Last night I read this post on Slate. Then I laid in bed thinking about it, foregoing sleep and wondering if I was responsible for someone’s life choice of never having kids. Maybe even one of you, who knows. A redonkulous thought, I know. One with absolutely no proof to back it up, yet if I had read the post correctly (which after a glass of wine it was possible to misconstrue a few things) it was plausible to believe that I could be responsible for someone’s life-changing decision to refrain from procreating. Oh boy <cue mom guilt>.
I wanted to use my space here to tell Ms. Graham that while I understand where she is coming from, I think she is missing something very important. Parenting is so much more than what you read in a few blog posts full of inappropriate parenting humor and foul language. Something that you can’t fathom just from reading the words from a few exhausted parents just trying to survive with a sense of humor and a small space on the interwebz.
Motherhood Fatherhood Parenting is:
Smelling the vomit before you even enter the bedroom at two o’clock in the morning.
Stepping on Legos and being impaled by Polly Pockets as you venture to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Asking them five hundred times to pick up their dirty socks.
Wiping asses and sucking snot.
Digging an entire roll of toilet paper out of a poop-filled toilet.
Foot stomping, eye-rolling, door-slamming.
A filthy house.
Finding a years supply of Goldfish crackers and Cheerios in your couches and in your car.
Reminders at ten o’clock at night that they need two dozen cupcakes to take to school….tomorrow.
Rarely having a moment to use the crapper by yourself.
A shit filled diaper that overflows onto your white pants.
Trips to the emergency room for stitches, broken limbs, or worse….
Expensive. Painful. Heartbreaking.
Parenting is not glamorous. Not even remotely. Anyone that disagrees with that is full of shit. It’s frustrating and anger-inducing. It is stressful and terrible and some days you just want to quit.
But you don’t.
You don’t quit because despite all the shit (pun totally intended), parenting is also:
Morning snuggles on the couch breathing in their delicious aromas.
Seeing them come back up the sidewalk for just one more hug before they head off to school.
Baseball games in the front yard.
That first giggle and the first time you hear ‘mama’ or ‘dada’.
The endless string of I love yous as you tuck them into bed.
A note of thanks on your pillow when you go to bed.
Celebrating victories and comforting broken hearts after a defeat.
The joy in their eyes as they blow out their birthday candles.
The giggles as they tiptoe up behind you in an effort to scare the bejeezus out of you.
The screams of delight on Christmas morning, or the excitement over four shiny quarters under their pillow.
That moment in which they voluntarily help you fold the laundry or pick up their toys.
The clean bill of health from the doctor.
Dance parties in the living room on a snowy day.
Seeing your daughter watch you in the mirror and tell you how beautiful you are and how much she loves you.
Watching a movie with your son and he reaches over and holds your hand.
Valentines found taped to your bedroom door.
Crazy and chaotic and hilarious.
Parenting is love.
A love so deep it hurts.
A love you don’t want to miss out on.
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