Does anybody else think that parenting with excellence and purpose would be a lot easier if it was more of a 9 to 5 thing and not a 24/7 thing? There’s really nothing that hard about taking care of kid…except for the fact you have to do it all the time and take the kid into consideration when doing pretty much everything.
When I was a full time nanny, being calm cool and collected all the time was pretty easy. Then I went home and did whatever I wanted and slept like a baby.
I also think it’s hard because you CARE SO MUCH. It’s personal. Did I care about my nanny kids? Totally! But when they fussed, it didn’t hurt my heart as much. When they were upset because I didn’t do something they wanted, it didn’t make me question myself as much. I didn’t take it personally. I just tried to do the right thing and be loving.
I still try to do that now but the stakes are much higher and the game is more intense and I am 100% invested in the outcome.
Has anyone else had to stop watching dark violent shows when they had kids (think Law and Order SVU and Dangerous Women)?
When I had my daughter, everything seems fresh and new and the sun was brighter and grass was greener and every good thing in life was awesome. I was so excited to share holidays, cooking, and all sorts of experiences with my kiddo.
But then the flip side crept in. All of the sudden the kid of TV being hurt was not a concept. The starving baby in their mother’s arms in Time or National Geographic was not sad but devastating to see. Ok, time to stop evil world, this is too close to home. That could me MY kid! I would literally go crazy if I couldn’t take care of my kids.
I once was watching a series documenting WWI and they had video of starving babies in England and I had to turn it off. I was reading an article in Time about the gender based violence in Africa and I couldn’t finish the article because I felt numb and was literally about to puke! Part of me is like “well, what do you expect, the world isn’t just lunch dates and care bears! Don’t be so surprised” and other side of me is glad parents are given a new innocent (at least when they are sleeping) babies to so strongly contrast the evil in this world. It has given me a new motivation. When my children have to learn about child molesters and the Holocaust, and least I can say I am doing something to try to change it.
Yes, sweating profusely is the hidden gift of parenthood! I am not even talking about during or right after pregnancy when you are crazy hormonal. I am talking about the agitated feeling you get when you hear your kids cry and the workout you get when you do the daily song and dance to maintain sanity.
This came to mind when I noticed a theme when moms tell stories about the crazy stressful things their kids do (think high decibel screaming fit complete with kicking by your toddler while trying to juggle a fussy baby while grocery shopping while 10 people are looking at you with judgy eyes). The stories always end with “AND I WAS JUST SWEATING LIKE A PIG!”
Because of my perpetually elevated stress and activity level, even if it’s cold, I almost never have to wear a coat. What a gift!
This is a short list of what scares me about being a parent (beyond the possibility that my kids get hurt or seriously hurt someone else).
- That they learn how to take off their diapers and begin smearing poop on the wall (I have heard some nasty stories y’all!)
- That my kids laugh whenever they hit me and I say “ouch!” really loudly. A small part of me things there is something very wrong with them. Yes, I do try to avoid giving them a reaction but sometimes you can’t control these things
- That my baby crawls over dog poop…or really that I ever have to come into contact with dog poop.
- That a spider crawls all over my kids and bites them in the night! That’s just nasty!
- That my kids will swim in water or plays in some dirt and will contract some parasite that eats their brain (I have hear some scary stories y’all!)
- That my kids reject all my values and grow up to hate me. On this point I feel like I have pretty realistic expectations.
I have a feeling I will add to this list in the future.
We lost our third pregnancy. I was only 6 or so weeks pregnant and we had only found out we were expecting a week or so prior, but the minute you see a positive pregnancy test, you fall in love. The only problem is that a mother never falls out of love. I was honestly surprised how deeply sad it was even though my brain was reminding me that a miscarriage this early is normal and kind of expected. But it was sad and it’s one of those things in life that just sucks. There’s not much to say about it except it is sad and there is nothing you can do about it but treasure the memory.