Sunday, March 29, 2015

You're Not a Parent

“You’re not a parent until you have at least two kids.”

Years ago, this is what a woman said to me.   

At the time, my daughter was about 18 months old.  I was excited to be a parent.  

I didn’t know this woman.  We were simply at the same party.  I can’t remember her face and if I saw her on the street, I probably wouldn’t recognize her.   

But I remember her words.

Now that I have two kids, I think about her words.

Now, that I have two kids, I’m not any MORE of a parent.  I may do things a bit differently. My son might not have as great of a baby book as his older sister.  Life is definitely different with two. But, I was a parent then and I’m a parent now.

"Don’t devalue a parent’s role in a child’s life." Click to Tweet:

Even though I am in awe of my friends with five children who keep it all together, I don’t believe the amount of children you have qualifies you to be MORE of a parent. After all, each child is a gift, a miracle, a source of joy (even though they can make life difficult at times).

Psalm 127:3  Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

At the time this woman’s comment didn’t really bother me.  However, I was planning to have more children. But this woman didn’t know that. She didn’t know if I had recently had a miscarriage or was struggling with infertility. She didn't know me at all.  

Perhaps, she meant I hadn’t experienced juggling two children yet. I wasn't a referee. 

But, if you think about it, most of us started out as one-child parents. In 2010 in the U.S., twins accounted for 3.3% of births, or 1 out of 30. Triplets (or higher multiples) accounted for 1 out of 726 births. I realize some people have never experienced life with an only child. However, most of us have.

It’s fine to recognize that parenting one child is different than two….or two is different than three, and so on!  

But don’t devalue a parent’s role in a child’s life simply because there is only one. 

Even though our journey to parenthood or our day-to-day schedules may be different, we are all parents! 

When you tuck your child/children in at night, you are a parent. 

When you lament the passing of the baby years but rejoice in the fact that you no longer have to buy diapers, you are a parent. 

We all experience the joys and trials of parenthood. 

Being a parent is a whole host of feelings, responsibilities, and life-altering experiences.  

And, I think it's important not to diminish the importance of a parent's role in a child's life, no matter how many children they have.

Have you ever had someone make an inappropriate comment to you about having one child? On the flip side, have you ever had someone make a comment because you have a lot of children?

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