why is parenting so surprising?

dear world,

i read two different posts today about parenting. one written by a mother surprised at her pre-parent and post-parent behaviors and the other by a father of 3 boys under the age of 5 reminiscent of the momastery article that stood out to me last year.

these three articles all admit that parenting is hard and that it’s ok to be frustrated by it sometimes. in the article about behaviors, she writes that she never thought she would be the mother with one screaming kid under each arm heading out of the store. i’ve been there. why on earth do we think that our children will behave flawlessly at all times? as adults, we certainly do not behave flawlessly.

the father writes

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.

You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.

You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work.

You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed.

You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.

You’re not a terrible parent.

i remember when i went back from maternity leave after N was born and another mother asked me if i was looking forward to some quiet time. i have to say i honestly was. i dreamed that i would write while i was on leave and i barely took a shower. i never thought my back seat would be filled with random goldfish and sippy cups from who knows when. in fact, right now, my car is still full of all the stuff we took on our trip to PA. last saturday. toys, snacks, the magnadoodle- it’s all still there just waiting for me.

as i mentioned earlier this week, my big kid has forgotten how to listen. my baby hit the terrible twos about  a month ago and hasn’t looked back and she’s only 20 months. but, i do my best. M does his best. and in the end, i think our lovely ladies will turn out just fine.

still trying to do my best (even when i just want them to go to sleep already),

cm

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