The Roller Coaster Of Parenthood

by Annie Reneau
MyImages - Micha / Shutterstock

To say that parenting is a roller coaster is a bit of a cliché. It’s also totally true.

Parenthood is unpredictable, exhilarating, terrifying and exhausting. Up and down, round and round you go, sometimes screaming, sometimes laughing, sometimes just praying you’ll survive it.

Someone will puke, eventually. You can count on it.

At first, it’s all very exciting. You’re not sure what to expect, but your adrenaline is flowing and you’ve waited for this moment for so long that all you can think about is how much fun you’re about to have.

It starts, and it is fun—right up until it gets to be a bit too much. You can’t handle all the turning and the jerking and the ups and the downs. Your stomach turns. You stare off into space, praying for the chaos to cease long enough to let you recover. I just need to be still for a few minutes, you think. I just need a rest.

At some point, you’re sure you’ve made a horrible mistake. I don’t want to do this anymore, you think, peering up the steep incline of a child’s inexplicable insomnia or a toddler’s refusal to potty train. Someone get me off this thing! you scream in vain as you powerlessly plummet toward the earth while your preschooler tantrums on the floor of your messy kitchen.

Nobody hears you. Or even if they do, there’s no way to stop this sucker from barreling forward full speed.

So you do the only thing you can do—grip the handlebar and hang on for dear life. You swear you’ll never do this again. You curse the person responsible for making you board this godforsaken contraption.

And then, just like that, the awful, nauseating moment is over. The ride carries on, still fast, but smoother. It’s exciting, but not terrifying. And before you know it, you’re having the time of your life. You smile and whoop and laugh and revel with the wind blowing through your hair.

“This is fun!” you cry, as things slow down. You can’t imagine doing anything else. “Let’s do it one more time!”

And then the whole crazy, thrilling, horrible, awesome ride of your life starts all over again.