The emotional struggle of being a parent

emotional struggle parent

Being a parent is a complex state of affairs loaded with contrasting emotions that goodness knows many of us battle with day in and day out.

We swing from love to hate, to utter joy in what our child is doing at that moment to total ambivalence towards their actions.

We oscillate between feeling on fire as a parent, to branding ourselves utter failures, making desperate promises to ourselves to be a better parent.

We lurch between being in the moment and totally at ease, to being crippled with guilt.

We struggle as two becomes three, four or more. To find a new blueprint for our lives each time.

We are confused as we lose ourselves in our ongoing identity crisis, baffled as to whether we should or will ever become our old selves again or some other new version that still carries our original seed from which we grew somewhere deep down inside.

Goodness knows I often wished with all of these seismic fluxes in thinking and emotion as a parent that someone in my household had a Diploma in Counselling, because boy wouldn’t it be nice to be able to work through all these issues confidently with ourselves.

Fuelled by the omnipresence of the standards dictated by social media and societal pressures, the emotional struggles we grapple with as parents grow, take shape, morph into something else, turn a corner, disappear for a while and then return like a Phoenix from the flames just when you least expect them to.

But…the emotional struggles of being a parent are part of the package – it was somewhere in there in the small print, we were probably just too busy to read it at the time! More fool us eh?

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photo credit: contemplation. via photopin (license)


  1. I think I struggle with guilt a lot of times. When I’m doing something and T asks for my attention, when I brush her off, many times I’m racked with guilt and think that I’m a bad mum for not setting aside work and attending to whatever she wants. I guess that’s what motherhood is all about, isn’t it?

  2. Being a parent means being part of an emotional rollercoaster and it will have highs and lows. At the end of the day parent guilt will always exist but you all need ‘me time’!

  3. Being a parent is so tough, its amazing but at the same time hard work! I would like to be able to say that the older they get the easier it is but I would be lying, I face new challenges every single day with my son and each one is as emotionally draining as the last… but so worth it

  4. Even though I dont have a child, I often wonder what is like being one, don’t you sometimes feel like you lost your identity the person you were just before you get that pregnancy test and find out that there is another human being inside you.
    Great post and very in depth.

  5. I don’t have children but my sister has said that it’s definitely an emotional roller coaster. I’ve read a few parent bloggers who wrote similar things though so seems like a normal thing to go through.

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  6. I definitely struggle with the challenges that having two feisty young ladies brings, but I also think that parenting teaches us so much about ourselves, struggles help us grow, at least that’s what I tell myself

  7. Such a good post and you’re right it’s a rollercoaster of emotions. I had a crappy day today but loved yesterday. It’s all up and downs x

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