Sunday, September 27, 2015
What Parenting REALLY Looks Like
I'll give you a moment while that sinks in...
That's NOT AT ALL WHAT REAL PARENTING LOOKS LIKE! Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful journey and totally worthwhile, but if you expect it to be a walk in the park, you will be disappointed. If you expect yourself or your spouse to be on cloud nine for all 18 years of the parenting journey, you will be forever falling short of your plan. Here's the down and dirty truth:
1) You forget.
You will forget the last time you used the bathroom alone and eventually you'll stop shutting the door because your efforts are wasted. You'll forget the last time you had a romantic evening with your spouse (and let's face it...unless "you're late"...you probably haven't been paying attention to the last romantic 'encounter' if you know what I mean)! And did I mention the noise? The gum chewing, humming, arguing, washer running, foot tapping noise that never stops?
2) You are confused.
You will constantly wonder what it is you have on your shirt. It goes from "is that baby puke?" to "hmmm....did someone have a sucker on the way to school?" to "did _____________ borrow my favorite shirt again?" You don't understand where all the toilet paper, bar soap, conditioner, etc... have gone. You remember buying plenty at the store, but they're always "gone"...are there trolls?
3) You are wrong.
Especially if you have multiple children, you'll resign yourself to the fact you are always wrong and someone is always disappointed in you. (you forgot so and so doesn't like crunchy peanut butter, you forgot the spoon for the yogurt when you packed lunch, the favorite socks are still in the dyer and it's time for school, etc...)
4) You worry.
Does she have enough friends, is he applying himself in school, should they really sleep over at so and so's house, and do I feel them enough vegetables? Those thoughts never stop...and just wait until they start driving....I'm told it gets worse!
5) You lose your cool.
You lose your cool over stupid things. It's okay though - we all do it. For example, I had the following conversation today while driving to church:
"Really mom, can't we change the station? This coffee shop station sux!"
"No, I like it"
"We don't" (the only thing they've agreed upon since conception)
"I'm not changing it."
"Really mom? Why?"
"I WILL TELL YOU WHY. I HAVE STRETCH MARKS FROM CARRYING CHILDREN, A SORE BACK FROM PLAYING WITH CHILDREN, GREY HAIR AND WRINKLES FROM RAISING CHILDREN, I HAVEN'T POOPED OR SHOWERED ALONE IN NEAR A DECADE, I DRIVE A DANG MINIVAN INSTEAD OF A HARLEY, AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ALL I WANT TO DO IS LISTEN TO SOME DECENT MUSIC FOR A FEW MINUTES A DAY; IS IT ASKING TOO MUCH?"
"So, when can we listen to something cool?"
"WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR OWN CHILDREN TO ABUSE"
All I wanted was to listen to a few Norah Jones tunes on the way to church. Is it so bad that I'm sick of Silento and his 'break your legs'...or whatever it is he is singing/saying?
I let 'em have it and guess what? We all survived. Mom threw a tantrum and nothing horrible happened (and the church building is still standing as proof).
That my friends is what real parenting looks like. I tucked the kiddos in bed tonight, wiped the stick off the counter for the 53rd time today, picked the playdogh up off the floor, and poured myself a beer. There is nothing I would rather do than be a parent. However, I'm a realist and I don't want people going around thinking parenting is easy. Even the best parents don't always feed their children organic vegetables grown at home out of their own pesticide free garden. We don't all make fresh bread every Tuesday and Saturday. And (GASP) - sometimes we buy store bought birthday cakes and stop for McDonald's french fries on our way home from grocery shopping. We are doing the best we can and at the end of the day, if everyone is still healthy it's a success.
Don't set your expectations too high. Allow yourself to be human. Allow yourself to stay in your pajamas all day if that's what it takes. Don't worry about measuring up to this mom or that dad. Your children love you just the way you are and you are the perfect parent for them (because God has this whole thing under control).
Next time you feel like you don't measure up, just send me a message or shoot me a text and I'll be happy to reassure you - because YOU'VE GOT THIS!!! YOU ARE ROCKING THIS PARENTING ROLE AND YOU ARE FABULOUS!
Okay? Got it?
May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and plenty of little people to wrap their arms around you and warm you with their love.
Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama, business owner, active journaler, writer and
blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 8, Andre 7, Breccan 2, and Delphine 7 months), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.
You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff at: http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/ and here: http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/