Friday, January 6, 2012

The Honest Parent

I appreciate an honest parent. By "honest parent" I mean one who not only admits that they like "Yo Gabba Gabba" more than their kids do but who also is not afraid to admit that they struggle with some aspects of having kids. Some parents struggle more than others for various reasons, but I think it's safe to say that we ALL have challenging times, and we all have been driven to the edge of sanity by our kids, even if only for a moment. Or, in my case, on a regular basis. 

Either way, I can completely respect the fact that some people don't feel the need to share those moments, but what I can't stand is the parent who tries to make it sound like they love every little thing about being a parent, and their kids never drive them nuts, and gosh, isn't this just the best thing to ever happen to anyone? You know the type: "Little Mary just puked ALL OVER my car, and even managed to get some chunks in my face and mouth, which subsequently caused me to crash the car into a mini van, killing an entire family, and wow, this is amazing!" "Sweet Freddie just put a baseball through the neighbor's seven-thousand dollar picture window, what an ARM, and the baby hasn't slept longer than an hour at a time for two weeks, and man, I just LOVE this parenting thing! My kids are GREAT!" 

Those people freak me out, because I know they are lying. How do I know? Because I HAVE KIDS. While there are some totally awesome, heartwarming kid-raising times, there is the flip side, and nobody is fooling anybody when they try to make it sound like they don't experience the bad stuff. They're lying to themselves, and the rest of us, or they're even crazier than me. I seriously want to throw up in my mouth when I hear someone say that they love every second of being a parent.

I mean, let's get real. I have had perfect strangers (usually new parents) randomly tell me that they understand why people have killed their kids. This is always followed with the disclaimer that of course, they would never do it, but they understand the feeling of being driven to the brink of losing their self-control, whether from severe sleep deprivation, extreme stress, or a demon-child's devil antics, sometimes all at once. Even I admit that that's a pretty harsh thing to say, but if we're perfectly honest with ourselves, I think most of us recognize that we've been driven to the edge of the dark side. We're just lucky enough to have the filter that stops us, even if our hand does twitch slightly. 

Even worse is the parent who not only refuses to admit to the occasional struggle, but then judges others for having a hard time. This serves to make the judged parent feel even worse and like they are the only one when in fact, they are not. Not by a long shot. 

I prefer to be around the kind of parent who is okay with saying that they felt like dropping their kid off at the local adoption agency after a particularly rough week or day. Of course, they wouldn't actually do it, but I appreciate and respect the fact that they are willing to be honest (and make a joke) about the bad stuff. I have a clear memory (one of the few remaining after three pregnancies and kids) of my bestie's wedding dinner six years ago. Another friend just had her first baby and told us about, after a particularly hard day, telling her husband that if he didn't come get the baby from her, she was going to throw the baby out of the window. I didn't even have kids yet (I actually was newly pregnant and didn't yet know - or plan on - that, and was drinking... oopsie) but even I knew that was the true side of parenting and I appreciated and respected her honesty 100%. 

Let's be real. Let's be honest. I get that some people may not want to share their difficult times, but if someone expresses frustration or difficulty with their child, a simple, "I understand" is all that's required. And it can make a huge difference to the struggling parent. Please don't look at them like they're some kind of freak, especially if you secretly know exactly what they're saying.

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  1. You're awesome, and yes, I UNDERSTAND!!! I am an honest parent and yes, I want to pull my hair out about five times a day! You're not alone, trust me!!! Keep rockin' the blog, I read it every time you post it! I LOVE it!!!

    Heather T. :)

  2. And that's why you rock, Heather! Love your honesty, and you!

  3. Spykid, read this out loud to my 16 year old. Loved it. You need to write a book. You have the insight and writing skills to pull it off. Thank you for keeping everything in perspective. Very funny and REAL>>>> Lety

  4. Lety! Such light reading for a teenager! ;-)
    Thank you for your continued support. I appreciate it more than you know, truly. Keep commenting because I really appreciate the feedback!
    My future plans include some kind of book... it's actually where I started and then I decided to try out this route first, to help gain exposure and get insights into my writing. So thank you for saying that because it helps boost confidence!


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