Parenting is a tough job. It is definitely not for the weak... you have to be a strong individual to parent. I think that parenting comes in levels.... there is the new parent beginner level, there is the toddler/child intermediate parent, the teenager advanced level and the adult proficient level. Each of these levels comes with their own set of worries and when you are in a level you can't imagine that the next level is worse.
I am here to tell you that with your advancement in parenting levels, the degree of difficulty increases. I can remember how when you are a new parent, it feels like you are never going to sleep again. My 16-year-old did not sleep through the night until he was one. I knew that if I could just sleep, this parenting thing would be easier. I was wrong! Once you recover from being sleep deprived, you then enter the new phase of having a moving, obstinate toddler. That cute little baby who never sleeps, now never seems to stand still. Plus, they have discovered the world no. When my 19-year-old was three, he could stretch that word out into fourteen syllables. No joke..... NOOOOOOOOOOOO.
The intermediate level also includes the wonderful elementary years. This is when reality begins to sink in, you have to actually send this little being off into the care of someone else. What do you mean they have to get up at 6:30? They have to tie their shoes? Girls... ooh yuck don't they have cooties? ... you really don't like girls yet right? Between managing homework, friends, and sports, you decide that this is the hardest level. Ah.... nope!
Next is the dreaded teenage years... you remember those from when you were one. I distinctly remember my mom telling me she hoped that I had a teenager just like me. Well, she got her wish!! This parenting stage is tough. The worries are so big and there are so many things to keep track of. Are they behaving on social media? Why are they not answering the phone? Grades are important, it gets them into college.... oh the pressure of getting good grades.... will it be enough? All of these things run through the very tired teenage parent. I mean you thought you left that sleep-deprived business back in stage one! Nope, now you get less sleep as you wait up for them to get home. I do believe that this is the hardest stage.... so far. I haven't made it to being a parent of an adult yet. But I mean, it has got to be easier....right?