Is Having a Kid Hard?

A friend, far from her parenting days, proposed this question yesterday and for a moment it left me a bit speechless. Is having a kid hard?

Honestly, I never thought about it that way. Having a kid is just having a kid.

I found myself responding to her, "No, just tiring."

Then I got home from daycare with said kid to a dog who'd been sick, a house that's still a mess {my fault} and dinner that needed to be made. But wait, this kid we're talking about was having one of those mama-must-hold-me-at-all-times moments. These moments are happening often these days.

Our night continued to be a bit scattered. Typical for these toddler days. I chased Jackson from one corner of the house to the other as no toy, dog or song seemed to make him happy.

Finally, I'd accomplished preparing dinner, sat the kid in his seat and served up some yummy. But? He'd have none of it. Every bite of every item was given the hand or fed to the dogs.

After shoveling in my dinner in a matter of minutes, I rescued the kid from his highchair and off we went again. This time I could see the delirious, sleepy Jackson kicking in. So, we shuffled our way back to the nursery for story time. But as soon as I closed the door behind us alligator tears, toddler screams and a full on tantrum ensued.

At that moment in life all the kid wanted was his Dad. Well, too bad kid! Dad is working. 

What's a mom to do but let him run back to the living room, get a glimpse of Dad then coax him back to his room? Kicking and screaming I finally managed to get Jackson back to the nursery.

It was at this moment I found myself rethinking my answer to our question, Is having a kid hard?

But then, that kid who was giving mama such a hard time grabbed his favorite book, sat in my lap and leaned his head on my shoulder. And I knew. This "having a kid thing" isn't hard, it's real.

Over our 16 months of parenthood, we've attempted to find our rhythm in parenting. One moment we'll be in synch, the next we're nowhere near it. You see, I've found, the real rhythm of parenting is your ability to go off-beat.

So, is having a kid hard?
We'll just say it's sure as hell not easy.
But every single smile, kiss, hug and giggle take every notion of stress and melt it away.