the inadequacy of parenting

{found via pinterest from be beautiful angels}

one of my favorite months is finally upon us. {it has been for a week or so now, but i'm just getting back to the post that i started a while ago.} granted i'm ringing it in with a scratch in the back of my throat since keane has a bit of a cough right now, and lo and behold i think i'm about to have one too.

despite both of my kids spiking random fevers over the course of a few days, yesterday we had a pretty great day overall. and last night when peter and i finished giving them a bath and i was holding our little dinosaur, and peter was holding our little pink sea monster, and they were "attacking" each other and squealing with glee - i had the thought that you get sometimes - remember this moment. etch it in your memory. etch it in your mind.

of course after that i had a mom-fail when i decided it was a good idea to go ahead and give adele a little "snack-treat" along with keane. i gave both of them a lemon square that i had made earlier in the day, and adele's ended up in her hair immediately after her bath. so much for nice and clean on her way to bed.

adele has taken a few steps on her own, but she's still hesitant to try the walking thing all that much. i think once she decides to go, she'll be gone. but until that point she'll just climb on everything - including the coffee table, the stairs, and mommy & daddy's bed.

sometimes things get crazy as a parent, and i have to take a deep breath and remind myself that whatever we're enduring won't last forever. other times i have to take a deep breath and savor the moment - and remind myself that this won't last forever.

our babies will only be babies for a very short time. our kids won't stay kids forever.

i try to be thankful for my family every day. i try to remind myself every day that i have it really stinkin' good. i don't always succeed, but i try. i try to remember to be actively thankful on a daily basis for my husband, and my kids, and everything we've been given.

and thinking about my husband - the father of my children - has really made me think about some of the political discourse going on right now. i don't normally get political in any sense of the word in this space, and this will not become a regular thing. however, something happened yesterday that really struck me.

peter is not often on twitter, but yesterday he ended up replying to a tweet from scott adams {dilbert writer, among other things} whose initial tweet said something like: remind me again why men are involved in the abortion debate. that takes democracy to the idiot level.
something like that.

and as peter and i talked about the subject i was struck by what scott adams said in one particular sense. if you take his argument to the next step - and he was not advocating this - the next step of the argument in my mind is: remind me again why fathers should have a part in raising their kids.

we talk about the divorce percentages, and the percentages of families in this country who are run by a single parent. sometimes single parenthood is necessary, but i think 99% of single parents would tell you that it's not ideal. but then we want to take fathers out of the equation from the get-go.

we get mad that more men don't step up for their family, but when it comes to pregnancy we want to tell them that they don't get a say in whether or not a baby comes into this world. women are obviously affected more by pregnancy. our bodies are affected more by having a baby - that is not debatable. however, to say that men are not affected by a baby is ludicrous - ask any father out there.

we don't get to have it both ways. we don't get to tell men that they have to sit by the sidelines and do whatever we want, and yet step up and be the perfect father if i decide to go ahead and bring a baby into this world.

historically-speaking men have had more say than women across the board. and i am thankful for the women who fought for my right to vote, and my right to have a voice. but we don't fix the problem of historical silence by silencing men now that we have a right to speak.

too often we shift too far one way, or too far the other.
silencing women is not the answer.
silencing men is not the answer either.

we have to be able to have discussions with each other while actually listening to the other side. listening. not listening only to disagree and argue, but really actually listening.
listening to understand.

because this is a huge issue. and at the end of the day it's about caring for people.

how do we care for babies in utero, and how do we care for their parents? how many miles have we walked in their shoes? and are we willing to walk beside them, say nothing, and hold their hand?

it's no secret that we live in a broken world. and parenting is hard. loving people is insanely difficult. it's tough enough for us to love our own families well - let alone anyone else.

but that is what we're called to do. it's both simple, and incredibly complicated.

i have plenty of days where i feel completely inadequate as a parent. completely and totally inadequate. there are days where i cry because i just don't know what to do. and i am well-supported in my role as a parent. and i'm realizing more and more that i'm not the only one who feels this way.

despite the veneer, most parents do not feel like they are completely adequate in their role as parents. in fact, just yesterday i witnessed a mom {whose youngest is in middle school} talk about how she hates being a mother at times just because it's so hard. it's so hard to know what to do sometimes.

and that actually allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief - i'm not the only one. i'm not the only one who feels completely inadequate sometimes. i'm not the only one who cries and worries about whether or not i'm making the right decision. and as a culture we have to cut through the lie that says everyone needs to have it all, and have it all together.

let's just burst that bubble right now - no one has it all together. period.
we all struggle.

we're all broken and we all struggle, and we need to stop pretending that we don't.
we all need help sometimes, and we need to stop making it taboo to ask for it.
myself included.

*rant over*

much love, friends.



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