Didn't we all envision some sort of a cookie cutter life, go to college, get married, have children, one parent at home while the other worked, or a wonderful daycare lady or nanny to help with the littles if both parents had to (or wanted to) work? Home cooked breakfast and dinner around the table each day and bedtimes that run as smooth as silk?
Well, as many of you have figured out, this doesn't always happen. Oh, parts of it may happen, maybe even all of it, but as I get older, I'm learning it's much different than what we pictured. And as life keeps happening around me, I want to praise all the parents who are getting the job done, however they can manage. I want them to know that no matter how they are doing it, if their children are taken care of, fed often and loved to pieces, they are amazing! And just know that even if there are few "thank you's" from the little ones, you are teaching them some valuable life lessons.
So here's to you, moms, dads, aunties, uncles, grandparents and close friends who are helping raise the next generation.
Here's to the...
- Parents sitting in the bleachers watching every split second of their child's gymnastics class, because this is the only part of the day where they can focus on exactly what that child is doing. Keep it up, you're children love that you are watching.
- Parents sitting in the bleachers staring at their electronics and occasionally looking up to watch. That may be the only time in their day where they get to do a little socializing with their friends because every other minute of the day is spent with their children. Keep it up, you're children are learning that having friends is important to your happiness.
- Parents who drop the athletes at the door in hopes to run a kid-free errand for an hour. Keep it up, you're children love that you signed them up for sports, even in your busy life.
- Parents who drop the athletes at the door just to find a parking spot, recline their seat and close their eyes until class is over, because soon dinner and homework begin. Keep it up, you're children love that you help with homework and feed them dinner.
- Parents who have nannies that bring their children to gymnastics because they can't fit it into their schedule. Keep it up, you're children are learning that having a job to support the family is important.
- Parents who have the time to take their kids to gymnastics, dance, soccer, music, riding and skateboarding lessons. Every. Single. Week. Keep it up, you're children love that you have the time to put them in lessons.
- Parents who don't have their kids in any extra curricular activities because it's just not in the budget this year. Keep it up, you're children love that you are smart about the budget and will learn how to do the same.
- Single parents who do all of the above with no one at home who can give you even 10 minutes of relief when you walk in the door. Keep it up, your children love that you are so strong.
- Grandparents who help pick up kids, bus kids and feed kids for the parents who are busy at work. Keep it up, you're children and grandchildren will learn that families stick together and help each other out.
And a special, here's to the...
- Widowed Parents who do all of the above on top of helping their children survive their grief, which is one of the hardest things a parent's heart has to do. You're doing the best you can. And that is wonderful. Keep it up!
All of you amaze me. This life we live is hard so raise your glass, put your feet up (even if only for a few seconds) and give yourself a pat on the back. Keep doing what you're doing and don't ever feel bad for not being in that cookie cutter life you imagined.
Life is happening and you are doing it! Keep it up!