Navigating the Parent Zone

by Jovanna Acevedo Quesada

mom, dad and babyThis morning I looked down at my perfectly angelic sleeping toddler and thought to myself, "Wow, what a blessing it is to be a stay-at-home parent. I can spend all day staring at this beauty."

The morning becomes afternoon, and one box of spilled cheerios, three diaper explosions, two pairs of mismatching socks, and a cat-in-a-dryer later, the only thought running through my mind was "Nanny! Must find a nanny!" The next was, "Where is my bed?"

Welcome to parent zone. You've been initiated. The journey will take you on the ride of a lifetime.

So what is this parent zone? Read on.

The Zone Has Day-to-Day Drudgery

  • Just how many meals and snacks can a two-year-old demand?
  • Toys, laundry and dirty dishes clutter the horizon as far as the eye can see. You're already on round three.
  • Your world consists of changing dirty diapers, wiping noses and mopping up messes.
  • Requests (or demands) from your child interrupt your sleep...all night long!

If we already sorta kinda know about the "dull chores" the parent zone heaps onto us, why is it that anyone would consider having children?

There's an easy answer to that question.

The Zone Has Miracle Moments

We have children for the simple reason that "miracle moments" happen. You know, those frozen images that remind you why you love being a parent.

  • Your baby sees you enter the room (I realize it's a miracle that you left without a screaming protest), delight reflects in twinkly eyes and a toothless grin
  • Your toddler picks up a stuffed animal, pats its back and lovingly shushes it.
  • Your preschooler dances in the breeze -- like a swirling leaf.
  • Your child shares a toy and a hug with an upset friend.

These emotional and beautiful moments are your transportation carrying you through the parent zone.

Years from now you'll cherish moments like the grandmother-aged women who smiled and said, "Cherish every moment. The years pass so quickly."

She isn't dismissing your tough times -- the long hours, the menial labor, the messes, or the noise.

She's forgotten them!

It's your busy, noisy, grubby tot that triggers and reminds her of a sweet moment with her own child years ago.

"You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around -- and why his parents will always wave back." ~William D. Tammeus

The land of the parent zone has a few simple sets of rules.

Play nice in the sandbox. Don't eat glue. Don't pull the cat's tail.

Oh wait, that's for the kids.

We willingly wade through the drudgery of diapers and insomnia to get a glimpse of those magic moments and treasure them always.

What have been some of your favorites? Share them with us!

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