Parenthood in the Real World


Have you felt the need to present your family as perfect? That if you didn't show up as this unblemished picture, it was your failure?

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

It has taken many years for me to see how ludicrous this is.

Society has painted this picture of parenthood for generations that, in reality, is impossible to live up to in the real world.

PER-FEC-TION

There was never a day that you would find me with:

  • a perfectly clean house
  • dressed up
  • hair and makeup done
  • a string of pearls
Oh, and are those bluebirds singing in the background?

Really?

Yeah, that never happened. Can you imagine?

Truthfully, I was lucky if I showered and had on clean clothes most days.

My house was a mess, and dirty dishes overflowed from the sink and blanketed the whole counter.

Can you relate?

And yet there was so much pressure to be perfect.

So much pressure to be "put together."

Well-behaved children. Running everyone around. Volunteering.

Never a crossword or tear shed.

Do you hear my hysterical laughter?

Shall I go on?

Why can't society paint a realistic picture of motherhood?

Let the chaos show.

Celebrate! You managed to get everyone out of the house without bloodshed!

Parenthood is the most humbling job you will ever have.

You're molding the future, raising your children to be:

  • educated
  • productive
  • confident
  • decent human beings
There is no training, no instruction book, you are clueless.

As parents, you go in blind. Thinking you are going to rewrite the book.

That you are going to do everything different, better.

I get it.

I wasn't going to yell, spank or get angry. We were going to live in perfect harmony.

Or not.

There was yelling. I'm Italian. We yell.

There were lots of tears, mine and theirs.

There were spankings. It's called discipline.

There were rules and restrictions and values and love.

Tons of love.

The truth, I wasn't perfect. I was human.

I did the best I could. I was young and inexperienced.

And I blamed myself for not being perfect.

  • I buried myself in despair thinking I was a failure.
  • I felt like I let my family down.
  • That I should have been and done more.
  • I convinced myself that I should be ashamed to call myself a mom.
But.

I raised my family in the midst of many challenging times:

  • unemployment
  • illness
  • addiction
It's called real life.

There was never enough money. There were a lot of sacrifices.

I shopped sales and was grateful for hand-me-downs. Isn't that natural?

Children don't know how to appreciate the behind the scenes magic, sacrifices and hardships.

They are not selfish. They are kids!

It's not their responsibility to know these things.

Every generation wants to give and do more than the one before them.

As a parent, you may push your kids.

Not to be mean. To encourage, because you have experience.

You may say things they think are awful. It's called tough love.

There will be mistakes, but not intentionally.

And if you have read this far, you likely love and want the best for them.

Have you ever been there?

If it was so bad, how did they turn out the way they did?

Beautiful and loving creatures.

You might do things wrong, but you will do even more that is right.

You can apologize for your shortfalls, but there is no need to apologize for being human.

My advice?

LOVE like you never imagined possible!

God blessed you with these incredible human beings and gave you the responsibility to love, nurture, and teach them until it was time for them to leave the nest.

Believe me.

It's a truth. Somewhere along the line, kids usually tell their parents they are failures.

Blame them for everything that is wrong in their lives.

They can do this because they know a parent's love will always be there.

As a parent,

You shed every tear they do.

You feel every hurt.

You want to fight their battles and protect them.

You walk beside them through every journey.

You hold them up and give them your strength.

You will give all of that support in the background.

My message to you is simple.

Parenthood is down and dirty, and not for the faint of heart.

Screw the image you think you are supposed to have. Celebrate that you are a loving human being.

Keep your sense of humor because you will need it!

Be kind to yourself.

Forgive yourself for the moments you didn't shine.

Celebrate this gift of parenthood.

The day will come when they understand that you did your best, and they will acknowledge their appreciation.

At this point, you will know they are walking in your shoes!

These are not unique observations. It is easy to relate to.

Allow yourself to see the humor versus the pain.

The hardest part of change is taking the first step.

Let this seasoned mom help you be your own Friend First.

Learn about self-love. Learn that you need to care for yourself too!

I was there. That is when I found the Growth-U Community and took the Friends First Program.

I learned to be my own best friend.

To forgive myself.

To be a better mom.

Everything that you could ask for.

It is when we truly love ourselves that we can fully give our hearts to others!

What are you waiting for?
Annette Forsythe, Mrs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Annette Forsythe, Mrs.> all articles
Annette Forsythe is a Certified Contributing Author and Certified Growth Leader with Growth-U. She is also an internationally best-selling co-author of the book, "A Journey of Riches: In Search of Happiness". She welcomes sharing her stories and perspective so that others may learn to see their own possibilities.

Annette resides in Hackettstown, New Jersey with her husband of 38 years, Mark. They have four amazing daughters, and are blissful about being grandparents. She loves music, reading, gardening , and cooking.

Annette matriculated at the University of South Florida earning her degree in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology. She has used these skill in parenthood, her active volunteer life, and her business. She is the founding partner of Netcong Physical Therapy. An expert n the world of health insurance, she is the business end of the partnership, but always makes time to interact with the patients. NPT has been serving the area for almost twenty years.

After a lifetime of serving others, Annette has now focused on her own personal development. She wholeheartedly believes if you do things for the right reason and honest intentions, you will always find success.