We’ve all seen the show Modern Family. There’s a reason it’s been one of the most popular shows on TV since its debut in September 2009. It’s relatable and real. There’s also a reason reality shows like Dancing With The Stars, The Voice and The Bachelor are so hot these days. We’re not watching these shows to learn how to dance or how to land the perfect husband–our affinity towards these shows is rooted in our desire for reflection on our own lives. Watching these shows, we’re reminded that good things really do happen! We also realize that bad things happen, too, and that there are moments in life when we all feel let down, disappointed, hurt, angry or sad. When we watch, perhaps we see a little bit of ourselves in the characters, a bit of a window into the kind of person we want to be OR the kind of person we definitely don’t want to be!
When we watch Modern Family, we’re glued to the screen because the show documents the trials, tribulations, triumphs and the joy of parenthood. We root for the characters and have empathy for their struggles. Parenthood is like life, wonderful, full, messy, challenging and hard all at the same time. Anyone who tells you that their life since becoming a parent is easy is lying! I’m the first to talk about the joys and pleasure that parenthood has brought to my life but I’m also honest enough to say that there have been moments in my parenting life that I’ve felt pushed to my limit, unsure of myself, frustrated and praying for more patience. There were many times when our children were very young (our daughters are two years apart) and both needed my constant attention, love and care. I vividly remember crying right alongside our newborn because I had to put her down in a bouncy seat to give our then 2-year-old older daughter a bath. I distinctly remember my first time flying alone with both kids from LA to Chicago to visit my side of the family. I put our younger daughter in a sling so that she could nurse more easily and also so that I’d have my hands free to hand coloring books, snacks and the DVD player to our older daughter. I remember thinking to myself, “flying alone with two kids isn’t that bad!” Only several minutes later, I found myself struggling as I had to take our older daughter who was potty training to the bathroom while our younger daughter cried and fussed, wanting desperately to get out of that sling.
Parenthood has opened my heart and opened my mind. It has made me softer, less judgemental and more empathetic as a person. I’ve come to realize that we are all just doing the best we can each day to ensure that our children will not merely survive their childhood, but thrive! Each day is another opportunity to start fresh, to try a new strategy, to take a deep breath and to accept ourselves as perfectly imperfect parents!
**This post is dedicated to Patty Lopez-Cadena, one of my earliest readers and fans. Thank you for all of your support. Your “likes” and comments have encouraged me to keep writing each day.