Being a mommy is easy. The endless hugs and kisses, the sweet voices saying I love you, kissing boo-boo's, snuggling, reading cute books. Not a problem! I could do it all day, every day. (Good thing since it is a 24/7 job) Being a parent, though, is tough. Saying no, setting limits, enforcing rules, administering disciplines, instilling values. That is hard work. Not for the faint of heart, I tell you!
The payoff from being mommy is instantaneous. The moment you give that mommy love it is immediately returned by your child. The payoff from parenting can take hours, days, months, even years. I am here to tell you, my fellow parents, that the payoff does come...eventually. I am living proof!
For years we struggled with getting our oldest to go to bed. It started when he was about 2 years old. Over the years we have tried everything from letting him cry it out, the Supernanny method, establishing a bedtime ritual, lavender in the bath: You name it-we tried it! I can still remember dreading bedtime and many nights letting Jackson just fall asleep on the couch. Just like in anything, we would go through cycles of being steadfast in our attempts and then falling off the wagon and giving in to his cries and pleas. Only, then, to start the whole cycle over. I asked Adam over and over again, "Why can't we do this? Why can't we have a normal night where we give him a bath, read him a story and say good night? Why doesn't this work for us?"
It occurred to me last night, as we finished reading 2 chapters of Junie B Jones, kissed him goodnight and sent him to bed without tears or argument that at some point, we did win the bedtime battle. I don't know what it was that eventually worked, but I do know that we never gave up and we were victorious! As my husband always tells me when I am ready to give up on anything-Stay the Course!
We are not perfect parents by any stretch of the imagination. I have my moments that I am not proud of. But, I can say that we try our hardest to do things that are for the betterment of our kids-even if it takes years to feel like we are successful and even if it makes them cry in the present. So, my friends. Stay the course! Stay true to your parenting beliefs, even when it feels that you aren't making a difference. And, yes. I will be taking my own advice when it comes to Jackson eating what I make for dinner.....