One of the most difficult roles that I have ever had is to be a parent. Oh, don't think that I didn't or don't enjoy it. Parenting has brought me some of the most rewarding and rich experiences of my life.
It is a lot easier, however, to not have any children and then just give advice to those who do. Or to be a grandparent where you can be viewed as a "hero" for investing a little time and uniqueness into the life of a wide-eyed child. You can have great fun and send that child home before you lose your luster.
Unless you have been a parent, you really don't know exactly what it is like.
I remember the days before there was maternity leave. I had mastered the art of sleeping while standing beside the crib hoping that the baby would nod off because I had to work in the morning. It was tricky when all three children were taking turns throwing up and I was also feeling sick.
You carry the infants around and do everything for them waiting for the day that they will be more independent. It doesn't take long until you wonder why that was your goal because in a few short months you are chasing them all over just to make sure they were safe. You can't even go to the bathroom without having a tot join you!
The transportation era arrives. Drive to hockey, skating, piano lessons, medical appointments and school activities. There were concerts to attend, birthday parties to plan and homework to monitor.
Adolescence introduces the dating, driving and discerning days. It was hard to know exactly when to say "yes" and when to say "no". Or to figure out how to teach values that will be honoured and not just recited.
And through it all, tons of laundry and dirty dishes, meals to prepare and bills to be paid.
Do I regret it? Not for one second! You see, while I was raising children, they were raising me. I learned so much and have been so blessed over the years.
(And the fun part is that now I can enjoy watching them go through the same growth experience!)
Mother's Day - A time to reflect and give thanks!