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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 aparent is the hardest job in the world, and I would understand only whenI got older. She was right: It wasn't until I became a parent myselfthat I realized how true her words were.

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

Nothing compares to being a parent and experiencing everythingfrom the highest of the highs to the lowest of the lows. And by thelows, I mean seeing your child upset or hurt. Those are the worstmoments for parents. I'll never forget what a more seasoned parent oncetold 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 toprotect them in a bubble forever, it's an inevitable part of growing up.

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

But the best and worst moments together are what parenting is allabout. Hopefully, the good moments far outweigh the bad, but embracingall of them - good and bad - and learning from them will make us betterparents.

From my nine years of having three kids, I strive to beappreciative and be present. When I look back at baby pictures of myfirst-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 moredifficult is knowing how quickly time is passing. The lesson I learnevery day is to cherish every second of it.

Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

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