After years of thinking really, really hard about it and years of really, really living it and years of really, really wondering about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve finally figured out the secret to this whole parenting thing.
You ready for it? Here it goes. [deep breath]
Parenting is super weird.
Hopefully you are nodding your head in agreement as some small child uses you as his or her own personal jungle gym. But just in case you need some convincing, allow me to present the following examples as proof:
It’s weird to hope and pray and wish for bedtime all day long, but then miss your little darlings the second they fall asleep.
It’s weird to think you have everything figured out, only to realize that your kids just pole-vaulted into the next stage of parenting and you’re screwed all over again.
It’s weird how your kids are both a part of you and so not at all like you.
It’s weird how in some ways, it feels like your parenting decisions are up for public discussion.
It’s weird how you can feel trapped but at the same time, know the roots that ground you are what’s most important anyways.
It’s weird to love and loathe something so completely at the same time.
It’s weird to go to sleep at night (for the 10 minutes the baby pretends to sleep, anyways) and think about having your kids all safe and sound and warm and snug under the same roof and feel this weird feeling, like your heart is going to explode but also break in half at the same time.
It’s weird that we go into the biggest job of our lives thinking we know so much when really our 10-years-later-parenting selves will just be like, “lolololololol.”
It’s weird that if we try to describe what we actually do in a day in detail, like wiping butts and sprinting through the grocery store before someone has a meltdown, it kind of sounds like torture, but yet when you put all the pieces together, it’s actually pretty perfect.
It’s weird when you pass another mom in the store and maybe she has one kid or maybe she has eight and realize that you never really know her story.
It’s weird how we act like all moms at all times have all the control over their family size.
It’s weird how we, for those of us with young kids, have barely known our children for that long (six months? who are you, stranger?!), but yet they will always have lived their entire lives up to now with us.
It’s weird how parenting is done differently in every part of the world, and yet we still cling stubbornly to our insistence that what we know is best, that there is always a sure path to success as a parent.
It’s weird that we think we can even define success as a parent, isn’t it? I mean, what constitutes succeeding in this gig? A happy child? An adult with a job? A human being with the capacity to love? Some days, I just feel proud to remember to change my baby out of her pajamas before it’s bedtime again and that’s not even a little bit of an exaggeration.
In summary, nothing is as weird as being a parent. Except maybe the weird contents of your baby’s diaper the other week, the one you’re still trying to figure out exactly what happened and what your baby ate, but luckily, that’s only a rare occurrence.
Like I said, weird.More On