You know what really hacks me off?
Well-intentioned people who write meaningful articles/posts about parenting that are supposed to inspire you, but really just make you feel like you still aren’t doing it right. Like, you just need to TRY HARDER. So maybe, just maybe, if I do EXACTLY what the parent in this post did, I MIGHT be able to NOT SUCK. It will be, like, SUPER easy to be the best parent on the planet, if I just follow these FIVE SIMPLE STEPS. WINNING!
SCREW THAT. I am trying my ASS off with this parenting thing, and sometimes, it feels like a big fat pile of steaming failure. AND THEN! Then someone posts or reposts something about how you shouldn’t check your email when your kid is on the swing set because you are teaching them they are unimportant, or maybe you shouldn’t tell your kid to hurry, because you are RUINING their little lives with the request for some hustle. Or maybe you just read a post about how you need to nurture your children and not force them to grow up so quickly, but then there is that OTHER post that condemns the way you help your kids climb the monkey bars, because, COME ON! Kids are CAPABLE and if you help them you are actually STIFLING THEIR GROWTH AND (again) RUINING THEIR LIVES.
I just got home. Where was I? Let’s call it HELL. Because, when it is more than an hour past your youngest child’s nap time, and both kids are hyped up on sugar and you are in a busy mall because you thought taking them to a movie would be a fun outing, it could be the closest thing to Hell that is on this Earth. So lets say you are trying to get both to the car without a) losing one, b) losing your mind, c) accidentally stealing something from the Disney store that is located STRATEGICALLY next to the elevator by the food court by the HOLY GOD THE CAROUSEL, WE MUST RIDE THE CAROUSEL, yet Beckett, he is melting, he is MELTING INTO A GIANT TODDLER-SIZED PUDDLE of GET ME THE FUCK TO SLEEP. But a preschooler doesn’t give a wit that her brother is now burrowing into the tile floor of the food court and that I can’t chase her down because he is officially limp noodle on the floor, incapable of standing on his FEEEEEEET, because he is TIIIIIIIIREEEEEEEDDDDDDD.
You know what? I get that there is probably a great and delicate way to handle this situation. Someone, somewhere has probably even written a post about how to gracefully wrangle your hellion children at a mall. But you know what? I DIDN’T handle it gracefully. I handled it with some harsh words, some threats, some tears, some pleading, some forcefully dumping into a stroller, some hissed words under my breath and maybe a stare that would have frozen my husband in his tracks. THAT is how I handled it. And all those bloggers and writers with all those good intentions and ideas and ways to be a GOOD PARENT can bite me.
Because parenting is HARD. It isn’t always graceful, and it isn’t always well done. Sometimes, it is done very, very poorly. But I am TRYING.
As parents, I think we should all stick together. And continue to just TRY.
It is the best we can do. And whatever anyone says, or however inferior they make you feel, trust me. Our best… it IS enough.