Ok, it's time to get real, folks.
Do you have that friend or that family member that clearly lives the perfect life on Facebook and Instagram? I'm sure you do. The one with multiple kids. Their toddlers are always working on some kind of STEM project. Art is an every day thing. Bonding is easy, along with breastfeeding, bedtime, naptime, every time. Everyone is smiling and happy and #Blessed.
Yeah...you know that friend. Maybe you have more than 1.
I am here to tell you...your friend is a big fat lying liar!
Smoke and Mirrors! That's all it is!!! Because parenting is mother effing hard!!!
Imagine that, for the next 18 years, you would have to run a marathon every single day.
That would be easier than being a parent.
Imagine that you had to come up with a vaccine for Covid-19 in less than a year.
Easier than being a parent.
Imagine kicking off a space program and getting to the moon within 9 years.
HA! Try raising children!
Seriously, folks. Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I forgotten to feed my child for more than 24 hours?
- Has my child fallen into the Grand Canyon?
- Has my child opened fire on any human beings?
- Is my child named Chad?
- Is my child actively trying to undermine American Democracy?
- Has my child ever passed up the opportunity to eat bacon?
- Does my child think cheerleading is a sport?
- Does my child say "I could care less?"
- Does my child enjoy movies staring Ashton Kutcher?
- Have I ever left my child with a stranger for more than 4 hours?
If you have answered no to all of these questions, you are doing just fine.
Even if you have occasionally felt like putting your fist in a wall, that's ok! Kids will create those feeling in their parents. Maybe try to not actually put your fist through said wall...but, the feelings are understandable.
Even if you feel like you just want to hop on an airplane and fly to a secluded place in Alaska where you don't have to look at or hear a single member of your family! That's ok, too. Heck...it might even be a good idea. But, it doesn't make you a bad parent.
Even if your darling child wakes you at 4 in the morning and you just want to look into his beautiful eyes and say, "DAMMIT IT'S SATURDAY AND I HAVEN'T GOTTEN 8 HOURS OF SLEEP IN 4 YEARS AND WILL YOU JUST GO AWAY!!!" This is also completely normal.
Parenting is hard in a regular year. When playgrounds and movie theatres and zoos and parks and grandma's house are all open. Take those away, throw in a nice little dose of "pandemic" and it makes an already overly trying experience all the more impossible.
So, you know what. You're doing just fine. And, if you're not...if you're struggling, that's nothing to be ashamed of. Because we all are. Even Little Miss Perfect Life on Instagram. Know your limits. Know when to ask for help. Know when to step away and let your husband or wife take over for a bit. And if he/she is struggling, then it might be your turn to step up for a bit.
Or, if you can, phone a friend! Hand those little angels off for a bit. Make sure it's someone in your Covid bubble because, you know, pandemic and all. But, this is one area where Hillary was right. It takes a village. Lean on your village.
You got this! I got this! We all got this!!! And we're doing just fine!