the old ones and with each phase will come tremendous gifts as well as new challenges. I remember when I first started sleeping again. It was so incredible. I still don’t sleep like I did before I gave birth but at least it’s better.

Yes, treasure each moment. It goes by so quickly. It really does. That doesn’t mean each moment will be easy. At all. Don’t give up on being an attachment parent. I promise you it is worth every sleepless night and near breakdown moment. The rewards will be revealed. You will see. The love and nurturing you give each day will benefit you and your precious little girl more than you know.

Hang in there. If it means anything, I’ve been there. Many, Many times. You are not alone. You will have good days and bad days. Thank you for reaching out and sharing with me. Sending much support and hugs your way.

Sandy

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Lupe February 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I enjoyed this post so much that i re-read it quite a few times. It’s refreshing, and comforting to know that i am NOT a “horrible mother” because at least once a week i fantasize about running away ALONE. My son is 10 1/2 months and it has been the most rewarding and love filled 10 1/2 months of my life along with the most difficult and challenging. It’s hard work being a parent, juggling work, cleaning and organizing house, school so when i do find time for “me” i feel guilty and i feel even guiltier if i even think of sharing my feelings and thoughts with my “mom friends” because i feel like i will be judged. I know i am a great mom and still learning but it like a weight being lifted off my shoulders when i talk to other mom’s who feel the same way!

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