Just a basic mom trying to succeed as a parent in this shit show of a world we're in, and give a little reassurance to those silently losing it everyday.
10 Lies Every Parent Has Told Themselves
“Well they outta sleep good tonight” We’ve all heard it! No matter how many times someone says it, it still irks my nerves. Like, “no Jerry, they fucking won’t sleep well tonight. I know it looks like that would be the case considering my kid is running around like a damn chicken without a head, but no, God installed a fast charger port in this one.” Instead what actually happens is a feverishly tired child fights sleep like a UFC champion trying to hold onto a title. This translates into utter nonsense mumbling, laughing spells that turn into crying fits without warning, and the need to come into your room a million times to tell you about a song they learned two years ago on a vacation you’re pretty sure you didn’t take.
“My daughter and I have a very open relationship, she tells me everything.” First of all (insert name of choice, mine is Brenda), Brenda, no she does not. I repeat, she does not. Even though my eldest and I do seem to talk about ever-y-thing, I do get to enjoy the occasional information bomb. Although there’s no real proven scientific way to lessen the blow, I have found that getting out from under the rock of denial is a great step in the right direction. Understand, if you keep communication open, you’ll be privy to a lot, just not all.
“I’ll never let my kid act like/do that” Pretty sure that no parent ever has anticipated their children to act like drunken hooligans. Shit happens. We are living breathing typically exhausted human beings. We have no super human powers. But also, every single child is different. No single breakdown moment is an indication of your bad parenting or lack there of. You’re going to get worn down sometimes. You’re going to have an extra long day at work and come home to find the dog rummaging through the garbage. You’ll be short on patience, and at that exact moment your little one will choose to do the dumbest most dangerous stunt of their life. Maybe it’s trying to climb into the stove to hide from you, maybe they’ll try to swing from a light fixture. Neither of you will understand why, but every parent has had one of those literal what the ‘f’ moments. There’s nothing you can do about it. No way to stop it. Let it go. Give yourself (and those parents you were previously judging) some grace.
“They didn’t mean it like it sounded” Yes, they probably did. If there’s anything I can say I’ve learned over time as a parent, it’s that children have a way better understanding than we give them credit for. When they insult their siblings’ artwork, they mean it. When they so innocently point out your squishy belly or jiggly arms, they’re aware they shouldn’t. It’s a part of their interpersonal interaction development, but they meant it exactly how it sounded.
“I’ll parent all of my of my children with the same intensity…no matter how many I have.” In theory this is a great plan. I would even go as far as saying ideal, but it’s not realistic. Have you ever sat back and watched a mother of three? The eldest, typically adored by teachers and other adults, doesn’t talk back, and is pretty easy going. Immediately following, the “middle” child. In my case, my middle was a middle long before we knew she would be a middle. Liked by teachers, but is sarcastic and witty, and needs to know the why of all things. Then, there’s the baby. Good lort the baby. This one seems to love you the absolute most of all, doesn’t have an easy going none in their body, and comes equipped with a stamina that would make the Roman Empire jealous. You take all the tips and tricks you learned in the early stages with number one, and use them on number two. Some prove effective, others are more like,”okay, well that didn’t work, now what?” Overall, you’re pretty successful. Now comes number three. You use tips and tricks from one and two, and you implement this with little to no success. Why? Where did we go wrong? Why don’t any of these work on number three? Because, you’re tired and they are born with that knowledge. Number three uses that exhaustion to their advantage, but considering they are so snuggly and affectionate and let’s face it, your last baby, boom…. intensity drops 40% (not a proven number) and just like that, a new ruler was crowned and you’re not even sure when.
“I had several kids, so that they always have someone to play with…lifetime bff’s” Nope. I’m sure later in life, they will learn to love each other without it coming to blows, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet, so we shall see. For now, we celebrate small victories. For instance, being able to run into the grocery store without fighting over who’s pushing the buggy, resulting in two children and one adult getting run over and one display left scattered about. Or playing together in harmony without someone nearly getting an eye poked out. About a year ago, I found a trail of blood going from the bathroom leading up the stairs. Upon my arrival to the cave they call a room, I find a then, four and a half year old holding her hand with a paper towel. After the initial shock, I sprang into action; cleaning, taping, and wrapping it up. As it turned out, they had just played a game of tug-o-war…WITH SCISSORS. My head almost popped clear off my shoulders. This was not what I had planned. They were supposed to be friends, going on adventures, using their imagination. Instead they were clearly trying to “off” one another.
“I can’t wait to dress them up” When you find out the gender of your little nugget to be, you immediately start picturing all of those Pinterest families. How cute is he or she going to be? A giant bow or a little man suit? Precious. But nope. Not going to happen. Their hair will likely stay yogurt dipped and sticking out all over the place for several years. No bows will stay for long, most likely not even for pictures. They will find and fall in love with that one outfit that makes you cringe. The hand me down batman pajama set, or the too small princess dress they refuse to part with. These outfits will pop up throughout family photos for years, and you’ll let them, because that’s what makes them happy. Also because you’re running late and you don’t have time for this shit today.
” I would never use one of those leashes on my child” Okay, sure you won’t. Matter of fact you may not have to. When we had our oldest, now thirteen (which is a whole article of its own), we judged and chuckled at the parents with kids on leashes. Can’t they keep up with their child? Do they even discipline? It wasn’t until we had a stage five runner that we saw why. There is no close call close enough to get the attention of these little independent seemingly blind children. They have no fear, and walk in a world of their own. When you give birth to one of these little pioneers, that little monkey backpack leash is the only way they’ll make it back with you from Disney. Seriously.
“I must work more to provide the life I never had for my kids” Sadly a lot of us feel this way, only to realize later in life that we were dead wrong. For the few that catch on early, good for you. Seriously. I used to beat myself up because we couldn’t afford a week long lavish Disney trip with all of the kids. I mean I felt like garbage over it. Then one day my middle taught me a very important lesson. She said, ” hey mom, remember that time we were blowing bubbles outside and looking for shapes in the clouds?” She was four at the time, now eight. How in the heck did she remember that? It was so menial, or was it. You don’t have to shower them with gifts or expensive trips, as long as you are present. Be broke, but be with them. Fort making, finger painting, exploring, dressing up for an impromptu photoshoot. Those are the things they hold in their hearts. Not to say there is anything wrong with going on a big trip if it’s within your means. My point is you don’t have to. They will remember if you were there or not. They will not remember why you were not there, even if it’s with the best intentions for their benefit. Work hard but play harder. Make memories. Just remember you don’t have to dip into your retirement fund to do so!
“If I parent perfectly, my kid won’t make bad decisions.” Let’s pretend there was a secret step by step handbook to parenting, allowing you to avoid all potential mishaps. Guess what? They have free will and you can’t run your house as a communist country. Literally you can be the most epic of super parents, make all the best calls, give all the best support. You can serve up a hot breakfast every morning, never miss an opportunity for family growth and bonding, you can even have your family deeply rooted in church and somehow a monkey wrench will find its way in the midst of your humble home. My job allows me the ability to meet people from all walks of life. I’ve seen questionable judgement parents and helicopter parents that both ended up with opinionated bad decision making teens. Roll with the punches, or throw them, whatever helps you get through. Just kidding don’t punch your kids.