Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Joys of Parenting

I can be pretty cynical about the joys of parenting. It's true. I do a lot of eye rolling (often, out of necessity, in my own head) when I hear mothers oooohing and ahhhhing over their kids and how wonderful it all is. I once went to a party and sat with a woman who--I am not exaggerating--spoke about her kids the entire evening. And I don't mean interesting honest conversation about the highs and lows of parenting. I mean, literally, tummy time and crawling, bottles and breastfeeding, labor and delivery, diapers and poop. (She actually described the baby's crap, in great detail, for several minutes of the conversation.) And if you're wondering why I didn't simply walk away from her, well, I was pregnant and apparently I was also her idea of the perfect audience, because she stalked me all night.

Don't get me wrong, I loooooove my kids. I love them so much that sometimes, it scares me. Having a child is like having your heart "out there"--literally--and nothing has made me feel more vulnerable or helpless than the realization that I am limited in just how much I can protect them. But when people ask me "Oh, isn't it just the best?" my answer is always "No." Parenting is not the best. It's hard. It's exhausting. It's endless. It's monotonous. Really, it kinda sucks. To quote my husband: "I love my kids. I hate parenting."

But every now and then, a moment occurs that actually makes ME become "one of them." The Others. The mothers who ooooh and ahhhh. Like the night I watched Ben in his first Christmas show at school. All he did was sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and clap his hands for about 11 seconds, and you'd think he'd won the Pulitzer. Or the day he ran his fingers lovingly through my hair and said, "Mama, I love your hair." Or the first time Aidan waved bye-bye (okay, it's still just an attempt at a wave, but, hey he's 7 months counts.)

So here we go...ya' ready? An official ooooh/ahhhh moment is coming. I am about to revel in motherhood. I'm gonna share one of those mushy kid moments that only grandparents really care about and everyone else who has to listen either cares a moderate amount or is only pretending to (refer to party scenario above). Here goes: Yesterday when Ben got home from school, baby brother Aidan Kai was playing on the floor of his room cooing and babbling. (Now, keep in mind that Ben has recently stated that the best part about being a big brother is the skateboard he got as a gift when Aidan was born.) Ben just walked in the door, heard Aidan's voice, and broke into a full blown sprint to the room, squealing "Aidan! Aidan!" He then proceeded to throw himself on the floor next to Aidan and started tickling and playing with him. And Aidan? Oh boy, he could not have been happier! Talk about JOY! To see them there, my two boys, The Brothers...I kid you not...all the cliches applied. Every one of them. Moments like these, they really, actually are "the best." It is these moments, in fact, that make all the other ones worthwhile. Go ahead...roll your eyes.


  1. well I must say that the thought of EVA having a little sibling to play with and have a friend (and aleviate me!!!!) is the only reason that I haven't had my tubes tied YET!!!! For now I'll stick with loving my kid but hate parenting motto! LOL

  2. No rolling of the eyes here. I think that before you have kids you think that when you are in love you have experienced every conflicting emotion there is to be had. Then… you have kids! Most of us (especially those following this blog) have our children because of a conscious decision made. That only increases the conflicting emotions you have when parenting seems overwhelming. On top of that we are surrounded by very traditional people whose lives seem to have met their pinnacle when they became parents(especially in our chosen profession). Or is it that they can’t bring themselves to voice certain thoughts?


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