As a blog writer, I am well aware that the list and parenting topic phenomena of writing is no accident.
1. We as parents need to feel validated.
2. We have no time for anything so we prefer our information in list form
3.… look at you, all engaged and shit.
It’s the list right?
Spoiler alert, this isn't a list.
But the truth is, too many of us are finding inspiration in parental validation lists and not taking enough time to sit back and realize that we are all failing in our own miraculous ways. You don’t need a comment section and a blogger to tell you that your decisions are okay. They have no idea the chaos of the moment. No one trained me how to be a Mom, therefore none of what I do is a test, it’s all a lesson. We’re all just winging it.
The only list I want to see is a point by point document of the times your kids smiled and you laughed today. The only tabs I want to see parents do is who won the consistency argument, who kept their cool, and who laughed. These are the win-win lists and tallies I want to see parenting be about.
I had no idea how funny I was until I made miniature versions of myself and had to withhold laughter in their serious situations.
From explaining the birds and the bees to my son, realizing I must have failed horribly when his follow up question to my explanation was “So if you and I kiss, will we have a baby?”
“Can we talk about this when you finish your kindergarten day? I need to regroup”,
to my youngest saying to me out of frustration “You’re not a princess, you’re a dragon.” and then apologizing later by saying “You know what Mommy? You are a Princess, you're a big fat princess” and giving me a huge smooch.
This isn’t just me! I spoke to a friend and client of mine the other day who explained her 2-year-old said to her “You are so beautiful” looked at her husband and said, “You’re a diaper.”
It just feels like this is all gold and I need to share.
But the truth is, parenting is torture, I mean hard, and being a sloth hybrid, getting up at 5 a.m and being full-tilt ready to party has never been my strong suit. The other day I ran out of coffee and after realizing the beans I just purchased weren't ground, contemplated masticating them in my mouth and sucking the juices. Most days I’m just a girl, staring at a Starbucks bag, begging it to be coffee.
The other thing I’ve never been fond of or accepted well is criticism. I could not fathom or comprehend the amount of blatant judgment and criticism that would come with being a Mother.
“It’s so sad when parent’s put their kid on a leash” I heard one woman say about me as I, alone, guided my two toddlers through the second largest mall in the world during Christmas, after standing in line for two hours to see the big guy himself. My efforts to be a good role model are often tainted by these temptations to release my frustration on the world.
“It’s not a leash, it’s a safety harness”
I begin with the intent to inform and educate.
“It’s so he can’t run off”
Look at me, doing so well. Educating and maintaining diplomacy.
“Maybe you need one for your mouth”
Fail. Hard fail. Mission abort. Role model of the month award denied.
I'm hitting some real Mom bingos today though. I held my small professional camera store retail bag up for my son to throw up in, with an accuracy I’d say of at least 40% all while thinking
"Oh, I hope I took the new lens caps out of those boxes, better kick my camera bag out of the way” and later rewarding myself extra points because it only just barely missed my 10 thousand dollars worth of gear.
I then played an awesome quest of "what's that smell?"
it was bottle depot if you're wondering;
unwashed juice jugs,
bottom of the recycle bin.
Followed by a super fun game of memory!
"I know we have two but I opened the blue one Christmas morning remember??"
Dude... I don't remember what pants I'm wearing... right now.
My boys are 18 months apart and I often describe my life as hosting a sleepover with best friends that low-key despise each other, every day.
I literally watched my 3-year-old wind up his cough so that it would be guaranteed to land in his brothers face so he would get sick too. We are talking preschooler germ warfare guys.
And while sometimes I may think it is all too much to handle, the other times are absolute magic. Like when they actually let each other share the same oxygen in a room, sit together and watch a show. Or when one gets dropped off and before we can turn the corner I know the other one will say “ I wonder what my brother is doing right now?” Right down to when one gets in trouble and while he is being lectured, the other one will body dive in front and say “Don’t talk to my brother like that!” In fact, just this morning, Facebook reminded me of a time my youngest was scared and his brother invited him to snuggle, giving me the thumbs up when I went to check on them.
So maybe we don’t need lists to justify to the general population why we parent.
Maybe if we could just all understand that every single one of us is just a big fat Princess just trying their hardest not to turn into a dragon, we’d give ourselves some slack. Instead of needing some lists and a comment section.
Now if you’ll excuse me, my oldest just asked me which character holds the green light saber and somehow we are now having a conversation about how Luke’s Dad never paid child support.