"I think parenting young children (and old ones, I've heard) is a little like climbing Mount Everest. Brave, adventurous souls try it because they've heard there's magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it's hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.
And so I think that if there were people stationed, say, every thirty feet along Mount Everest yelling to the climbers -- "ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF!? IF NOT, YOU SHOULD BE! ONE DAY YOU'LL BE SORRY YOU DIDN'T!" TRUST US!! IT'LL BE OVER TOO SOON! CARPE DIEM!" -- those well-meaning, nostalgic cheerleaders might be physically thrown from the mountain."
I whole heartedly agree. And that, for me, has been one of the surprises of parenting. Not that it would be hard - I figured that much, but I assumed, especially after losing a child, that I would easily be able to relish every.single.moment. Even the tough ones. But ya know what, sometimes I just am tired. Or frustrated. Or overwhelmed. Or all of the above. This was and still is something I struggle with. I'm sure it's typical of most parents to feel this way at some point, but then I have to factor in guilt because I lost a child and should appreciate everything. So