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Lessons Learned: Highs and Lows of Parenting

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

When I was growing up, my mom frequently told me that being a parent is the hardest job in the world, and I would understand only when I got older. She was right: It wasn't until I became a parent myself that I realized how true her words were.

I think all parents have moments when they wonder if they're doing the right thing, saying the right thing or making a right decision. There's no instruction manual to tell us what to do, though I sometimes wish there was.

Nothing compares to being a parent and experiencing everything from the highest of the highs to the lowest of the lows. And by the lows, I mean seeing your child upset or hurt. Those are the worst moments for parents. I'll never forget what a more seasoned parent once told me: "You're only as happy as your least happy kid."It's so true. But as hard as those moments are to see and as much as we want to protect them in a bubble forever, it's an inevitable part of growing up.

As for the best moments, there are millions of those. Aside from the days my kids were born, there are wonderful moments in each day, as long as you seek them out and appreciate them. For me, my best moments aren't just around those hand-crafted, "What I Love About My Mommy" books my kids make for me for Mother's Day. The best moments for me are the more mundane things, such as sitting at the kitchen counter and listening to a funny story from school or snuggling up on the couch to watch a movie together.

But the best and worst moments together are what parenting is all about. Hopefully, the good moments far outweigh the bad, but embracing all of them - good and bad - and learning from them will make us better parents.

From my nine years of having three kids, I strive to be appreciative and be present. When I look back at baby pictures of my first-born and realize that it was almost a decade ago, my heart aches. So, while I do know how difficult parenting is, what's even more difficult is knowing how quickly time is passing. The lesson I learn every day is to cherish every second of it.



Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

The First Year: Learning to Trust Yourself

10 Things You Swore You'd Never Do Before You Had Your Baby



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