It seems to me that parenting is a harrowing and unrelenting (emphasis on unrelenting) balance between a multitude of two seemingly opposite phenomena:
Between planning and flexibility.
Between "consistency is key" and "letting loose".
Between sheltering and releasing.
Between the absolute highest joys and the deepest black sorrows.
The trick is finding the balance, and all we can do is to hope we find it at some point.
Parenting is the ultimate yin and yang.