Parenting can be a tug of war with yourself. Every decision is a push here and pull there: what’s best now versus what’s best long term; what’s right versus what’s feasible; what kind of parents we are in our fantasies versus how we can realistically maintain our sanity. Unless you embrace the irony, every parenting decision is potentially crazy-making. So give yourself a break if you find yourself:
– Yelling at the top of your lungs at everyone to, well, stop yelling, or hysterically telling a tantruming three-year old to “calm down.” [Note to Word spell check: if you don’t believe that tantrum can be used as a verb, please come over to my house and try to serve my three-year-old a bread product with seeds on it.]
– Nodding along while your friend goes on about organic, whole grain, hand harvested, kind-to-the-earth, socially responsible cereal as if you agree, and hoping your kids don’t give you up by describing the cocoa, puffy, chocolate, nitrate-filled, third world-hating cereal they had for breakfast.
– Telling your kids in no uncertain terms that everyone will sleep in their own beds tonight, while secretly hoping someone wakes up from a bad dream needing a cuddle.
– Telling others how well your kids get along when one is attempting to tear the other’s ear off.
– Telling your kids they need to focus, when you can’t remember the last time you thought about one thing for more than thirty… hey, I totally see Woody Allen over there!
– Wanting to foster creativity while not wanting to clean Play-Doh out of the carpet.
– Wanting to take your kids to swim lessons but having absolutely no interest in getting into a bathing suit yourself.
– Telling your kids that the part of the banana with the minuscule brown spot is perfectly fine while you would secretly never that eat nasty old thing yourself.
– Having less money, less time, and less sanity than you’ve ever had, and somehow being happier than you’ve ever been before.
BIO: Peryl Manning is a freelance writer and stay-at-home-mother to two small boys. She juggles her home and her boys, her writing and her volunteer work with varying degrees of success, and is convinced of only one certainty: Parenting is really, really challenging. Since being blindsided and overwhelmed, overjoyed and then at times underwhelmed by the whole business of motherhood, she has had a lot to say about it, and says some of it here. ’Parenting ad absurdum’ is now on Twitter: @momadabsurdum. Should I be following you? Let me know! And if you would like to be on my highly classified secret double-lockdown mailing list to be advised of new posts, leave a note or send an email to email@example.com. http://blog.seattlepi.com/parentingadabsurdum/
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