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Being a parent isn’t the easiest job in the world. And it isn’t until much later in life that we begin to realize just how hard our parents had it.

For the most part, my parents held their heads up high and never let me know how much they were struggling. If I had known then what I know now, I would go back in time and appreciate them more as I was growing up, because there were times when I am sure I was not easy to deal with. Hindsight is always 20/20. But, if you are still growing up, or perhaps you are an adult like me and are feeling a bit nostalgic. Whatever the case may be, here are 10 things your parents never told you growing up.

1. They stayed up endless nights worried about you.

Our parents stayed up endless nights worried about us. They worried that we wouldn’t be happy in life, or that we would fail the spelling bee and end up hurt and sad. They worried that they might lose their job and not be able to take care of you the right way. They worried all the time.

2. They never felt like they were in control.

At no point did your folks ever feel in control. They may have pretended to or even tried to maintain control, but deep down inside, they worried that at any moment the ship would sink.

3. They knew they weren’t perfect.

No matter how they presented themselves, they knew they weren’t perfect. At times, they struggled with themselves, because they wanted to be perfect for you, but they knew they weren’t and did the best they could anyways.

4. When your heart broke, so did theirs.

Each time a tear fell down your face, one fell to theirs when they were out of view. Their heart broke into a million pieces each time someone was mean to them, or each time they scraped their knee on the playground.

5. They were so afraid that they would break you.

From the moment you were born, your parents worried about the impact they would have on you. Sometimes, they would choose their words so carefully, because they feared they would leave scars on your heart. Other times, the pressure of being a parent leads them to say the wrong thing, and they stayed up all night scared they may have caused you harm.

6. They were tired all of the time.

At no point did your parents ever feel well-rested. Even when they got to sleep in, they still felt like they could sleep a million more hours, because when they did sleep it wasn’t deep.

7. They sacrificed everything for you (willingly.)

When your parent found out they were having you, they knew there would be sacrifices. They knew they wouldn’t be able to lead the same life they would have if you weren’t in it. And the thing is, they were happy to give their old identity up because it meant they had you now.

8. They never knew what love meant until they were born.

Up until you were born, they had never experienced true love. They may have thought they had. But, until they held you, they didn’t know what love meant.

9. Sometimes, they wanted to give up.

Some days and moments pushed them over the edge. There were moments in which they thought, “Should I just run away? Should I quit while I am ahead?” But they didn’t. They kept going anyways.

10. But, they would do it all over again.

And no matter how hard things got, they wouldn’t trade any of those moments for any amount of money, fame, or freedom. They wouldn’t change any of it. Because if they did, they would have to lose you, and under no circumstances is that even an option.