Why is this parenting thing so hard?

As adults of a certain age, we are used to feeling really competent in our lives. We’ve been through early adulthood and have left that uncertainty and angst behind (most of it, anyway). We’ve spent some time honing our professions. We’ve been in relationships. We know what we want and (maybe more importantly) what we DON’T want.

And then we decide to have children.

We think: I’m a grownup; everything else is under control. I’m ready…

Uh-huh. Yeah, right.

Turns out, your courtroom argument skills don’t work so well on a screaming 2 year old (or 3,4, or 5 year old).

Turns out, your little one doesn’t care about your expert hair braiding skills.

Turns out, your child simply does not care if you went to cooking school, graduated with honors, hold a PhD, a GED, or are a well-respected professional in your chosen field. They don’t care how smart your friends are, how clean your house is, what kind of car you drive, or how you dress. None of it.

And that can feel liberating at times. But it can also feel completely overwhelming.

Because sometimes it feels like nothing that you already know how to do can help you deal with your child.

So, what to do?

First, breathe. People have been raising children for millennia and humans are still around, so we’re doing ok.

Second, find a tribe, if you don’t already have one. Find parents who are going through the same things as you are. Comparing notes and stories can make everyone feel better.

Third, take the time to learn about developmental ages and stages. I have some milestones here, but there are lots and lots of resources out there.


Fourth, get to know your little person. Watch them. Why do they do the things they do? Why do they act the way they act? Don’t let yourself off the hook with a “I have no idea.” Be a detective about your child. Enjoy finding out about them and getting to know them.

We’ll talk more next week about some ways to get to know your little one, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, will you let me know this? What are the things that happen in your parenting life where your “outside life” skills are no help at all, and you just think, “I have no idea what I’m doing here”? Will you share?