When I was pregnant, the question I asked most to my parent friends was: “Is it fun?”. I knew parenting would be meaningful, but I was afraid I’d lose my joy in the responsibility of caring for another being.
Now, almost a full year into mothering, I’m happy to report that I think being a parent is so very fun. Jonah has a great sense of humor and we spend a lot of time laughing, cuddling and adventuring. And also, I find caring for him incredibly boring sometimes and other times, so complex I just have to cry. It’s a lot!
In these posts I’ve been doing on motherhood, I don’t wish to romanticize parenting. If you aren’t a parent, I think there many amazing ways to care for and connect to other beings that fosters similar, if not identical, joy and growth to parenting.
Yet, I also don’t want to undersell the experience for those who can’t decide if parenting is for them. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a parent until I was 35 (actually just a few months before I got knocked up - crazy confluence). I was afraid it would be too much sacrifice and I would lose myself in the process. This past year has broken me down and reformed me (ugh, so hard), but at the end I feel more like myself than ever. My passion for my work and relationships is incredibly strong and motivating.
I do think practicing authentic self-care every single day is helpful in this. My self-care ensures I have enough energy to give back. It makes sure that I don’t get so lost in the responsibility that I forget to have fun.