Parents are Made, Not Born
Every person was brought into the world because two humans came together and with a combined effort they were made. Anyone with working parts and the ability to assemble a simple jigsaw puzzle can begin the process of making a baby. Making a human is easy; the hard part is becoming the parent that they will need and deserve to have. This task is not for the faint of heart some walk away and give up or never show up to see through this joint endeavor. Many nights are spent sleepless, sacrifices made daily, efforts go unnoticed, tears are cried out of joy, fear, and pain. So why do people take on this task if it is so difficult and taxing? People continue this ritual out of a basic physiological drive and pure ignorance of the path that is ahead. Children may be created in mere moments but parents are developed over a lifetime through experience and with a self-sacrificing spirit.
The shelves are chock-full of how-to guides, promises of what can be and pretty pictures of a perfect family. Never do you see, "What really to expect when you're expecting." If people knew what they were getting into when they have children most would not willingly subject themselves to this self-inflicted torment. It is the sweet moments that get you through the tough times; when they hold their hands as they sleep with sweet smiles on angles faces. The giddy telling of stories that go on about nothing, tight hugs around the neck and goodnight kisses. The faint promise that the dependent children will grow up one day and take care of themselves is what allows parents to rest at night. The smirks of seasoned parents as they look onto the faces of the newly expecting parents are not out of pure bliss. It is a nod, that they are to soon get the awakening that they too discovered along the roadway of parenthood. Being a parent is not as fairytale-themed as they had hoped for; instead, it resembles the essence of a campfire scare story.
If people were more informedthere would be fewer abandoned children neglected and left to fend for themselves. It would be a demographic ripe with people who made sure that they were ready for the task at hand and strong enough to weather the storms. The journey itself, indeed, is what deems you ready to be a parent; through each task and trial, individuals are refined and seasoned for the job. One could argue that parents are not born but made with each day invested in their child’s lives. There is no perfect formula or game plan rather a series of trials and errors and near breaking points that reinforce you during the next taxing time. You cannot know how you would react when your child vomits on you in the middle of the night; to the classic induction to being a parent when the baby blows out their diaper in their car seat on your way to work. Knowing how to curb your rage when another child singles out yours and they are bullied. Remembering to recall how much you love your teenager when you look into their face as they hiss cutting words that make your heart grow cold as you search their face only to see a stranger.
Being a parent takes grit, integrity, a self-sacrificing spirit as well as the ability to laugh at yourself and many situations daily. It would be nice to think that we are innately parents but that just is not true. This is a series of learned responses and behaviors that can be beautifully orchestrated or can become a mangled mess too repulsive to look at. There is no perfect parent out there who was born for the job. Parents must rise to the order given and fill it as best they can; at times giving parts of yourself to ensure their success. It would be helpful if people were more transparent in their parenting experiences instead of putting on a pretty front. There are few requirements to become a parent and countless demands once this commitment is made. The experience is what makes you a parent, not the deed.