Parenting: Some days it just sucks

I’m just going to get straight to it: HJ broke our 50 inch television this week. *Cue ugly cry face (me, not her). It came out of nowhere. While her favorite show was playing, she just walked up to it and launched a wooden ball directly at the screen.

That’s it. No words. No screaming fit. She just threw it and the screen went black. I honestly think she just wanted to see what would happen.

So it would be an understatement to say that it was a frustrating day. Aside from the fact that you cannot repair plasma TV screens, that our homeowner’s insurance does not cover toddler exploration mishaps, or that the last major entertainment purchase that my husband and I made before kids was now dead, the toddler wars are wearing us out, mentally, physically, and now financially.

Whenever I talk about the stress of being a parent online or even in person, I get a lot of “These are the BEST years!”, “They grow up so fast, appreciate this time!”, and “Raising kids is amazing!” While I agree with these sentiments, I’m sorry, but I do not feel this way every day.

Am I allowed to say that?

While I love my children with every inch of my being, I do not love being a mom every day. There, I said it.

I am incredibly blessed to have these little people and most days I DO love being a mom, but sometimes I wish I got to have a time out. In fact, there are days when I wish there was a farm I could drop them off at just for a few hours while I go home and take a nap or even bathe alone. Is that awful?

As magical and adorable as these years are, they are HARD. Teaching tiny people how to be big people is a constant and demanding job with no pay and little praise. We, as parents, are responsible for creating new people who need to grow up to be functioning members of society and hopefully not psychopaths some day. It’s kind of one of the most important jobs, right? Future adults who don't suck? Yes, please.

We were at the grocery store yesterday and I saw a dad corralling his two little girls. He was using the same voice I had just used with HJ to get his toddler back into the little car at the front of the cart.

I said to him, “It looks like we're having the same kind of night.” To which he said, “Yeah. I’m a single dad and raising them alone. It’s tough. Especially when it comes to doing their hair.” I couldn't help but laugh and be thankful for his honesty. This guy was a rockstar.

But the best part of that conversation? That we could talk about and freely admit that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. I think parents need to be able to do that. They need to be able to reach out to each other and say, “Hey, this sucks today.” And they need to be able to do so without judgement or having someone say something to the effect of “Enjoy this sucktacular day! They're going to grow up and be even worse!”

Just no. Stop saying that, people. I promise we're not about to put up our children on Craigslist. We're just having an off day (like I’m sure you had a time or two whether or not you’ll admit it) and we just need a hug... or wine. Actually, wine is better.

Really though, we just need to be able to reach out when this incredibly important and demanding job just sucks. It doesn't make us bad parents. It makes us human.

And to that dad at the grocery store yesterday, your girls’ hair looked fantastic.

Tagged: parenting support, parenting

Comments

Megan Spreer 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Randy, best parenting advice to date. :)

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Randy Erickson 1 month, 3 weeks ago

wait. that's a terrible idea: lighting her favorite animal on fire. don't do that, as she might try to save it. just violently rip it open and pull out the stuffing in front of her. but remember: you're not angry. smile while you're doing it, so she feels loved.

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Randy Erickson 1 month, 3 weeks ago

you know what would teach HJ a lesson about throwing things at other things? get her favorite stuffed animal, take her out to the back yard with it. pour gasoline on it, light it on fire, and say "that's how mommy feels when you break her TV." It's important not to YELL this, because you don't want to appear angry. Just state it calmly, perhaps at her eye level, with her cherished stuffed animal aflame behind you. It's just a teachable moment.

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