Originally the epilogue was to be “Raising Children is No Easy Task.” But on further reflection, I think this is a great way to start. Prime example: as I type this, wishing desperately I was in my office alone so I could really focus, I am instead multitasking on typing, thinking, and helping my upcoming 1st grader with (pardon the 4 letter word), math! (Yes I am that obnoxious teacher-parent that makes their kid work on math skills and write in a journal over the summer…) I realize in comparison to all the other things parents do on a daily basis, this is small potatoes.
I only have one child– and I am in AWE of parents of multiple children! I mean really y’all! How do you do it? I can barely keep up with where I am and where I should be, let alone my 6 year old, and occasionally my 47 year old (aka hubby).
Multiple children is really the inspiration behind this, what has been dubbed, my memoir by 2 of my best buddies. Recently we took a beach trip– 3 adults, 5 children (ages 2-6). Yes, we are a bit insane– but we also had a GREAT time! When asked about the behavior of the children, my reply was, “They played hard, and fought harder!” #strongpersonalities
And the title you ask? Well, while attempting to strap my daughter into her booster seat in the middle row of an extremely hot van after dinner, my foot became entangled in the booster seat of my friend’s son. At first I didn’t know what it was– it was just highly irritating. I began to kick. Then I thrashed. I’m pretty sure I cussed some too. Finally I hear the mixture of laughter from my 2 friends who informed me that they were trying to detangle me from the seat. It took a few minutes for my overheated, very frustrated brain to register, so I kept kicking and cussing (and sweating profusely, I might add). Then I realized my friends were trying to help me, and I calmed down (somewhat). They were laughing hysterically, wheezing out, “You…..got….your….foot….stuck…. in….the…. carseat!”
Personally I find this the perfect metaphor for life as a parent. This one’s for you JML & AVM!
So yes, being a parent is hard. Let’s break it down, shall we?
Ch. 1: I Will Break Your Face
Let’s be honest and just go ahead and get this out in the open– as a parent, you often feel VIOLENT! Like Un-Sub on Criminal Minds violent. Sometimes this rage is directed at your spouse, or at those you feel have hurt your child in some way, and also at those that LOVE to tell you how to raise your child(ren) and that everything you are doing is ass-backwards WRONG! But there are also those times, which we all HATE to admit to, where we come close to, or actually do lose our shit on our own offspring! Those adorable hellions we spent 9 months crafting and so miraculously brought into this world. Yeah, those guys.
I would like to say that most of the time it is not their fault– that we are tired and cranky from dealing with the idiot people and all of their drama that we are surrounded with everyday. But let’s face facts, NO ONE can push your buttons harder than your own flesh and blood, particularly the miniature versions. Whether it’s the constant nagging sound of, “Mom! Mom! MOM!” or the selective listening skills that they clearly learned from their father– it’s enough to make any mother fall prey to her own temper tantrum.
I try to think back to my own mother, who I might add, had a very different personality from mine. She was usually calm and laid back, almost hippy-dippy/granola-eque. I am high strung and stupidly competitive, as is my daughter, and thus my downfall. I’m not overly reassured at the thought that I cannot really remember my mom losing her mind on me, but then I am reassured because maybe I just don’t remember which means there is hope that my daughter won’t remember my flip-outs. Right? Did that sentence make sense?
And plus, times are different now, aren’t they? More mothers work outside of the home than when I was growing up (though my mom always worked, so no difference there). But there are also so many other, new social issues that invade daily lives. Or maybe we just hear about them more now (Thanks social media!) so things just seem more stressful.
My advice: Put yourself in a time-out. Not your kid, although you can do that too I guess. I often tell my daughter that mommy is in a 10 minute time out and is to be ignored. I even set a timer. What you do during that 10 minutes to decompress is all you… I personally enjoy Pinterest. And champagne, but that’s not always an option. As the saying goes, “Keep Calm and…” (Here’s where Pinterest comes in handy!)
And my personal favorite:
Next up~ Chapter 2: For the Love of All that is Holy, Legos are the Devil