Parenting Is Difficult
Almost all parents will tell you that child rearing is much more difficult than they had anticipated. Before your first child's arrival, your fantasies involved playing with him or observing him proudly. The scenes were always pleasant, always gratifying. You did not anticipate colic, tantrums, "I hate you," defiance, disappointment, or purple hair.
While it is true that "the years fly by," when you are going through a taxing developmental period of your child's life, time can move very slowly. Whether it is the sleep deprivation and resulting crankiness you experience during your child's infancy or the anxiety you feel during your child's adolescent forms of rebellion, fathering is stressful as well as joyful. By the time your child leaves home forever, you will have made thousands of decisions affecting his or her life, and you will have agonized about whether those decisions were the right ones. Fathering does not occur naturally or easily. But you can learn to be more patient, more giving, more loving, more generous, and more forgiving than you ever thought you would be.