Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Rewards of Parenting

So I am currently addicted to this new show, Parenthood, on NBC. It follows the Braverman family As they each deal with different aspects of parenthood: The Mom and Dad - dealing with their kids/grandkids, Adam and his wife Kristina who's son was just diagnosed with Asperger's and a daughter who's going through the teen angst, rebellion stage; Sarah who just moved back to the area with her two teen children, living with her parents, trying to start over; Julia and her husband Joel - he's a stay at home dad, she's a lawyer and her daughter and her don't really connect well and Crosby, who just found out he has a 5 yr. old boy.

This last episode, Crosby and Adam have a heart to heart about why parenting is rewarding and what if you don't feel something for your child. I loved it and it made me think about what feels rewarding to me. But first, here's the scene - WARNING - there is one cuss word used.

What makes parenting rewarding to you? To me even?

I came up with just a brief list of what's been rewarding for the past almost 2 years.

- He knows I am his mama! Seems simple, but sometimes I don't allow myself to feel that. I can remember very distinctly one day when I went into the NICU and Parker had had a bad morning - within minutes of me being there and having my hand on his back (even at that tiny 2 lbs stage and just newly born) his numbers improved and his breathing got better. That was one rewarding moment. For all the stress of the couple weeks he was in there at that point, that moment, knowing that MY SON knew me and calmed down - that was rewarding.

- Each new milestone! I think most parents would think this is a rewarding part of being a parent, seeing your child(ren) hit a new milestone. For me, I think it goes deeper. I was so concerned for most of the past two years that Parker would never catch up and be "normal", but man each time he hit a milestone - whether it was walking, talking, eating, ect - the rewarding feeling I felt was unmatchable. Even today, as he sat with his speech therapist and she said he had at least 2 months left, I felt rewarded knowing that though he is "behind" on his speech, he is meeting his goals they set.

- Watching them accomplish something! As a parent, we teach our children how to be good people, do everyday tasks and for me, it's rewarding to see when Parker gets it. Today, he put on his own pair of pants, granted, he had trouble pulling them up and he had put both legs down the same pant leg, but still. I left the room to grab some lotion and came back to find him mostly dressed in his pants. Something that I feel like I have talked to him and shown him at nauseum he is know wanting to do and doing on his own.

I love being a parent, and while there are times it's hard (recently - it has been) the good far outweighs the bad. Sure, Parker has his days of anger and tantrums, and his nights filled with night terrors and little sleep and his disobeys and pushes my buttons, but when it comes right down to it - I AM SO GLAD I AM HIS MOMMY! It's so rewarding, even in the hard times and for that, I am so grateful.

I am blessed! So blessed!


Carrie said...

Aw, this is so sweet! Parenting is so hard, but yeah, so rewarding! :) I hope Parker is doing well & you are, too. :)

I had a super rewarding moment yesterday - I got to talk to Z about Christ's death on the cross while we were making an Easter craft! He listened, though he probably didn't understand much, but it was so neat to share the gospel with my son! Also, I love when I know what he wants even when other people can't understand him. And when Natalie smiles at me across the room when someone else is holding her & cranes her neck to follow me with her eyes.

Ali said...

Amen, Denise! It is THE MOST REWARDING JOB IN THE WORLD. But dang, it's also the hardest.

You are an amazing mommy!