You go to a job interview, and they say, “You’ll be on call 24 hours a day, you’ll be expected to work overtime on the weekends, you’ll have full responsibility for every task and there’s rarely anyone to delegate to. Your boss can be unreasonable, selfish, beligerant. You’ll serve as director, secretary, bookkeeper, custodian, chauffeur, chef, and CEO. And, by the way, this is a volunteer position, you won’t be paid a cent.”
And, I know…. You would never change it for the world, and you love those lil’ buggers, and it’s the worst job you’ll ever love. And, that’s all bullshit. You know this job blows chunks.
I love my kids. Totally. Unequivocally. Madly. And, I’m at the stage of their development when I really LIKE them too. I have fun with them, we laugh a lot, and I legitimately enjoy their company. It’s really not them, it’s the responsibility.
The soul crushing, overwhelming, absolute responsibility. The worrying, and the second guessing, and the messiness of it.
As I sat on the toilet for a half an hour yesterday, holding my nine year old’s bloody nose, covered with rapidly drying red dots, as my six year old cleaned off the walls, I had a while to think about this (Yes Dad, I took him to the doctor. He’s fine) It’s an impossible task, with very little room for error. And, there’s a million ways to mess it up.
You have to keep them clean, and fed, and well rested. The have to be smart, and work hard, and be nice kids. They can’t cuss, or fart, or pick their nose in public. They need to get to school on time, and like healthy foods, and play well with others. You need to deal with the strange rash on their head, and where their glasses are, and whether they are “happy.” And, you have to look good doing it.
For the love of God, why didn’t anyone warn us!! Quite simply, because if we truly understood, would we have agreed to bring these monsters into the world. Or maybe I was warned and I chose to ignore them. Hubris. Pure hubris.
I’m sure of this. Everyone, every single last one of you, agrees with me. Whether you choose to admit it or not. Whether you smile through the muck, or cry through it, struggle every day, or knock it outta’ the park; it’s a shitty gig.
So, give the dad in the super market an understanding grin. Help that mom trying to drag the double stroller into the restaurant. Have patience with the parents struggling to feed their two toddlers in the crowded restaurant. We’ve all been there, and we’ll all be there again. Love your favorite parent today.