It’s no secret that parenting can be both difficult and rewarding, but as a working dad featured on Humans of New York today admitted to learning the hard way, it can often feel mostly challenging, to the point you lose sight of why what you’re doing, and who you’re doing it for, is all worth it.
The father, who is photographed in Amsterdam holding his adorable toddler daughter at a park, explained to HONY that he went into parenthood with some misconceptions. “I thought it would always be in balance. That I’d always feel compensated. That parenting would always be exhausting, and always be fantastic. But sometimes it’s just one or the other,” he said.
He continued by discussing the heavier aspects of parenting—something every mom and dad can relate to. “There are moments when it’s nothing but anger, frustration and powerlessness. Maybe we’re late for an appointment. Or I need to get to work. And she doesn’t want to leave the house. She’ll fall on the floor, throw a fit, and not move. You’ll try to reason with her, but she won’t even hear you,” he said.
During these times, the dad admitted he’s felt tired and lost patience, saying, “You wonder: ‘Why did I even start this?’”
Fortunately, however, those feelings don’t last too long. “But then in the same day, the same hour, it all turns around. She’ll come back from an errand with my wife, and she’ll jump out of the car, run up to me, and squeeze me harder than you can possibly imagine. And I can’t imagine ever being angry. All I can think is: ‘What on earth did I do to deserve this little scoundrel?’”
Feeling frequently frustrated with caring for your little one, who doesn’t always follow your rules or instructions, but knowing that at the end of the day, you can’t stay mad at them because you love them and they’re adorable? Welcome to Parenting a Toddler 101.
In an Instagram comment on the post, which now has over 50,000 likes, many users applauded the father for succinctly sharing this cycle that’s very familiar to moms and dads. As one user wrote, “Early years [of] parenting in a nutshell. All the emotions. The entirety of it, summed up!💜”