Parenting 101 – Your Life Is Not The Same

By ,

Parenting 101 – Your Life Is Not The Same
Accepting with grace the sadness that normally comes once you become a parent

I’ll never forget being 8 ½ months pregnant with my first child and a friend imploring me to go see a lot of movies and to go out to dinner as much as possible. “Once the baby arrives it won’t be so easy any more,” she said. Of course, not knowing how my life was about to change in a thousand ways, I barely listened to her advice and moved on, excitedly awaiting my baby’s arrival. I truly had no idea what was awaiting me on the “other side” of childbirth.

We all know that having a child is a blessing and that children bring so much joy to our lives and our families, but many parents don’t talk about the sense of loss that they also experience.


Let’s get honest. Let’s say it out loud. There’s no shame in admitting it. We can love our kids and still feel sad and even resentful that we miss our old simpler lives, our old friends, and our old freedom.

Saying goodbye (for a time) to a purely spontaneous life
Before kids, life is flexible and all about “us”. We can happily gaze into each others’ eyes and remember on a daily basis why we married each other. Sex is spontaneous and romantic. We engage in our hobbies and passions. Life is seemingly carefree.

Once the first child arrives, it’s all about nap schedules, feeding schedules and making sure you have all of the necessary paraphernalia on hand wherever you go. A few years down the road, with 2 to 4 kids in tow, now there are soccer practices, karate lessons and a multitude of birthday parties. Going to a movie or away for a weekend is a simple thought without kids. With kids, it’s a huge production and a source of enormous anxiety.

Accepting the facts
Life with kids isn’t easy, but then again no one ever said it was going to be, right? Every day we deal with things we enjoy and things we don’t. Every job has aspects we like and aspects we don’t. Even our greatest joys have parts that are…well…less joyful. It takes a real “grown-up” to come to a place of acceptance of these facts. In order to have a happy family, it means we have to actually become real grown-ups. It feels weird at first, I know. I thought it was my parents who were the grown-ups, not me, for a long time.

Keep reading...

More Juicy Content From YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Bette Alkazian


Bette Levy Alkazian, LMFT, BCPC, is a Family Therapist, Nationally Recognized Parenting Expert, Speaker and author of the award-winning Parenting Backwards and Potty Learning: The Do's, Don'ts and the Oops of Poops.


Connect with Bette and become a fan of  Balanced Parenting on Facebook.

Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Credentials: CPC, LMFT
Specialties: Parenting

This Emotional Life


Coming soon. . .

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Credentials: Non-Profit
Other Articles/News by Bette Alkazian, This Emotional Life :

How To Have A Great Relationship With Your Mother-In-Law


When a little girl envisions her wedding, she thinks about being a beautiful princess in a dreamy dress preparing to live happily ever after with her Prince Charming. What she rarely remembers is that there is a woman in this scenario who raised her handsome prince and who believes that he belongs to her.   UH OH! The fairy tale is fractured! … ... Read more

Parenting Matters: What's All This Talk about Early Attachment?


Connection is created, navigated, ruptured, and repaired daily from the moment we are born. At the heart of being alive lies the vitality of being connected to others- feeling that what we do matters. What’s more is that we rely on being deeply understood by those around us in order to thrive. But how do we learn about healthy connection? What does it ... Read more
Latest Expert Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular