A lot of people compliment my wife and I at how awesome of parents we are and all of the cool activities we do with our kids. We play with cars, trains, robots and superheros. We craft with paint, glue, glitter, and paper. We have dance parties and watch movies. We go on adventures out in the world and in our own backyard. It seems awesome, but it’s not. It is a lot of work parenting like this. It would be so easy to just tell the kids to play with their toys in front of the t.v.
But that’s not what my wife and I are after, and it’s definitely not easy. What pictures don’t show are the moments where Alex is having a breakdown because he can’t use Abby’s yellow paint, or Abby crying because Alex pulled her hair for the fiftieth time. There is always a story in between the camera flashes.
Moments like those are what test your patience and make you wonder why you even got the paint out in the first place. I will say that it is worth it even if it begins and ends with a meltdown. The reason it’s worthwhile is simple. Doing these activities is what will shape our kids in the future. If we don’t do anything then where will our kids learn from, school? Most kids don’t even start school until they are five, sometimes even six. That’s five years worth of learning they are missing out on. Learning is forever and not only are your kids constantly learning but so are you. Keeping these activities going takes a lot out of you and at first it’s difficult, but you learn what works and what doesn’t and you get better at handling your children when it comes to projects.
We’re not awesome parents by any stretch of the imagination. We’re just doing what we need to do to make sure our kids are independently equipped for whatever their future holds, whatever path they choose they will be ready. So when you see me or my family posting pictures from a fun activity going down at our house or from a night out, just know in that particular moment all was well, but there’s a 99.9999% chance that there was a meltdown before if not after that flash went off.