The Circus of Parenthood

The very first thing my wise aunt said to me when I mentioned my husband and I were planning to start a family was a well-intended piece of advice: “Prep the tents, Erin. Parenting is a three-ring circus.” And now that I’m a mere seven months into my journey, I’m realizing just how true that statement was.


We parents are acrobats, contorting our bodies and lifestyles into positions we never thought possible. We perform mind-boggling back-bends as we blindly attempt to locate the back seat pacifier while stalled in the car pool lane.

We are lions, jumping through fiery hoops to shield our babies from the flames of hurt, fear and discomfort while fiercely protecting our proverbial cubs from environments beyond our control.


We are jugglers, attempting to balance the weight and responsibility of jobs, relationships, families and goals – hoping a hiccup in our routine doesn’t cause the many balls in our air to drop to the ground.

We are tightrope walkers, padding quietly down the hallway on our tiptoes, secretly praying a creak in our step doesn’t wake the baby.

We are fans, cheering loyally for our little ones as they achieve unthinkable milestones: crawling, talking, walking, learning and growing.

We are elephants, herding and leading our young into uncharted territories.

We are clowns, entertaining our babies with dance parties in the kitchen and dramatic readings in the nursery, smiles plastered on our faces from the sheer joy of their contagious giggles.

And at the end of the day, we tidy up our ring and tuck ourselves in for the night, readying our bodies for another performance tomorrow. After all, the show must go on (and we wouldn’t want it any other way).

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