It’s a well-known fact that parenting is hard. The day your baby is born, your life is suddenly run by a tiny dictator (or dictators, if you have multiples), who only knows how to convey their wishes through grunts, groans, and screams.
My son, K, is currently at a tough age to parent. He’s fairly mobile and loves to explore, which means he’s getting into anything and everything he can get his tiny hands on. His reasoning and language skills still need some work, so I’ve been facing meltdowns every time I’ve had to tell him no, or steer him away from something he shouldn’t get into.
I’m going to admit that one week recently, my tiny dictator caused me to question for just a split second why I fought so hard to become a mother. This is probably one of the biggest sins an infertile can commit, but I’m being honest. I know that deep down, I was just overwhelmed. My husband was away for a week on a business trip. Plus, as usual, I took K to work with me three days that week where he tore apart my office and instantly, my time to decompress, to breathe, was severely impacted.
I feel like I need to censor my feelings around my friends in the TTC (trying to conceive) and infertility communities. There are thousands of men and women out there who would do anything to parent a small human who cried for two hours straight for no apparent reason. I know this because just over a year ago, I was one of those women. Not everything is sunshine and roses on the other side. Trying to reason with an angry 11-month-old is like trying to reason with an angry cat, just with fewer claws.
In any one minute, I’m filled with love for my son, happy that he’s developmentally on track, fearing that one day I won’t be fast enough to catch him before he knocks his head on the table, angry that he’s trying to stand up in the bathtub yet again, guilty that I’m angry. Guilty that I’m complaining when so many are struggling. Guilty that I was able to overcome my infertility before those who struggled longer, or harder, or are more deserving. Guilty. There’s a lot of guilt.
I have to remember to be gentle with myself. Parenting is hard, no matter how long you struggled or how hard you wished for a child. I also need to remember that everything is just a phase, and soon K will be a walking, talking little boy who is no longer my baby, so I should try to soak in all of the moments, even the tough ones.