Parenting….. win or fail?
In search of a new topic to blog about, I recently asked my neighbors daughter, who has been helping me with my little ones, if she could ask me a question dealing with parenting that she would want a real answer to, what would it be? She’s quite a smart girl, and more mature than most, and she knows that my sense of parenting is often riddled with sarcasm yet honesty.
Her question was a loaded one and I told her so. It was “Do you like it?” Meaning, of course, do you like parenting?
The fact I paused and laughed a little did make me feel like the terrible parent I can be at times. But then again, I am honest. Do I like it?
Yes. Most of the time.
Do I regret having my children.
No…… okay it’s not that I regret them. I love them and would do anything for them. But there are days, when I’m having yet another massive struggle with my ultra opinionated 4 year old or repeating the same sentence 5 times to my 10 year old that I often wonder what on earth I was thinking. So perhaps a better phrasing of this would be “Would I take them back?” No. Not for an instance. Though sometimes I do threaten them with selling them and just traveling the world with the money I get. But I’m only joking. Most of the time. 😉
There are days that I feel like I have gotten myself in too deep and have no idea if I (or they) are going to make until they are 18. Sometimes I wonder if I would be a better parent if I would have waited just a tad longer, in order to figure out who I really am. (of course to this day, sometimes I’m not sure who I am.)
There are aspects of parenting which are immensely rewarding. My four year old picking out flowers randomly for me. My ten year old not being too old to snuggle in bed with a book to read with me. Watching both of their minds process the world around them and start to develop their own thoughts on how the world works. For example, Zeus, Skylanders and religion are intertwined (as seen in this blog here.) Or the different stages of asking where a baby comes from (as seen in this blog here) While these discussions can sometimes be downright terrifying (since you are worried about what horrible image your child might be imagining or the therapy bills you are going to accumulate when you find you explained it completely wrong) they can also be vastly rewarding. You are watching them grow from a little life filled blob that can’t even hold up their own heads into young thinking machines capable of asking questions that you might have to google in order to find the answer to. For me, one was “why do the mountains appear blue from a distance when in fact they are brown?”
But then there are sides of parenting which are challenging. And not in the way that a good work out is challenging. They are the knock-down-drag-out-I-am-sure-my-neighbors-think-I’m-a-psycho kind of challenges. One that leave you wondering where on earth these children spawned from. Ones that leave you wondering where in the heck did they ever learn to behave that way. For example, overheard in my house the other day was, screamed screeched through the hallway like some hormone fueled rage of a teenager (I think girl just because you see it so often on media) “Why are you always ruining my whole life?”
Take pause for a moment. I don’t have any teenagers that live in my house. I don’t even have any girls who live in my house. And that phrase was not even said by my ten year old. It was my four year old whose life we were ruining. And it was because we had dared to pick up the pillow he wanted to put away. So we apparently ruined his whole life. I don’t mind admitting for a minute, as he dramatically slammed the door, that perhaps I had ruined my whole life when I thought it was a good idea to be a parent. But that thought lasted a millisecond.. okay second.. okay maybe a minute, before I laughed off the drama and just continued whatever mundane chore I was working on. Maybe one of these days, I’ll get a good recording of this and when he is a teenager and proclaiming that he thinks I am ruining his life and be able to say “hey, look, this is another time I ruined your life, and you survived it then, didn’t you?”
So, to answer the question. Do I like parenting? Yes, I do. All of the challenges and rewards are worth it. I just hope I can turn out good young men. That’s when I’ll know how good of a job I did while liking the fact I am a parent.