Mom cries and hugs the child. The boy hugs his mother family values sad expression frustration resentment. Caring for the child grief in the family.

Parenting Leaves a Big Knot in Your Throat

I’ve come to realize parenthood means constantly having a knot in your throat.

First, it appears because you can’t believe this real, amazing tiny person is yours.

Then, it creeps up because you’re so exhausted and you don’t know the last time you took a shower.

Then, because those big, beautiful eyes lock with yours and you know you’d do anything in the world for this child.

Then, because this sweet, sweet child now has teeth, and uses them while nursing.

Then, because you are dropping your little one off at preschool and you’re not sure if either of you is ready.

Then, because you watch that smart, unbelievable child graduate from grade after grade, and you want to freeze time for just a minute to capture it all in your mind.

Then, because your child’s heart is broken by someone else and you can’t fix it.

Then, because you get in an actual, strong disagreement with this not-so-little child of yours and it hurts deep in your gut.

Then, because for even a short amount of time, when you don’t know where your child is, your mind thinks the worst and the knot is so big you can’t breathe.

Then, because you witness your child doing kind, thoughtful things for others and it makes your heart swell.

Then, because on each birthday you think about the life you’ve shared so far with this incredible human and you crave more time and more memories and more moments that put that knot in your throat because that’s raw, real, deep emotion. That’s the good stuff.

That’s parenthood.

This post originally appeared on Facebook. It has been reprinted with permission.

Dana Kamp is the founder and content creator of 39ish Life, a freelance writer and editor, and an aspiring children’s book author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, Perfection Pending,That’s Inappropriate, Sunshine and Hurricanes, Parenting Teens and Tweens, and in the anthology “The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Life With Boys.” She lives in Florida with her hot husband and their four awesome boys. You can find her on Facebook.

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