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Sometimes it can all feel like a lot, can’t it?

The endless piles of laundry.

The closets and shelves filled with toys and clothes that should have been donated long ago.

The meals that need to be made and the groceries that need to be bought.

The emails to read and the appointments to book.

The drop-off times and pick-up times and the times when you yell for your kids to hurry up because you only have five minutes to get out the door.

The moment when you finally sit down to have a second by yourself and then you hear your baby crying upstairs.

The desire for a date night but the exhaustion that keeps you from planning it.

The toys you pick up and the rooms you tidy and the realization just a few minutes later that the bins of toys have been dumped and the snack bowl is knocked over and all the time you spent picking up has just been undone in no time at all.

The longing for a minute of quiet but not knowing how or when you will find itor if that even exists anymore.

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The attempt at balancing it all and juggling all the balls and sometimes feeling like you are nailing it and other times like all of those balls have come crashing down around you.

Friends, it feels like a lot because it is a lot.

Parenting is hard. And it’s exhausting. And it’s wonderful. And it’s consuming. And it’s beautiful.

It’s loving more than you ever knew possible and also having so many of your buttons pushedsometimes, simultaneously.

Admitting it’s hard doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy it. Admitting it’s a lot doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful. You can be exhausted and need a break and also lay your head down at night giving thanks for it all.

To the parent who wonders if they are doing it right because the weight of it all feels so heavy.

To the parent who wonders if they are doing it right because they just can’t seem to get anything done in this season.

To the parent who wonders if they are doing it right because they snapped at their kids, made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner multiple times this week, or had a vision of parenting before they had children and the reality they are living now is definitely not it.

To the parent who feels like they are drowning and isn’t sure how to get their head above the surface if only for a minute.

To the parent who feels alone in it all.

I hope you know, you are not alone.

I hope you know it’s okay to feel how you are feeling.

I hope you know that what you do matters.

I hope you know that even the parent who looks like they have it all together . . . they have lots of hard moments too.

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Because parenting is hard.

And it’s exhausting.

And it’s wonderful.

And it’s consuming.

And it’s beautiful.

It’s a lot.

A lot more than any of us probably ever realized it would be.

So keep putting one foot in front of the other.

And know that admitting it’s hard in this season doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful. It doesn’t mean you would want it any other way.

It means you’re a parent.

And, sometimes, parenting is hard.

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Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.  

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