Man Parenting Is Hard
Man Parenting Is Hard
Series 1 of my daily parenting struggles
Man, parenting is hard! With a background in child and adolescent development, and spending 15 years working with young children, I thought I was ready. I was going to rock it as a parent. What is the reality of parenting?
THE REALITY …YOUR TIME IS NO LONGER YOURS
After work it would be nice to come home and just relax, maybe have a nice discussion about their day. When you first become a parent that is what you envision, at least for me. The reality, you come home and your child needs a bath. Get them in the shower, but not before a lengthy debate about why they should shower. “Thanks for not staying still and making me wipe all the water that you sprayed outside of the tub.”
Finally, after showering, eating dinner, and having a little play time, it’s time to brush their teeth, another lengthy activity. Young children get distracted. My son likes to turn the faucet on and off.
“Don’t waste water.”
“Stop touching that.”
“You just knocked my tooth brush onto the floor.”
Two minutes is all I am asking for him to stay still. I was lucky enough to marry the women of my dreams, even luckier that she is a hygienist. But with that I’ve regularly become quite familiar with the following five words, “Don’t forget to floss him!” Great there goes another 15 minutes.
THE REALITY…YOUR CHILD DOESN’T LIKE TO LISTEN
Pick up your toys, put your shoes on please, it’s time to shower, it’s time to brush your teeth, the list of things you tell your children will go on and on. My thought process is, if you do everything for them, they will always depend on you or others to do things them.
Take for example, when I want to go somewhere. I tell my son to pick up his toys and the plan is always to let him do it himself. This though, becomes a painstaking triathlon that I am participating in. My son, will start cleaning for a minute (no joke), then get distracted. If I leave him alone and come back, he is playing with other toys and doubled the mess. “You were suppose to clean up!” What should have taken five minutes has now taken over 30 to accomplish.
THE REALITY…PACKING LUNCH EVERYDAY FOR THEM SUCKS
My child’s school use to do hot lunches, but due to only a small number of families participating, they eliminated this and started offering, pizza Thursdays as a once-a-week hot lunch. Things were good. Even though it was only one day out of the week, it was like the little break I needed as a parent. Trust me when you become a parent, every little bit counts. When you have to pack lunch every day, you start to run out of ideas. I mean, they can’t have ham and cheese sandwiches every day can they? What makes it worse is when I spend all this time figuring out what to make, something with love, that’s healthy, and is packed full of flavor, and open up a lunchbox after school to find he barely made a dent it. Oh the dagger to my heart. Like me, you will begin to consider feeding them the same thing, but then you will feel bad. That parental guilt. You will also search the Internet endlessly for ideas and spend countless hours making lunch. I’m considering creating a blog for lunch ideas for kids, to share all the recipes I’ve found.
The REALITY…YOU WILL DO A TON OF LAUNDRY
Sometimes, I catch myself wearing the same things day in and day out because its just easier, especially now with two kids. I thought this would lessen the laundry load for my wife. We used to do laundry once a week. After folding the clothes on one day, there seems to always be another load to fold the next day. We are folding a new batch of laundry daily. It’s like a revolving door of unfolded clothes. The sad part is that when we’ve actually gotten to folding it, it just sits there in the basket. Should we just stop folding?
THE REALITY…WAKING UP AT 2AM TO CHANGE SHEETS THAT WERE PEED ON
My current challenge with my 4 year-old is that he is potty trained, but not when he sleeps at night. When I get that 2 A.M. wake up call, “Daddy, I peed in my pants,” my day starts then. I get him into the bathroom, rinse him, change him, change his sheets and put him back to bed. Luckily he just goes back to sleep, but me? Not until, I wash his sheets and the clothes he peed on. You can imagine, going back to sleep is not the easiest thing to do at 3:00 in the morning.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a father and I’m grateful to have two beautiful children, but I’m not perfect and man the struggle is real. What are your daily struggles as parents? Write a comment below if you’d like to share some of your experiences. Stay tuned for part 2 of my daily parenting struggles.