Parenting is a difficult job by any measure. There are no owners manuals or work instructions when they hand you that sweet little bundle of joy. What they do hand you is a bill. ??? I thought mom did most of the work and dad made his contribution nine months prior and yet they charge you for your wonderful creation. That will be a theme you will find continues for MANY years to come. So how do you know what to do. Let’s face it, they don’t talk for a while and how are you supposed to know what they want? Another theme that continues for several years. So, for all you new parents and parents to be I am about to share everything I know about parenting.
First, let’s look at my credentials. I have a son and daughter I adopted that were my first wives children. They are now 42 and 39. I have two daughters with my first wife, they are 31 and 27. I have two step-sons through my current wife, who are 29 and 28. I have a son, adopted with my wife and he is seven. I will also mention he is autistic. I also have three grandchildren.
So I feel I should know a thing or two about parenting. Actually I have the credentials to be considered an expert. So, you are quite privileged to be handed down my wealth of knowledge and experience. All of the secrets I had to learn the hard way. Your step by step owner’s manual on parenting.
Here it goes, everything I know about parenting:
That’s it. There is everything. My complete and total knowledge on raising children. A lifetime of 55 years of knowledge. Impressed? I think probably not. No, I didn’t sleep through the whole thing. There are no secrets or tricks to parenting. Every one of them are different. What works on one probably will not work on another.
What I can tell you is that it is hard. They will be the most precious thing in your life and there is a good chance they will hurt you worse than any other person you know. You will always want the best for them but realize that’s not the way life works. All of your hopes and dreams for them will most likely never happen. They will have a mind of their own. They will have their own hopes and dreams which they will pursue. They usually have nothing to do with yours.
So what can I share with you of any real substances about parenting.
LOVE THEM WITH ALL YOUR HEART
Even when you don’t really like them. That’s it. That’s all there is. There is nothing more. That is all they need and the only thing they actually want. (You wouldn’t know it by all the things they ask for). You think it is obvious but think about how many children didn’t grow up with that love and support.
So you now have the combined knowledge and wisdom of a father of 7, more or less. 34 years of parenting, wrapped up into one little sentence. It seems like so little. It feels like their must be more. There isn’t. You will figure the rest out along the way. I will tell you that your gut instincts are usually right. You know your child better than anyone else. From the minute they gasp their first breath you are the expert on them. Not the doctor or the nurse around them, YOU.
So when they push you right up to your breaking point. Farther than you have ever been pushed. Sleep deprived from worry and nothing left to give. Love them with all of your heart.
If you’ll excuse me I need to go and give my 7-year-old a hug.