I’m blogging from the kitchen this morning while Griff lays on the couch, watching old G.I. Joe cartoons, because he is home sick from school. I guess it’s pretty amazing that he made it to October without catching something, right? And, after a quick call to my mother, I found out that little Jace is down and out with sniffles and red cheeks at her house too.
I was so excited this morning when I woke up, because it’s been about 10 days since I’ve been able to write. Jace was on his way to Nana’s house for the day, Griff was going to school, and I was going to head down to the studio, edit photos and write. I had to go to the bank later, go to the grocery store, stop by the pharmacy and then pick up something at Canadian Tire. I was going to head into the mall to upgrade my phone, mail some letters and then fill up the car with gas. But I guess someone had other plans for me today. I looked it up in the dictionary, and it’s called “PARENTING.” It’s a phenomenon that requires changing plans with little or no notice, working overtime for no money and wearing the same clothes for multiple days.
If you are my “Facebook friend,” you would have seen a video I posted recently of my boys. It’s a quick cell phone video I took around 6:45am one morning while trying to get my boys dressed and out the door in time for daycare and school. Griffin was dancing around and speaking in tongues while Jace was practicing to be an Olympic sprinter while ripping his own clothes off. Were you stressed out watching it? I’m not looking for a pat on the back or anything, this is what I signed up for. But what it does is make me realize how little credit we parents give ourselves for doing what we do every day. Sometimes just making it out of the house is an accomplishment.
Parenting is the hardest job. Period. Don’t even fight me on that one. It’s 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s barfing in the middle of the night, needles at the doctor’s office, scraped knees, attitude problems, bathroom accidents, chicken pox, fevers and ear infections. It’s clingy, crying babies and independent toddlers who pull the dog’s tail and grab chunks of fur out of the cat. It’s big kids who are afraid of the dark and teenagers who pretend they don’t need you anymore. It’s worrying about them even when you’re not with them. And you’re poor. Like dirt a** poor because they eat a week’s worth of groceries in two days and grow out of their new shoes in two months.
But it’s the best job too, isn’t it? When I tuck my babies into bed at night, I think back at what parents accomplish in any given day. Kissing a boo-boo better means you’re a doctor. Putting him in time-out means you’re a judge. Driving her to gymnastics means you’re a coach. Fixing a broken toy means you are a magician. Lifting your two-year old up over your head means you are a superhero. But we’re so hard on ourselves. All we see at the end of the day is the dirt on the floor, the grass that needs to be cut and a kitchen that looks like someone staged it for a messiest kitchen contest. We should really stop doing this.
So here’s what you should do. Tell your friends they’re doing a good job raising their kids. Call you Mom and thank her for looking after you, fixing you when you were broken, feeding you and putting up with your crap. And when your kids are being little buttheads, give them extra hugs and kisses because that’s the best defence against little buttheads. And if you see a tired-looking Mom in the grocery store with three young children in her cart, congratulate her on making it out of the house in one piece. That was the hardest part of her day. And maybe let her go in front of you in line too, because that would be a nice thing to do.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a SAHM making little or no money, or if you make a million dollars a year, we’re all on the same team here, you know? Making it through the day in one piece, with a roof over your head and food on the table is an accomplishment. You are rich (even if your bank account says otherwise) because you love your kids and they love you. Contrary to popular belief, love isn’t ALL you need, but it does cover a good part of it.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I go snuggle with my biggest baby on the couch and tackle that pile of laundry that’s been giving me the stink-eye for three days now. This is my job today.
PS. Thanks Mom 🙂