Mama Mantra: I Knew This Would Be Hard

Posted February 15, 2023 by Prairie Wife - 4 comments

I knew this would be hard, but I didn’t understand HOW hard it would be.

I think the above sentence is the main mantra of parenting.

From sleepless nights with newborns to toddler tantrums and navigating the slow and steady process of letting your tweens and teens become who they are meant to be…

I knew this would be hard, but I didn’t understand HOW hard it would be.

Our oldest Cowkid is a Junior, which means that next year is his senior year.

He has plans for further education, and I’m 75% sure he will head somewhere warmer than Wyoming to get it.

Which is fine, and I DO mean that.

My whole intention as a parent was/is to raise children of strong moral character and send them out into the world to do their thing.

As someone who left home at 17 and traveled over 1,000 miles to Wyoming, I’ve actively encouraged my kids to do the same.

We talk about college, we talk to Cowboy J about what life will look like after he graduates, and The Cowboy and I have spent hours and hours discussing what we should and shouldn’t do to help support his growth.



Today, I set an official date for our son’s Senior pictures, and the wave of grief hit me like a punch in the gut.

Being me, I made it worse by pulling down his photo albums and sitting on the floor of his room as I paged through them.

Ugly crying as I looked at pictures of him as a chubby baby, a busy toddler, and a strong-willed preschooler.

The years when I was the center of his world.

Where his family and this home were everything he knew and wanted.

Before school and friends and sports became the focus.

I knew this would be hard, but I didn’t understand HOW hard it would be.

Everyone warned me, and I nodded and KNEW, but I didn’t KNOW until I found myself there.

There is this crazy mix of deep sorrow and pride that often hits in parenting.

Two emotions that seem like they should be impossible to feel at the same time.

But being a parent does it over and over again to you.

When they learn to crawl and walk, you feel it.

On their first day of all-day Kindergarten, you feel it.

When they have their first school dance or date, you feel it.

And (here’s your warning) when you book their Senior pictures.

There is nothing to do but sit and cry and let all the feelings rush over you.

Then you take a deep breath.

Splash your face with cold water and keep going about your day.

Because this is what parenting is.

I knew this would be hard, but I didn’t understand HOW hard it would be.

And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Professional Pics: Erin Potter Photography

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4 thoughts on "Mama Mantra: I Knew This Would Be Hard"

  1. Randy Elliott says:

    Wow! Now I’m sitting here crying …geeeesh, hit me good.
    I’ve always thought highly of Dan and you and have always respected the way you two parent.
    This post definitely made me think…as Ike is now 16.
    I’m sure you’re feeling a bit sweet yet something else, my prayers are that God just simply wraps His arms around y’all and gives ya great blessings.
    Appreciate you sharing and it’s always nice seeing your family.
    God Bless

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      THanks for your kind words! I knew it was coming but didn’t think I’d be this emotional this year, we still have one year to go. Enjoy your time with Ike and make those memories.

  2. Lisa says:

    Hugs! I understand it, but never have felt it. I have celebrated my children’s independence, successes and even their failures at times, because I knew it was part of the process of growing on their individual path to becoming an even better person. Everything works for the highest good even when we wish some bumps could be avoided. More hugs to you as you move onto the next chapter.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I am excited to see what he does, but change is hard sometimes!

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