Remember what you THOUGHT parenting would be like before you had kids? HA! How’s that working out for you?
Parenting isn’t QUITE what I thought it would be…
I remember being SMUG as hell. Looking down my (pierced, covered in too much foundation) nose at parents whose kids were having tantrums in public. Pulling a self-satisfied smirk at people desperately plying their children with junk food in an effort to stem tears. Rolling my (heavy mascara under dangerously thin eyebrows) eyes at parents dressing their kids in merchandise clothing.
I would never be like that. NEVER.
We’d eat organic. We’d only play with wooden toys carved from a wholly sustainable forest by virginial Tibetan monks who only fart once a year. We’d read stories and talk calmly and create wonderful pillow forts inside. The house would be clean – I’d be at home all day, why wouldn’t it be? The pets would be well behaved. Life would just be…
Seriously, past self? Seriously? You thought you’d do it better, hmmm? Some snooty twenty-something who couldn’t organise her way out of a paper bag would magically be better equipped to raise children than ANYONE else? Jeez Louise, Christ on a cracker. Someone get this girl a solid dose of reality.
The reality of parenting
I love being a parent. I love everything about it (even the shitty bits. And I do mean shit in the literal sense, not the metaphorical one.) But it’s really hard and really frustrating and you never, ever, EVER feel like you’ve got EVERY aspect under control at all times.
They get sick. They yell. They cry. They behave like Tasmanian Devil children intent on whirling destruction and chaos. People give you their (unasked for) opinions on how you could basically perform your entire life better. You don’t sleep and even when you do you wake up in a panic, convinced the house had burned down.
My kid dresses top to toe in Paw Patrol shit. I’ve embraced minimalism out of necessity instead of choice. I live my life in active wear as I actively try to keep human beings alive all day.
Every toy in my house is either plastic, loud or lost. Last night’s dinner was cupcakes. My kids gather a crowd with their tantrums and I can’t remember the last time I pooed in private.
Expectation vs reality – what was your experience like?
Did you shift from what you thought parenting would be like to your ACTUAL experience? What would you tell your past, childless self if you could? Besides “stop over-plucking your eyebrows”?
This is a guest post by Lou.
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