Parenting is the hard work of facing yourself and growing beyond your fears, doubts, and insecurities.
Like the cocoon before the butterfly, parenthood is an intense transformational phase of life. You cannot stay the same you entered into it — it changes you — for better or for worse.
Unfortunately for many of us, we fear it’s the latter.
Perhaps the inspiration that once flooded our veins the first time we held our newborn children is worn down over the years with the monotony of daily responsibilities. Perhaps when we imagined the kind of parents we wanted to be and the ones we are becoming, there’s a gap.
No one measures up to their own expectations.
None of us escape parenthood intact. It breaks us all down. But this is not a sign of failure. The struggle is not something to feel ashamed about, to judge yourself over or to fear judgment from anybody else. Everybody has a mountain to climb. Difficultly is proof of life, it’s a sign this amazing transformational process has already began. Something new is now breaking through.
“Vulnerability isn’t so much about allowing others in as it is about letting you out.”
I long for experiencing a life of simplicity in the midst of our current modern world.
But sometimes — well, most of the time — I don’t know how to get there. Thankfully, that’s what friendship and honest community can do. A new friend recently invited us to spend the day out at her farm and the experience hit me with some long forgotten memories.
I thought, I’ve been here before.
My earliest childhood memories are from my grandmother’s farm. By then, most of the animals were gone which left a haunting emptiness. I remember swimming in a giant cow trough with my cousins, playing hide-and-seek in deserted barns, swinging on a tire swing and helping collect eggs from the chicken coop before they too were gone. Both warm and sad, these memories always felt like nostalgic vapers, like promises of possibility too thin to grab onto or fully materialize.
Then everything shifted.
Surrounded by familiarity, those dusty old feelings came back but this time there was so much life bursting everywhere! The difference was profound. As I watched my own kids play, just as I did with my cousins, the sadness from my own memories began to recede. I felt something I didn’t know was broken begin to heal. I felt a new connection to an ageless dream.