I have three boys ages 5 and under. There are many moments where they are utterly delightful, like last week, when Isaac told my sister-in-law that, “My daddy has hair all over.” Or when Elijah put a green washcloth over his chin and cheeks, and proudly declared, “Daddy! I have a beard just like you!” Or when Ben sneaks downstairs in the morning before the other boys do, smiles at me, and says, “Daddy and Ben time.”

But there are also many moments when I have no idea how I’m going to make it until their bedtime. The constant demands, the needs and the fighting are fingernails across the chalkboard every single day.

To Parents of Small Children: Let Me Be the One Who Says It Out Loud

Any parent who denies this is true is a liar (or perhaps in the case of parents who offload the lion’s share of parenting to their spouse, ignorant). And yet in this day and age when people share more about their kids than ever before, 99% of what’s put out there are the happy and cute moments. It paints a selective picture of what parenthood is really like, and it also has the perverse side effect of making other parents feel bad about their own private dark moments.