I was ready to wrap my daughter in shiny paper, slap a bow on her head, and ship her off to another family by way of FedEx today. Her antics in church resulted in my having to yank her from the pew and quarantine us in a separate room. She kept yelling “ELLA POTTY” and I didn’t want people to think I was a terrible mother who didn’t let her kids pee, so I couldn’t ignore her. Out we went.
Here’s the thing, though: she doesn’t even use the friggin’ potty!! The child is in diapers, yet screams ELLA POTTY any time she doesn’t want to do something she’s supposed to, i.e. sit at church, sit at dinner, sit anywhere…
She’s no dummy, folks.
The second we left church, she wanted to snuggle and be in my arms. I was still fuming. She must’ve sensed my irritation because she lay her head on my shoulder and gently tapped my nose with her finger, “Nose! Boop!”
And, of course, any residual anger melted away and I pressed my cheek up to her cheek and loved her so much that I could have burst at any second.
Until we got home of course and it started all over again.
This parenting thing is no joke. It is HARD. And all of those celebrities (lookin’ at you, Kim Kardashian) who think a child is a fashion accessory is in for a rude awakening. There are so many reasons why being a good parent is the most difficult thing most of us will ever do, and I’ve only listed a few. Feel free to share yours in the comments!
1. Our kids are inevitably going to act like assholes. But we still have to love them. That’s quite the conflict.
2. It isn’t just the newborns who keep their parents up at night. Bigger kids just bring different worries. Instead of “is the baby is still breathing” or “is the toddler asleep in his bed or in a dresser drawer,” parents of older kids get to obsess over why their 12-year-old didn’t make the little league team and if their 16-year-old is safe while on behind the wheel. It is never ending!
3. Being a parent is more about being a good role model than I realized. I don’t make it a habit to take the Lord’s name in vain; however, I must be doing it more than I think because just the other day, my son exclaimed “JESUS CHRIST THAT SCARED ME!” after something startled him. I didn’t like the way it sounded rolling off his tongue (my husband wasn’t too thrilled either…), and I felt like I had failed rather than just made a mistake.
4. The whole failure thing. It’s heavy, man. Society looks at parents to do right by their kids, and regardless of moms and dads trying their hardest, if the kids still eff up, guess who’s getting a collective finger pointed right in their faces? Yep. Look at the Sandy Hook ordeal. The gunman (whose name does not deserve mention in print, anywhere) was barely identified and already media was ripping apart his mother.
5. Kids, especially young ones, limit us. As much as we don’t want to admit it, it’s the truth. Can’t just get up and go any more. When the baby wakes, you wake. Period. Some of us take it in stride as it’s what we expected, even wanted. But there are others who’ve no idea what they’re in for and then blame the kids when their lives change. Not cool.
6. Choosing a name. I’m serious! My daughter’s name is Ella; our dog’s name is Bella. My rationale? I love both names and, bless her furry little face, my Bells won’t be around much longer. This does, however, pose a problem when I’m all fired up and can’t remember who to yell at: Ella + Brady = Bella. So much confusion in our house. You don’t even know.
7. Free time. I’m sorry, what’s that?
8. The second we’ve got a routine down or we can anticipate a certain behavior, the kids switch it up on us. They loved green beans yesterday, but today? They’re painting with them. It’s cool, kids, I was hoping for an earthy green in the dining room anyway.
9. We can’t punch the people who hurt them. I mean, we can, but we’ll more than likely have to pay a fine or go to jail. The feeling of helplessness we experience as parents is unparalleled. I’ve felt powerless in a few situations, one with my baby brother (he was 21, but whatever) and another with my husband, and as awful as those times were, they are nothing compared to what I’m in for when my babies get their first broken heart, don’t make the team, or are–God help the effers who try–bullied at school.
10. Rules. How many rules are there to parenting?! Say please and thank you. Address your elders. Don’t lie. Share. Look both ways. Always try your hardest. AHHHH! I don’t always share. I sometimes forget to say thank you. And there have been days where I probably should’ve been hit by a bus because I was texting whilst walking. Yet I’m supposed to instill ALL of this crap into my kids?! I’m tired.
Well, friends, my 15-minutes o’ March writing is up. I don’t have a chance to proofread, so don’t judge the mechanics; just dig the contents.
P.S. I’m sitting in Starbucks typing my heart out (unfortunately at a table near the bathroom) and someone just made the potty smell so foul that I want to die. If I’m not back with a new post tomorrow, someone please tell my husband he was great last night and my kids to cut their bullshit, but I still love them.
P.P.S. Are we Facebook friends? We should be. Find me here!
P.P.P.S. Someone used the search term “vajayjay” and found me today. That makes me happy.