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I completely underestimated parenting. Parenting (not to mention marriage) are falsely advertised. It is harder and much more involved than you expect. Because you are the prime example for your kids of how to be and how to be treated. But the Cosby Show made it look so easy and so fun.

Growing up, I took for granted that there was always food in the fridge and toothpaste under the sink. Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy consistently pulled their own weight and did what they were supposed to do. Clean clothes and shoes magically appeared in my closet in the right sizes. I had a home to go to when the street lights came on. Holidays were just fun and in no way stressful; we all just played until it was time to eat. Someone always read me a bedtime story. I thought my parents would refuse McDonald’s at times to be mean, not because they preferred something healthier. Spring break was an actual break. Someone was always there to help me with my homework. There was always music in my home, which in hindsight, I believe is pretty cool.

Now I understand why I often had sleepovers with friends and I spent summers with my grandparents. These were win-win situations because I bonded with my friends and their parents during my visits and created incredibly fond memories with my grandparents that I still remember and savor today. This village mentality works as a support system designed to ebb and flow based on the greatest need. This comes in handy and is so beneficial on so many levels.

As stressful as parenting is, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It is a blessing to be entrusted to nurture two loving souls. It is an honor to accompany my children as they explore all that this world has to offer. I’ve seen my own growth as I learn how to best raise one child who is just like me and another that could not be more different. It is the best feeling in the world to bear witness to your child making a good decision because of how you raised them. And it is pretty awesome watching them sleep, safe and sound. Hearing my kids laugh is truly music to my ears. And it all makes me appreciate down to my core each and every sacrifice my parents made for me.

Parenting is hard. It’s even harder if you’re doing it alone. And caring for your parents. And strapped for cash. And you have a special needs child. But we are all in this thing together. And we get by with a little help from our friends.

#SCENEChicago #danabeingdana #danamichelle #beintentional FB: Dana Michelle IG: danabeingdana


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