What is the most challenging thing about being a parent? Ha! Where do I even begin? While taking my daily scroll, I came across this question in Reddit, and the answers are relatable. So here are the top-voted responses, so you know you’re not alone.
10. The Tantrums
“The hardest for me has been the absolute unrelenting unreasonable tantrums. The screaming sometimes grates on your nervous system, and you don’t always know when you’re about to cross your threshold and snap,” one parent confessed.
“It sneaks up on you, but you get better at recognizing when you come to it. And then feeling helpless on top of that sucks, so you have to weather the storm. It’s exhausting in a way you don’t imagine until it happens.”
9. Sleep Deprivation
Manu people agreed with sleep deprivation. One stated, “The first half year or so was the hardest. Because of the lack of sleep.” Another added, “The sleep deprivation that borders on torture, and constant fear about your child’s health and development. It’s exhausting.”
8. You’re Always Wrong
“For me, it’s a fact in today’s society, one way or another, you are always wrong,” shared one. “You are a bad mom if you take the weekend to be kid-free. And if you bottle feed, you are a terrible mom.”
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“Suppose you have tattoos or stay at home, or if your kids aren’t in any activities, etc. The judgment can get overwhelming sometimes, even when you know you’re trying your best and you are the best mom you can be.”
7. Lack of Control
“The hardest part for me has been the total lack of control you have to accept and lean into. Sometimes kids don’t nap, sleep, etc., even when you think you can take a shower. Sometimes that can’t happen. And even more significant is kids can be sick or need more care than expected. There is no way to guess or control what is coming, and you must be ok with that,” another user confessed.
6. Watching Them Fall and Fail
“During my early parenting years, I never had enough time or energy to give my all to every kid, my marriage, my house, etc. I’ve realized now that the most challenging thing about being a parent for me is seeing your children fall or fail and not being able to take the natural consequence of it for them.”
“You know they are capable and need to learn these skills firsthand. I wish I could take it all for them, but I know that will only hinder them.”
5. Being On Duty All the Time
“The hardest part is being on duty all the time. I’m a stay-at-home mom and have a 24/7 job: every meal, every activity, every outing. That’s all me. I am also balancing keeping the kid happy with keeping her alive and keeping her happy with teaching her valuable (age-appropriate) life lessons. All. The. Time.”
4. Toddlers are Extremely Difficult
Babies are cute. Adolescents are fun. In between, they’re a nightmare. Toddlers (2-4 yrs) are naturally challenging. They don’t understand the world around them well enough. For example, when you start solids, they eat what you put in front of them or don’t. From about two years, they do not have the language skills to explain what they want, so they scream or throw temper tantrums.”
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“It’s simply frustration because they can’t explain what they want. At around three, they can start telling you what they want but need help understanding that they can’t have everything they want right away or that it may not be possible. So, it will elicit a tantrum because this doesn’t make sense to them.”
3. Your Time Isn’t Yours Anymore
“Your time isn’t all yours anymore,” one admitted. “So much of my last free time is spent with baby, even if it’s playing and having fun. I used to have hours every day to chill, devote myself to hobbies, and socialize. Now 1-2, entirely dictated by the baby’s schedule, is about it.”
“Sometimes, that time must be spent on chores, sleeping, or catching up on work. It took me two weeks to watch Squid Game, and I was riveted. After that, I didn’t have time for more. I used to binge a season of a show on a weekend easily before the baby.”
2. Constant Worry
Every age brings unique challenges, but the worry is the hardest thing for me. It begins as soon as you find out you’re pregnant—will the pregnancy be okay? Then once they leave your body, you’ve got new things to worry about: Are they meeting their milestones? Are they eating enough? Too much? The right stuff?”
Also, are they kind? Am I messing them up? Do they have friends? Are they struggling? Are they watching too much TV? Are they safe when they leave my sight? Will they get sick? etc. etc. etc. It never ends. Of course, the flip side of it is why I worry because I love my kids so much! Every age brings its unique amazingness too.”
1. Putting Yourself Second Forever
“Be prepared to always and forever put yourself second,” shared one user. A father joked, “Or, in my case, fourth. The kids tie for first, wife second, dog third, and me fourth. And according to my kids, the cats are close.”
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