Parenthood

This is an excerpt from a post on my old blog written about two months ago:

Ty and I are adjusting well to parenthood. At least most days. And most nights. Okay, so being parents is a lot harder than we expected, but we love it! I really can’t explain how something so wonderful and precious can also be so exhausting and overwhelming. It’s something I’m sure any readers who are also parents understand. If you aren’t a parent, you can’t truly grasp what a baby does to your life. They change everything. They are exhausting. They are sweet. They make you worry about every tiny, little, inconsequential detail of their existence. And they make you love them more than anything in the world.

These words make me smile.  A cynical, somewhat sarcastic smile, but still a smile.  Let me explain.  I wrote this two weeks after Henley was born.  At that point in time my little family was just beginning to adjust to the huge changes that come with having a baby.  Mr. Rancher and I were finally getting a little bit of sleep and Henley was doing well with nursing.  I was feeling pretty good about the accomplishments I’d made in two weeks.  I was able to take a shower, feed my baby, sleep for two whole hours at a time, and had trudged my way through the mess that is medical insurance.  I was pretty much all that and a bag of chips.

Haha.

Ha.

Hee hee.  If only I’d known what was coming for me.

Since Henley’s two week mark we have been through so much.  We’ve been flown to Portland for an emergency heart procedure.  Henley and I have had to re-learn how to nurse, which was a long and painful process.  We’ve spent two-three days of every week in doctor’s offices.  I’ve been sick and had a malfunctioning IUD which resulted in a punctured uterus.  Insurance has continued to be a headache to deal with.

I could keep going for a long time and with much more detail about how rough the last two months have been around the Hawkins household.  But I’m not going to.  There is no point and doing so would just irritate me all over again.  I’ve asked myself why things are so hard many different times during this ordeal and the only answer I can come up with is: parenthood and all that comes with it is a very challenging adventure.  We don’t get to pick which struggles we will have to deal with.  We don’t get to schedule these challenges at convenient times or space them out so they are more easy to deal with.  More often than not, these trials, mishaps, accidents, problems, whatever you want to call them, come all at once and we have to deal with them…all at once.

I was talking to my mom last week about all this, more complaining to her actually, and she said something that kicked me in the butt and made me feel more capable all at once.  She said “I know it seems like everything is happening to you right now, but think about all the things you don’t have to go through!”  She was absolutely right.  It seems like everything bad is happening to me right now!  Just kidding.  When I stop to think about everything that could have happened, I feel very blessed.  When I think about the challenges that other families are going through, I feel very blessed.  When I look at everything that has gone right in the last two months, I feel very blessed.

I stand by my original statement, being parents is a lot harder than we expected.  But we are adjusting fairly well.  I especially am learning to count my blessings.  Believe me, I know how hard it is to be happy when it feels like anything and everything is going wrong.  Getting discouraged doesn’t help even one little thing to change though.  A good cry and a good laugh about the situation helps more than anything.  That and a good sleep.  Then I get up and get on with dealing with things.

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