I love being a mom but I would be lying if I were to say it was easy.

Parenting is tough! Sure you can read all the parenting books, ask your child’s pediatrician a million questions, scout out advice from the veteran moms in your play group; but let’s face it, every child is different. What one parent, pediatrician, or author might swear by, may not work for your child. Which can cause a lot of frustration and worry. There’s no one size fits all guide for raising kids. If there was, all parents would be raising perfect eating, well-behaved, polite, selfless, caring little angels. And we’d all be a lot less stressed out! But the reality is, parenting is no walk in the park.

If you weren’t strong before having kids, I can attest that parenting will turn you into a warrior! Holding a crying baby while trying to make lunch for a toddler, who is pulling on your leg asking when said lunch will be ready takes patience. Cleaning poop that has been smeared all over the place because your child decided it would be fun to examine the contents of their diaper takes tenacity. Carrying your sleeping toddler, a baby carrier and a diaper bag takes physical strength. Standing up for yourself and your parenting decisions to the judgey moms at school pickup takes courage. See Warrior! You may not have even realized that you’ve become a warrior, but you have.

Parenting has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. There are days I wish would never end and days I wish would be over before they even started. We all know those days. The days when you have baby puke, or boogers or some other foreign kid goo on your clothing and you don’t realize it until the nice cashier at the grocery store points it out. The days when your kids throw a major tantrum in the middle of the library. The days when your teenager screams, “I hate you” at the top of their lungs, and slams the door in your face. Those days are exhausting, they test us and push us to our limits. But somehow, even on those days, we find some solace in being a parent. Because at the end of the day, we can’t fight that unconditional love we all have for our kids and we know deep down that things won’t always be this way. However, this realization usually doesn’t come until the kids are asleep, you have a glass of wine in hand and you are reflecting on how many times you raised your voice that day. Which is probably one to many.

So why doesn’t anyone tell you how hard parenting is? You always hear how fun it is to raise kids, how rewarding it is, but no one ever talks about how gosh darn tough it can be. They may tell you that you won’t get as much sleep or that you won’t have as much time to yourself but no one really talks about the bad and the ugly truths of parenting. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom and I wouldn’t trade it for anything but it’s not all fun and games. Being the disciplinarian sucks. Staying up all night with your baby who is teething and then being present and energetic for your toddler on zero sleep is no fun. Meltdowns anywhere are just awful. Let’s be honest here, yes parenting is awesome and amazing BUT it’s also hard. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done!

Nothing could have fully prepared me for the challenges of motherhood. However, despite the tough times (and having two little ones there are a lot of tough times), I truly wouldn’t trade any of it. Even on the hardest days because that’s how we grow and evolve as parents. My girls are my world and I feel blessed to be their Mom. The joy that fills my heart on a daily basis is immense. But I would be lying if I said parenting is easy because it sure as heck isn’t! So to all you parents’ out there, know that you are not alone. We have good days and we have tough days. Make the good days’ count so you have something to help get you through those bad days!

Photo credit: Wondermonkey2k via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Kristin Whiteside

Kristin is a perfectly imperfect mom of two and loves sharing her journey of growing with her kids. When she's not writing for her blog, http://www.knowmom.net/ you can find her having dance parties and baking with her daughters, running a local moms group, hanging with her hilarious husband and spending time with family and friends. More than likely she will have a glass of red wine in hand and befriend you instantly! You can follow Kristin on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/knowmom/, Instagram https://www.instagram.com/knowmomblog/ and Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com/knowmomblog .