Parenting Surprises

There have been many surprises on my road to parenthood and many more once parenting was one of my many jobs. One of the things that surprises me the most has been, and continues to be, my amazing partner in this journey, Joel.

There are some things I fully expected in this journey. Being tired ALL the time and wiping more noses than I have in my life are things that just come along with the territory. When I began this journey I figured that I knew most of the things that would come about during this journey. There would be tears, screaming, slammed doors, cuddling, kisses, hugs, and tons of transitions. I figured that working with kids for the majority of my adult life uniquely prepared me to be a parent. I knew of others that had a difficult transition into parenthood, but I figured that wouldn’t be me. How embarrassing to reveal how arrogant I was. Not that I am a parent, I completely understand how crazy-making it can be some days. I understand how parents can count the minutes until bed time yet yearn for more time with their wonderful children.

I now can say with complete confidence that I have NOTHING figures out. Daily I stop and wonder what “know-it-all Katie” would do. You know, the parent before she had kids. The one that knew all the answers and had everything figured out. My kids surprise me daily, on both awesome and heart-wrenching ways.

The thing that has continued to surprise me the most is Joel. How he can be just the right amount of serious and crazy. How he can be so intuitive to what the kids need. How, even without ANY experience with kids since he and his brother were kids.

There are two things about Joel that surprise me. His ability with the kids and my reaction to it. First we will talk about his ability with our kids. He is able to be just stern enough and crazy enough with them. He is the rough house, throw kids into the plush couch, spunk kids around kind of father. It is awesome! He is also the dad that plays relaxing music for the kids until they calm down enough to fall asleep. He is parent that figured out that C needs to be rocked for a while before bedtime instead of just have her back rubbed. That she goes to sleep that much calmer. He is the parent that can skillfully help S with her homework on days when she is really reactive. He is the parent that encourages P to be a boys’ boy and be all wild and crazy. I am so blessed to be on their journey with him.

However, even though those are all awesome things that he does/did, I found myself being super irritable at him for no good reason (this time, hahahaha). I had to do some soul-searching before I realized what was going on. I was upset that he was such a good parent. Completely rational huh? So here was my (dysfunctional) train of thought: I had devoted almost my entire career and adult life to being effective with children from helping them figure out their intense emotions to offering them assistance in behaving appropriately. Yet, here I was some days not having any idea what to do next with my kids and my computer-programming, no experience with kids husband is kicking butt over there. I figured it anyone should be coming up with these awesome parenting strategies it should be me. How selfish and stubborn and arrogant, yet that is how I felt.

Thankfully I figured out the reasons that I was becoming frustrated and spoke with Joel about it. I am blessed to not take my self too seriously so we both had a good laugh. Since then I have been mindful being more thankful that I am in this journey with such a good partner and less frustrated by the “who thought of it first” mindset.

I have so much to blog about and I am hoping to be writing more often!

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2 thoughts on “Parenting Surprises

  1. I had a similar experience my first year of teaching. I figured I had kids, I knew what to do with them. Hahahahahaha! Nope. My kids were from a stable family where they knew there would always be a next meal in a home that was safe in a safe neighborhood with parents who made enough money and weren’t chemically addicted or suffering from mental illness. Not so much so in the school where I first taught. Some of those kids came from some pretty heartbreaking, traumatic situations. Blessedly, once I realized that, I was able to connect with them. I also learned that many of their parents were doing the best they could with what they had at the time.

  2. Great post. I was particularly struck by this: You know, the parent before she had kids. My few weeks with Hope recently have been extraordinarily humbling to my former no-kid having self! 🙂 Good for you and Joel.

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