The Real Problem with Parenting. Also with Marriage. Also with Being Ourselves.
Mar 25 2016
The real problem with parenting, I’ve discovered, is that we have to do it every day. And the real problem with parents is that we’re made out of human. Also, kids. They’re made out of human, too, which, let’s be honest, doesn’t always go well.
Same goes for marriage. Every damn day, folks! That’s how often we’re expected to play this gig. And married people? Made out of human, too.
Also? ME. The problem with being myself is I never get a break. Not ever. In my whole, entire life, I’ve never had a day away from me to rest and recover and get a snack. A snack. Come on, Universe; a snack doesn’t feel like too much to ask. A 30 minute break, maybe, for a giant bag of consequence-free Doritos or a barrel of chemically-laden chocolate Ho-Hos. Instead, it turns out I have to be me all the time — no loopholes, no time off — which hardly seems fair given how I treat me some of the time.
Honest to God, I feel like someone should’ve thought this whole thing through a little more thoroughly before implementing the plan. Like maybe we didn’t have our best strategic thinkers on this. Or the project engineers used my high school and college work ethic, procrastinated like hell, pulled a last minute all-nighter, and turned in a half-assed, ill-considered product hoping the professor wouldn’t notice. Hey, Project Engineers — WE NOTICED. I mean, you have some serious potential here with the whole “human component” of your plan — there is magic there, for sure, and there’s genius and mystery and surprise and discovery — but there are some kinks, folks. Some messiness and murkiness and muddling and muck. Which we can deal with — we can — and even turn the mess into magic, conjurers of hope and harbingers of healing that we are. It’s the every damn day part that messes us up.
For example, I am spectacularly annoyed with my 16 year old man-child right now. You know why? BECAUSE HE IS SPECTACULARLY ANNOYING and just told me to chill — “Chill, Mom. Just chill, ok?” — and his said it in his “Geez, Mom” voice and added a precious “Whatever” and a darling eye roll even though I only said, in the most endearing way, that he should seriously get up off his lazy butt, right the hell NOW, because I am tired of asking him to do the chores he was supposed to do yesterday, or else he is going to lose ALL the privileges in the WHOLE world for the REST of his life which is going to be VERY SHORT if I, his loving and increasingly homicidal mother, have anything to say about it.
And I honestly — honestly — feel like I would be very, extremely patient and kind if I did not have to parent him every day. Ev-er-y DAY. Like, I bet if I just had to parent him on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons, I would ROCK it, you know? Rock it to the MOON.
In conclusion, I am considering starting a Change.Org petition so we can have more regular breaks from a) parenting, b) marriage, c) ourselves and d) being made out of human. Also, we’ll include snacks. I think it’ll be a hit. Who’s in?