You guys. Parenting is hard.
I don’t have to tell you this. You already know this. You’ve got kids. You are a parent. Anyone who is a parent knows it’s hard.
Nothing really goes the way you expect it will. You figure you’ll be crafty and fun and understanding and your kids will get it. They will GET IT. Cause you’ll be such a good parent. And you get it. You know you get it. And then you actually have a kid for more than a few hours and you realize you were an idiot.
Some days you’ll be crafty and some days you’ll be fun. If they happen on the same day it will be pure amazingness.
Some days your kids will get it. For at least ten minutes. And if more than one get it at the same time – it will be magic. And you will be killing this parenting gig. Absolutely killing it.
An entire day of goodness is like a magic rainbow unicorn. Sounds interesting and cool, but you know with certainty it just does not exist.
I’m not sure why we think it’s going to be different for us. Why other people can be exhausted or grumpy with their children and our response is dang – that’s not the way I’m going to parent. Why don’t non-parents understand parenting more? Better? I have no idea.
Actually I do. They can’t. They can never understand the endlessness. Anyone can be patient for an hour. Or a day. Or even a long weekend (so long as there are nap breaks included). The endlessness that is parenting though – that takes things up a gazillion notches.
Also, the pressure to turn out kind, responsible, contributing, loving individuals…with no instruction. Even if there was instruction, it wouldn’t work. Parenting goals are subjective. If we could come up with something objective that feels neutral like we do with a savings goal it might be easier. Cash is objective. Static. Everyone agrees on what 100,000 dollars means. Everyone knows if you want to save money, you have to stop spending it. Earn some more of it.
But with parenting – we’re dealing with people. And people are subjective. Dynamic. And no one can agree on the specifics of the goals. Once we pick something, no one can agree on how to get there. It’s nice that you get to do it however you think is best, but also – not. Parenting is hard alone. There’s no one to share it with. And parenting is hard with a partner. You guys have to come up with a plan together. And agree. On a lot of things. And you’re not gonna. You might agree on the big picture and maybe even some of the small steps that go into that big picture, but there’s going to be a ton of things along the way that you just don’t agree on. And no one’s going to want to give – this isn’t like choosing which peanut butter to buy or which way to put the toilet paper on the roll…this is your children.
Figuring out how to raise people is ridiculous. You’re RAISING people. You’re shaping and guiding them into adulthood and you don’t even have your own adulthood figured out.
(Also I read an article today saying someone had CPS called on them because their three children aged 10, 5 & 2 were playing outside, alone, in their fenced backyard. CPS came out and interviewed the parents for several hours. They realized everything was okay. This has got to stop, people. This is not the first crazy story I’ve read about CPS being called on parents for ridiculous things like kids playing in their own yards. This is insanity. If you’re worried about neighborhood children, get to know the parents. Get to know the families. Help keep them safe. Be a neighbor.)
*****This is posted ridiculously late today not because parenting is hard, but because I used spare minutes reading a book and didn’t want to stop.