And why is that? Because the parents you know may make it seem really hard (and kind of terrible). People say things like, “Just wait until you have kids,” or “Better enjoy it now before you have kids.” They tell you about the lack of sleep. The expenses. The tantrums in the grocery aisle. The “poop incidents.” The lack of sleep. The screaming in the back seat. The teething. The puking. The extreme lack of sleep. All the horror stories. But they always end it with, “But it’s totally worth it. Really.”
And you’re left shaking your head, like, “mmhmm…sure…”
I was one of those people left shaking my head. But here’s the thing they don’t tell you. Probably because they can’t find the words. Or maybe it’s just that you can’t really comprehend it until you experience it.
Just because something is hard, doesn’t mean that it’s bad. In fact, often the most rewarding things we do in life don’t come easy.
And while everything new parents say about bringing up babies is absolutely true (the lack of sleep is no joke), it absolutely is worth it. But not just blanket-statement “worth it.”
What they don’t know how to tell you is…
Everything your kid does for the first time, whether it’s smiling or crawling or grabbing your finger (regardless of the fact that basically every human being before them has done the same) is a miraculous act of God in your eyes. You firmly believe that they’re the smartest human to ever live.
You cannot imagine the high-pitch level your voice can reach when your kid takes their first step. Beaming with pride is an understatement. You might as well have the Batman signal shining out of your chest.
You can’t imagine how unbelievably proud you can be of another person as when they grab a crayon and color for the first time like a dang little artistic genius. Saying their first word? Get out of here, you’re done for.
You can’t imagine how fulfilling it is to watch them throw their head back and laugh like a maniac at a silly noise that you made, which in turn makes you want to make that same noise a thousand times in a row so you can keep hearing that laugh.
You can’t imagine the way it feels like your heart could burst out of your chest with joy when they point at you from across the room, or reach for you the first time, or sloppy kiss you on the mouth.
You can’t imagine how excited you could feel to get a painted handprint tile for your first Mother’s Day gift, or how you have an entire box full of their “artwork” that you absolutely cannot throw out because it’s “the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.”
You can’t imagine the deep content, the utter bliss of rocking your baby to sleep as they slip an arm around your middle to cuddle you a little closer while you breathe in their little head and kiss their cheeks.
When people say, “it’s worth it,” they really do mean it. And not because it’s easy. Not because there aren’t a hundred times a week that you’re dealing with gross things, hard things or sleepless nights.
But because of the thousands of indescribably joyful moments in between that you can’t even imagine until you’re in it. The moments you realize you didn’t know you could feel that level of happiness. That level of love. Those moments are worth every bad night. The moments that bring you to your knees thanking God that He changed your mind because it seemed like too much change, too much inconvenience…because it sounded too hard. The hard things in life are some of the best things.
Parenthood is hard, but it is worth it. Like, really really worth it.