What It Really Takes To Be A Parent

There was a time not too long ago when I couldn’t spend more than four hours alone with my children without losing my mind. This was my truth- not something I invented but something I observed over time. Over and over again I would notice that moment when the chaos and confusion of two boys became too much and it was four hours on the dot. I would then proceed to white knuckle it until the troops arrived, my husband at the time (now my ex but still doing a great job as co-parent), a babysitter or school, hell at that point if a fire breathing dragon had shown up to take care of my kids, I would have had my car keys and been out the door in seconds.

The situation has changed. I have been with my kids since Sunday morning (of course they had school today but didn’t stay late) and it is approaching 7 p.m on Monday and I am not clicking my (red sparkly Ugg boot) heels together wishing to be elsewhere. In that time I have done two loads of laundry, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher three times, washed pots and pans and a juicer and wiped the counters, made the beds, cooked six meals etc. I have provided advice on how to deal with bullying, tickled a back until its owner went to sleep, broken up a fistfight and been punched in the process and thats not even counting the dogs… On and on and I’m not suggesting that I’m a hero, I’m suggesting that we all are- all of us parents who are responsible for mess-making humans we may or may not have been prepared to give birth to.

This is a snippet of what all mothers do daily and yet it is still a Sisyphean task worthy of acknowledgement. Every time you cook them a meal, get them a drink, or read them a story you are simply being a mom, and not even a particularly good one. Just a random, run of the mill mother, doing what’s expected of you for the occasional chubby-faced kiss or hug of appreciation.

Which is why I say to people “Don’t have kids” and I am only half kidding. Doesn’t matter they won’t listen to me anyway-people have their own star-struck version of parenting and will not be put off by the likes of me. But the housework alone will turn you into a drone, if the endless whining, crying and fights don’t do it. And yet look at all the time I’ve had to write this blog, as I hear their voices chatting over video games in the next room? Isn’t that in itself a kind of miracle? And soon they will pile in here, and sprawl on my bed and we will watch “Robin Hood” together and they will ask me questions about what was done with a green screen and if those people are really kissing, and just for a moment I will forget everything except for their little trusting faces and how much I adore them and decide that parenting may be 51% worth it after all.

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