I have to share something funny. I was talking with a woman at work who has two very young children. She said sometimes living with them is like having a slow drip of water constantly hitting your head. (I've also heard some moms describe it as living with woodpeckers.) So I remarked that if you endured it long enough, it would eventually erode away your skull and drill into your brain...but it's a slow way to commit suicide. And she replied, "Yes, that's parenting." And it struck us both as riotously funny. Or maybe it was just the sleep-deprivation getting to us.
Parenting can feel a bit like water torture at times, there's no doubt about that. It is constant and messy and sometimes it can hurt. There is no end to it. It is not for the faint of heart and shouldn't be entered into lightly. But I have to say, there is growth and beauty and joy that comes out of it too. Living things are nurtured by water. It isn't only about raising the child -- it's about raising the parent, too. You can't spend twenty-five years thinking of other people, caring for them, nourishing them, praying for them, serving them, without it changing you. I think that's why God gave us the family structure as our training ground. It's the best way to learn selflessness and patience and endurance and faith and sheer determination. He's a Father too, after all, and knows that the parenting experience can exalt us in ways no other experience can.
The trick is to learn to use that water for growth instead of letting it drown you.