What makes parenting worth it?

Why Being A Parent Is What Life Is All About

Finding joy in the mundane, the everyday, and the challenge of being everything all at once.

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Bath time is always a struggle for us. Can you relate, mamas? One child is usually overly tired and being a general maniac, taking full cups of water and pouring them all over the floor, or kicking wildly in the tub and ruining the walls. Another is adamantly refusing to get undressed, running down the hall to instigate a game of chase that neither her papa nor I are interested in pursuing. We always aim to make the process as short as possible, but if we're downstairs within an hour, it's a modern-day miracle.

Between the soap-ups, potty times, teeth brushing, pajama picking out and story reading, I feel like I bend and move more during that last hour together than any other part of the day. It honestly wears me out and grinds on my nerves. How can two tiny people, who are so obviously exhausted, fight a delicious slumber so fiercely, especially when I'd give anything for someone to encourage me to take a hot bath and send me to bed early?

Yet, I realized last night, long after they'd given up the fight and drifted off to dreamland, that it won't always be like this. One day, my son will declare that he's taking shower and head upstairs to do precisely that. Or, my daughter will lounge in the tub for hours with a magazine and a lit candle like I used to do as a teen. Soon enough, no one will need me to bend down and wash them anymore and there will be no more heads to shampoo. They'll outgrow both me and their baby baths, swapping out their baby suds and soft washcloths for shower gel and loofahs.

I'm at a unique time in my life where I'm discovering how quickly time passes and what's really important amid this day-to-day grind that threatens to consume and overwhelm us. If I let it, work can overtake my mind and I can get bogged down by the incredible amount of obligations on my plate. There are to-do lists a mile long; meals to prep, buy and create; meetings to attend and phone calls to make. But, there are also two little people looking and reaching up to me, who depend on me to be their caretaker and constant. I'm their referee and cook, therapist and nurse. What a glorious privilege to be all of those -- and what a fleeting one.

My husband's grandmother is in a nursing home right now. She went through a few difficult trials before being admitted to the top-rated one in the state. She has her meals created fresh every day, cut flowers in her room at all times and plenty of social activities to attend. We were visiting her the other day and I remarked on how lovely the environment was. She grabbed my hand and whispered words I'll never forget: "This place is nice, but it's not home. As much as I appreciate all these things being done for me, I miss doing them for someone else."

Here is someone who's earned the right to relax and let others do for her. A lifetime of service to others -- to her children, her family, her job at the hosiery mill and her church, should be a badge to chill for the remainder of the time, right? Turns out, there's a bit of loss that occurs when the responsibility of caring for someone is no longer on our shoulders.

Of course, as parents, that duty never really leaves completely. I'll still be fussing over my babies when they're 50 years old and a head taller than me, bringing their babies and grandbabies home for Sunday lunch. I'll always worry about their well-being and call to check in.

But this time of hair washing, hand holding, diaper changing, nugget cooking, and shoe tying? Some days, I think it will never end and I count down the seconds until my husband comes home from work. Yet, I know deep down that when it actually does and they're self-sufficient enough to cross the road without my guidance or make their own meals in their college dorm, my hands will be a little lost and my heart will too. Until then, I'll revel in the mundane and find joy in the doing, for I'll only be needed for so long.

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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