There is a high value, for me, in the relationships I have with other parents, nannies, and moms. This post isn’t just for mommies, it is for all parents, and especially those who stay at home. Because only another stay at home parent really understands my need for a glass of wine, at the end of the day…or maybe at lunch.
Day to day with my boys can be challenging. Throughout the day I give myself sanity checks to ensure I can actually make it to 6pm. I find great comfort in knowing others have had or are having similar experiences. I recently ran into a friend out with our respective kids. She was sharing a sentiment I was so in tune with. We were able to give each other support and understanding. I shared there had been days I walked around with my ear buds in, listening to music, in order to drown out the almost constant bickering going on between my boys. She shared a similar experience, which provided both of us a moment to laugh at each others stories. But more importantly, it gave each of us a moment of relief, knowing we weren’t alone in the craziness of raising our children.
Staying at home can be a wonderful opportunity to be hands on in raising your children. But it can also be mind numbing, overwhelming, exhausting, and frustrating. Spouses, bosses, and friends without kids can’t offer empathy, or sympathy because they just don’t have the same perspective. Another parent potty training a child will understand how frustrating it is to take a child to the bathroom, then a minute later have to clean up an accident because the child didn’t use the potty when they were taken. Only another parent understands the endless chant of “Why” from a 3 year old isn’t as cute as it sounds. And only another parent would understand the fear that builds in the pit of the stomach of any parent about to embark on a trip in the car, more than five minutes long. My boys trapped in a car, close together, unable to get away from each other, or me for that matter…terrifying!
The point I’m trying to make, is all parenting is hard, any way you slice it. But the ability to have relationships with others who understand what the day to day trials of parenting are like is a treasured resource. Seek out other parents, make friends with the parents of your children’s friends, keep in touch with your college friends who have now started having kids…just be connected. Honestly, my sanity has been thoroughly tested, and it is the connection with my mommy friends who help keep me off the ledge. And of course, being able to share my woes often turns into opportunities to laugh at the craziness I encounter on a daily basis. Most days you could easily find me screaming, “what the pickles?” It’s great friendships, with parents who get it, that keep me just saying it.