Sometimes Parenting Sucks

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It’s 7:30 on a Saturday morning and my 4 year old is wailing from the time out chair. It’s the 3rd time I’ve had to put him there this morning, and he’s only been up an hour. His indiscretions range from trying to body slam our small elderly dog, to throwing cars, and talking back. I’m frustrated, cranky, and in need of a coffee big enough I can put my whole freaking face in. I haven’t been the best parent or role model this morning either. I’ve lost my temper, raised my voice, and had to say no more times than I can count. Time out is up, and I’m finally able to have a civilized(ish) conversation about how we are both going to behave the rest of the day, when he says, “I’m sorry Mama, I love you, I’m going to do better.” My heart cracks a little. My husband walks out at this point in time, and I just say,

“Sometimes parenting sucks.”

Let me explain. I all out adore both of my kids. I’m not referring to the sleepless nights, or never eating a hot meal, or never going to the bathroom without someone barging in; these things are completely normal, and were even expected. No, I’m referring to actually having to parent. Having to discipline them, teach them, and say no, when the kid that’s still living deep down inside you really wants to let them be and say yes. But I don’t. 

“No baby, you can’t have ice cream and gummy bears for breakfast.”
“No, you can’t pee off the front porch.”
“No, we can’t go to Mickey’s house in 10 more sleeps.”
“No, we can’t go to gymnastics today.”
“No you can’t go naked to Target. Yes, I mean it, and yes you still have to wear clothes to school on Monday.”

It wears on me, all the “NO” all the time, even though in the long run it’s what’s best. So when my kid says, “Mama, can I go outside and jump in the puddles naked?” I weigh my options. Is it going to hurt anything? No. Is it warm enough out? Yes. Will it make him happy, oh yeah. And it’s at this point that a memory from my own childhood sneaks through. A memory of going down a waterslide fully clothed into my friends pond in the heat of summer. I didn’t have a change of clothes or a towel, but my Dad saw me looking at the slide, and the fun and said, “Go.” So I went. I remember asking my Dad on the way home, dripping water onto the leather seats of the car, why he let me go. He smiled and said, “Because my Dad never would have let me.” 

So, I say yes. Yes, you can get naked and run in the rain and jump in the puddles. My husband shakes his head at me as the kiddo strips off his clothes and runs outside jumping, and shrieking in happiness for the whole neighborhood to hear. And, as I stand there with my husband watching our little exhibitionist in the rain, I think:

Yeah, sometimes parenting sucks. But most of the time, it’s the very best job there is.

Check out more of our posts about the highs and lows of parenting here!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Beautiful. I love that your dad became a better parent than his in that one moment and because of that, you try also. My baby is your age! You may be exhausted but you got it girl! Keep at it! ❤️

  2. Nice blog Jade! I feel so guilty sometimes when I reflect on the week or weeks and realize just how many times I have had to tell the girls no. No, we can’t do this or that, no we can’t go here or there.

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