Adoption has brought so much joy to my life. After years of heartbreak, my husband and I were blessed with a son. Our Harley man turns 5 this October, and we love him more every single day. Not only did we gain a son via adoption, but we gained his sweet birth mom as well. She is just as much a part of our family as he is. We are blessed to have gained so much from such a selfless act. Harley is a dream.

Let’s be honest. Parenting is hard no matter what way a child comes into the family. Just because my son came after years of painful infertility doesn’t mean he is a saint child. I have been on the receiving end of comments such as, “You are complaining that your kid throws awful tantrums? Didn’t you, like, want a kid forever?” As if adoption somehow means you aren’t allowed to voice the hardships of parenthood.

When I first received such comments, I was angry and offended. After trying so hard and struggling for so long to become a mother, “regular” moms were still finding something different about me to make me painfully aware of. Not only that, but they were assuming things about my life as a new mom that weren’t even true! They had no idea what they were talking about as they didn’t bother learning more about me, my son, or my life. All they knew was that Harley was adopted and that I was at my wits’ end with his Terrorist Threes.

Mashed potato standoff.

The assumption that those who adopt, conceive via treatments, or wait years upon years for a pregnancy to take are not allowed to complain about the everyday struggles of parenting is just absurd. Those who waited and pleaded with every higher power they thought would listen are not spared from kiddos who refuse to eat their mashed potatoes or kiddos who find it hilarious to hide from their parents in large department stores.

He’s cute, but don’t be fooled.

The fact of the matter is, that parenting is HARD. It wasn’t ever meant to be easy. The most amazing things always come with struggle. Amazing kiddos will give their parents hell, and their parents will need nights out with friends to grab a dirty coke, vent, and have their feelings validated.

Parenthood is hard for everyone, so let’s all just hug it out… with dirty cokes.