“Trusting the Process: 10 Famous Quotes Interpreted by a Parent’s Brain” originally appeared on The Next Family and was reprinted with permission.
As a parent, sometimes I feel stuck. I get lost in the everyday routine. I feel overwhelmed with the expectations I place on myself to be a perfect partner and mother. As a writer, sometimes I feel stuck too. Some call it writer’s block; I call it trusting the process. I have been writing long enough to know that something rattling around in my brain will eventually turn into an idea I can turn into thoughts and a few intelligent sentences. I let go of the need for perfection. I don’t force the process; instead I make myself feel productive by taking a shower. I also spend a lot of time on the Internet.
Trusting the process also applies to feeling overwhelmed by parenthood. My process for letting go of some of the stress is to make fun of myself or my kids. This journey is just too long and bumpy to lose our sense of humor. My process also includes taking a break. I spend so much time being a parent that sometimes it’s hard to be a parent. It’s also hard to then sit down and write about being a parent.
When the feelings of being a stuck parent collide with writer’s block, time wasted on the Internet becomes my perspective on famous quotes from historical figures and movie stars.
Using 10 unforgettable or inspirational lines, here is how this version of trusting the process turned out.
1. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Reinterpreted for parents: Toddlers move pretty fast — their moods are even quicker. If you don’t stop and look around, you’ll be better off. Your house is probably a wreck and your kids are likely rubbing their naked bottoms on the couch. And if you are in the middle of a conversation or thought, make a note of that shit because thoughts are fleeting. You will miss your memory.
2. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” — Lao Tzu
Reinterpreted for parents: Give a kid a fish stick and he will likely throw it on the floor. Teach a kid how to make their own dinner and they will eat Goldfish crackers and peanut butter and jelly for 40 days straight.
3. “You had me at ‘hello’.” — Dorothy Boyd, Jerry Maguire
Reinterpreted for parents: You had me from the moment I heard your heartbeat, saw your puffy checks, and held your mucus-covered body. You had me wrapped around your little finger the moment it became unwebbed from the rest of your in utero fingers.
4. “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” — Abraham Lincoln
Reinterpreted for parents: Please get dressed; your waffles are getting cold. If you don’t get dressed now, you will not have time to watch a show. PUT ON YOUR CLOTHES! Fine, wear your tiara and underwear to school. It’s cold out there.
5. “I’ll be back.” — The Terminator, The Terminator
Reinterpreted for parents: Seriously, I’ll be right back. I’m just going to the bathroom. Don’t follow me. I’ll be back to check on you in a few minutes. Go to sleep. I’ll be back later. Mama and I are going on a date. Grab the passport.
6. “I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore!” — Howard Beale, The Network
Reinterpreted for parents: I’ve had enough! Pick up your toys or I am throwing them all in the trash. Don’t test me.
7. “Life is like photography. You need the negatives to develop.” — Unknown
Reinterpreted for parents: Life is captured on my phone in 2,806 unprinted photos. If it weren’t for the negative images of kids crying, bloated Goldfish found in the minivan, or selfies of exasperation, life would not develop realistically.
8. “A martini. Shaken, not stirred.” — James Bond, Goldfinger
Reinterpreted for parents: I’ll have whatever has alcohol in it, preferably cold, but not necessary.
9. “Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.” — Larry Winget
Reinterpreted for parents: Okay, Larry. I had a plan. I wanted a wife, house, kids, and successful writing career. I have all of those things. I’m also broke, doughy, and dumb from sleep deprivation. I was not too lazy to earn all of these stripes, so keep an open mind when it comes to making plans.
10. “I don’t regret the things I’ve done, I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.” — Unknown
Reinterpreted for parents: Ugh. I should have been more patient today. I should have hugged them more. I should have read them one more story. Everyone tells me they grow up so fast. Time moves too quickly. Cherish every moment. God, I love my kids. I hope they never want to leave home.
And here’s a bonus one in honor of Larry Winget. Because few things go exactly as planned.
“There’s no crying in baseball!” — Jimmy Dugan, A League of Their Own
Reinterpreted for parents: Why is someone always crying?
Trust the process, parents.
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