There are two kinds of people in this world: those that can hold it together (literally and figuratively) around vomit, and those that cannot. I am squarely one of the latter. Thankfully, my husband is the former and since having kids he has proven this to me time after time.
We have had quite the epic episodes of puke over the years. It has hit one of our kids DURING dinner (yes, at the table), or once while she was sitting on my lap chewing vitamins (I was pregnant for that one and my husband wasn’t home – intensified sense of smell + intensified gag reflexes=panicked phone call to my husband) or, as was the case Saturday night, she woke up crying only to have me run into her dark room and jump onto her vomit covered bed (ugh!). Yes, my husband has shown over and over again that when it comes to our partnership in parenting, he will handle the vomit.
In each of these instances I’ve had to hold it together (and down) so that my daughters haven’t felt shamed, saddened or sickened by their mommy’s response. And so, in the midst of vomit has emerged for me some important parenting lessons and reminders:
- Parenting is messy. There’s no one way to do it, but no matter how you do it, you’re going to get your hands dirty. We’ve got a kid with a stomach bug (finally on the mend), a kid who is potty training, and a baby who spits up at least half of everything she eats. Yes, it’s messy.
- Parenting pushes you out of your comfort zone. It forces you to step into roles you wouldn’t have otherwise chosen and to do so calmly and with a smile.
- Parenting is selfless. The needs of this tiny being you’re responsible for trumps your own every time.
- Parenting is gross. Someone told me once that you don’t birth toddlers (or teenagers) because you only get dealt what you can handle. (I don’t know, given the choice between reasoning with an irrational being and being covered in poop, I’m not sure poop would be my first choice.)
- Parenting is unpredictable. I couldn’t have guessed that my forearm would be covered in vomit on Saturday night, but there it was. Nor could I have predicted I’d spend the next three days snuggling with my oldest babe as she recovered. But there we were and there’s no place I’d rather have been.
- Parenting is the greatest and hardest job I’ll ever have. Being a mom is fun, hard, rewarding, challenging, tender, trying, exciting, etc. etc. etc. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even though sometimes it makes me want to pull my hair out!
Add to the list from your experiences… Parenting is…