Parenting is Not Always Awesome

I post a lot of funny stories, quotes and random slices of life with my kids on Twitter. From all that hilarity you might get the idea that being a parent is a cakewalk. You might think that being a work-at-home dad is full of laughs, play-doh and productivity. If you get that impression, you’re not reading close enough.

For all the funny things my kids do, there are just as many days when I want to throw my hands up in the air and take my union-sanctioned break. But I don’t get one of those. I’m not a work-at-home dad because I love kids so much. I work at home because it’s practical. We’re a family that needs two incomes and we’re a family that can’t afford daycare (sure, we could probably do some financial acrobatics and make things work one way or the other, but we don’t). To be honest, I don’t always have the patience for this job.

I like things organized, orderly and quiet. That doesn’t work with kids. So I learn to pick my battles. The daily chore of convincing my daughter to wear pants was just too much, so I settled for the rule that if she was going to go outside then she had to wear pants, but if she wanted to run around the house half-naked, I wasn’t going to fight it. These are the kinds of ridiculous compromises I find myself making. I’ll trade a little self-respect for sanity any day.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my kids. But they can still drive me crazy.

I think sometimes we act like parenting has to be this deeply rewarding experience and to ever complain about it makes you less of a person. But sometimes your kid throws up on your or they won’t stop screaming or you’ve taught them how to talk but not how to be quiet—and it’s all a bit much. It’s not your kids’ fault, they’re just being kids. But as parents I think we need a little slack to say this is hard.

2 thoughts on “Parenting is Not Always Awesome”

  1. Hear hear.

    I often feel a sort of invisibly-imposed silencing effect on the negative side of parenting. Even from myself. I’ll occasionally think, “Don’t tell them that or they won’t have kids!” Or “You’ll sound ungrateful or unloving if you say that.” Or “When he’s old enough to read that and he sees it, he’ll misunderstand and he’ll feel bad.”

    It’s a hard line to walk. Usually, when I speak up a little on the subject, I end up regretting it.

  2. Kevin

    Don’t sweat the small stuff. It sounds like you’re…normal…sshhhhh don’t tell the overachievers.
    Parenting is all about picking battles. After reading your blog for awhile it is obvious your children will be intelligent, and that is the greatest joy and frustration as they figure out how to do things you never would have thought of. My girls amaze me every day and sometimes the more frustrating what they do is the more amazed and impressed I am with how their little brains are developing.

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