The Hardest Part of Parenting

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You know what the hardest part of being a parent is?

It’s not getting through those first couple months after the baby is born.

It’s not colic.

It’s not the teething stage.

It’s not the breastfeeding.

It’s not sleep training or potty training.

It’s not the terrible twos or the trying threes or the fucking fours.

It’s not puberty or preteens or the full-blown teenager phase.

It’s not math homework or the driving or the scheduling.

It’s not the rate at which they grow up.

It’s not handling the backtalk or the disrespect without completely losing your shit.

No.

The hardest part of parenting?

It’s the pretending.

Not the playing Barbies kind of pretending. (Although for me, playing Barbies isn’t hard… it’s impossible).

It’s the pretending that things are fine when you just got bad news from the doctor.

It’s the pretending, when your home is in foreclosure, that you don’t have a care in the world.

It’s the pretending, when you and your spouse haven’t been able to effectively communicate for months, or years, or ever, that you are in love.

Or that you even still like each other.

It’s the pretending, when you just got laid off from your job, that you aren’t completely panicking.

It’s the pretending, when you don’t have money to put food on the table, that know where your next meal is coming from.

It’s the pretending, when your husband or wife serves you with divorce papers, that you aren’t completely devastated.

It’s the pretending, when you are in the depths of depression, that getting out of bed doesn’t require every ounce of energy your body possesses.

It’s the pretending, when your kid just seriously fucked up, that you have faith he or she will turn out okay.

It’s the pretending, on those days when your kids have pushed every single one of your buttons for the fifteenth time, that you still like them.

It’s the pretending, on a daily basis, that you know what the fuck you are doing, and that you aren’t second guessing just about every major decision you make.

It’s the pretending you have faith.

When you totally don’t.

There is a lot of pretending in parenting.

Putting on a brave front.

Being strong.

Smiling.

Making the world’s hardest job look easy. Or at least, not completely impossible.

Of course, being a parent is the most rewarding thing you’ll probably ever do, no matter how much pretending is required.

But still. If, before you have kids, an opportunity to enroll in an acting class presents itself, well, here’s a friendly piece of advice…

You might wanna take advantage of that.

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