It’s not just sometimes, either. The sucky moments can come in thick and fast.
We get stressed, angry, or frustrated. Or maybe the kids do. They act up. We act up. We feel guilty.
And on it goes.
But, all of this is countered by the beautiful, glorious parenting moments. Those times when we feel at peace, or our kids do something heart-meltingly sweet, or we share in each other’s hilarity, fun, and adventure as we watch them transform from wide-eyed infants into intelligent, capable adults.
Parenting is a road of euphoric heights and despairing lows.
Sucky-ness is normal. It’s a normal part of life, in fact.
But, in the world of parenting, the sucky-ness is magnified about a billion times.
Because parenting cuts to the heart of who we really are. Because these people we’re raising are actually mirrors to our own doubts, worries, and insecurities.
And it’s hard to be faced with our shortcomings. It’s tempting to deny, suppress, or ignore them altogether.
But in doing so, the sucky feelings linger, unresolved.
We feel alone and uncomfortable, and then guilty or resentful. Those feelings start to overtake our psyche, and we become chronically stressed, saddened, and lacking in confidence.
Perhaps this is what Thoreau meant when he referred to “living lives of quiet desperation”.
The truth is, sucky moments are a golden opportunity for us to learn something about ourselves – and do something to rectify or resolve it.
It’s only when we accept the sucky-ness that those feelings lose their stranglehold on us. We can deal with unpleasant feelings as soon as they arise.
We no longer have to allow the frustration to build until we break.
We no longer have to let stress overwhelm us.
We no longer have to let guilt consume us.
One of the best ways to handle sucky moments is to simply say “yep. This sucks.”
And to be ok with it.
This is when the uncomfortable feelings lose their power over us. It becomes easier to see beyond the discomfort to the source of the problem.
Like, perhaps we’re expecting too much of ourselves, or of someone else. Perhaps we’re people-pleasing, or we’re holding onto something in our life that’s no longer working for us.
Accepting the sucky-ness doesn’t mean that we wallow in blame or finger-pointing.
It’s simply the first step in moving past them, to find a solution.
And that’s where the growth happens.
Because, in life, anything worthwhile has sucky moments.
Writing a thesis.
Running a marathon.
Starting a business.
These things are all worthwhile – and not because of the goal we achieve, but because of the people we become in the pursuit of that goal.
Sucky moments are where we get to strengthen our positive qualities, such as persistence, resilience, and dedication. Or perhaps develop new skills, like managing stress.
So yes, parenting sucks sometimes. And thank goodness it does, so that we can evolve and become even better people.
Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Check out Chaos to Calm: a new mum’s guide to overcoming stress and becoming a happier, more confident parent.