Why is Parenting Difficult?

Some people find it hard to hear this but I actually enjoy parenting.

Some people find it hard to hear this because that isn’t their reality.

There are many people who will tell you that parenting comes with unavoidable suffering. They will sell you the solution as commiseration and solidarity. Parenting is difficult but we are all in this unpleasant circumstance together so that is okay.

I don’t think it is okay. I don’t want this to be okay.

I see the value in spaces where people can feel safe and supported in sharing their fears and challenges and concerns, their overwhelm and confusions. But the conversation cannot stop there.

Why? Why do so many parents feel this way so much of the time? How have we come to tolerate this?

Perhaps it is not parenting that is difficult. Perhaps it is parenting within the confines of society’s expectations. Perhaps it is parenting inside of the restrictive paradigms we have been conditioned to accept. Perhaps it is parenting in the interests of conformity requiring one to constantly battle the reality of their child’s internal experience and their right to express that externally.

If we feel obligated to condition a child away from their humanity, that is going to feel difficult and unenjoyable.

And the more we ignore this possibility, the stronger the barriers become.

Wallowing in unity only perpetuates the cyclic situation. It keeps us trapped in the myth that this is what we must expect and accept of parenting.

Imagine if we weren’t just redundant and accepting of dissatisfaction? What if we began to turn our frustration towards the barriers faced instead of those who point them out? What if we focused energy on dismantling the obstacles instead of tolerating them and shutting down anybody who dares to suggest there is another way?

What if we asked why? Why do so many parents feel this way so much of the time?

I don’t want to accept that parenting is a constant struggle and I know that there is another reality; it is one that I live and invest in everyday. I want to start building that version of humanity for others, the one that I know is conducive of parenting. That requires honesty, it requires confronting the ways we rely on systems that are not working for our children or therefore us and committing to building ones that do.

I don’t want to just talk about how difficult parenting is, I want to talk about the circumstances that contribute so we can change them and not just on an individual scale.

Your children aren’t preventing you from enjoying life, your conditioning is. You don’t need a break from your children, you need a break from the mainstream assumptions.

What is it that is actually unenjoyable? Children or trying to control them?

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this – this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. People always talk about “having a break,” from your children, but having a break from a situation you are experiencing as stressful and difficult doesn’t actually achieve anything. If I hate my job, having two or three or four weeks a year off on vacation isn’t going to make me any happier, because the vast majority of my time is still spent doing something I don’t like. I will always be unhappy, even if I start getting six or eight weeks vacation. The real solution is to love your job! The real solution is to reframe your attitude and expectations, to invite positivity and to change the way you approach your children. I feel like I spent years trying to run away from parenthood (even though I was right there with my children), and that is a terrible way to live. I would like to move towards my children, rather than away.

  2. Love this ❤️ I completely agree. Have just found your blog, has made for a wonderful afternoon read while I have my little girl sleeping on me.

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