6 Things ALL Parents Have In CommonI love being a mother. It's the greatest blessing of my life. My son teaches me about life, love and forgiveness, daily.
There are certainly some parenting moments that suck. I always talk about how the parenting books leave out so much of the ugly side of parenting. After four years of being a month, I've decided the parenting books leave out the ugly because then the book goes from tips for parents to tips for birth
The fact remains, there are solid things all parents go through, that are constantly left out of parenting books. Below I outline a few of the big ones. Things that all parents have in common, regardless of how "perfect" your child may be.
1. Sleeplessness- By far the worst part about being a parent is the constant lack of sleep. Once you become a parent, eight solid hours of uninterrupted sleep carries the same odds as winning the Lottery. Newborns need round the clock care. Toddlers think they are roosters that need to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn. Or worse, sleep in bed with you, kicking and punching all night long. Kids five and older think early bedtime is for losers, then still wake up at 7am ready to rock. Teenagers are sure bedtime is for losers and stay up all night banging and clanging and then try to sleep all day. Then once your kid gets their driver's license, forget ever sleeping again! Sucks. Bottom line, if it' not your child keeping you up, it's your parent-anxiety.
2. The mess. Kids are tiny tornadoes that rip through the house on a daily basis throwing everything out of order. All while dropping a trail of crumbs and juice along the way. Each night, I go around picking up and replacing the things that traveled to strange destinations around the house. I once gathered an entire load of laundry walking around the house picking up stray garments. Then, there's the car. More crumbs, stickers on the windows, sticky fingerprints on everything. The mess is a constant battle. you eventually learn to live with the mess. Even the type-A OCD crazies like me!
|One day I will learn...|
3. Constant fear- I live in a constant state of Mom-anxiety. Every time my child coughs, gets a fever, tries something new, climbs on something, leaves for school, breathes... I'm terrified. It's total stupidity to worry so much, but such is the life of a parent. According to my mom, this anxiety never subsides. Sucks.
4. Having to be the bigger Asshole- Sometimes, when my kid is a super A-hole, I have to out Asshole him to get his attention and make him stop. Some days I feel like all I do is say, No!, make threats then follow through with the threats. I once spent an hour trying to keep my son in timeout. Once the situation diffuses, it's only a matter of time until the cycle repeats, and I'm back to being the bigger asshole.
5. Buying All the crap they want/need! Kids need a lot of crap! It seems like the older they get the more they need! Between my son's constantly growing body and short attention span, if I am not buying new clothes and shoes, I am buying new toys or education development tools. Then the outgrown or unwanted stuff piles up because I cannot bring myself to give it away--I spent a ridiculous amount of money acquiring the stuff. I want to somehow figure out how to get my money's worth. If only I could send my kid to college on his 10k in hot wheels, Thomas The Tank crap or all the assorted electronic devices that promised to make him a genius.
6. Sugar is the enemy. I love giving my son candy, it makes him so happy. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, he loves those too. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way that even though I love to see him happy and he loves to barrel through sugar, in the end, we both end up crazed lunatics that need a nap. Some kids eat too much sugar and throw up, but not my kid. Oh, No. He goes ape-shit crazy. It took me a while, but I finally realized that when my son eats chocolate, he's near unmanageable. When he eats refined sugar, he's wild and can't sit still. Natural occurring sugars can even cause trouble. After eating a bowl of grapes he runs wild, then, like with all other sugars, he crashes. Hard. Then either gets miserable or really miserable.
Sugar causes havoc like nothing else. I know my son is not the only one. I wager to say every kid is a Gremlin after sugar, but I really don't want to field the comments from the self-righteous parent who's perfect kid could eat a bag of sugar and sit through church.
Bottom line, if your kid sounds familiar, back off the ho-hos and see if that helps.
Parents, above all, the one thing we have in common is how hard and scary parenting can be. We have good days, bad days, miserable days and absolutely mind-blowing heart pounding proud-parent days. Meltdowns happen on both sides. Don't be hard on yourself, or listen to the nasty judgmental people. I can guarantee you, even the most seemingly perfect parents with well-behaved children are still stressed, exhausted, and quite possibly, their child is being so perfect because she just got out of a four-hour stint in Time Out!