Thursday, July 30, 2009

Parenting Sucks

Yeah, I said it. It does. Parenting sucks.

I did not say "Being a parent sucks." Actually, I must admit that being a parent...actually creating a whole human being, watching that little tiny infant grow up and turn into a funny, spirited, unique little person...well, that is pretty damn amazing. But the act of parenting...the endless exhausting redundancy of day to day life? It just sucks.

Tonight, while I was simultaneously eating my dinner, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, and trying to entertain a crawling Aidan Kai, Ben insisted on drinking his milk from a cup with no lid.

And you know what happened.

Yes, I know there is no use crying over spilled milk. Can I cry over an 11-month-old crawling and rolling in spilled milk then? 'Cause that's what happened while I was trying to get more paper towels: Aidan decided to go swimming in his big brother's strawberry milk. The photos in the baby magazines and Pottery Barn For Kids catalogs never show reality: a half-eaten veggie burger getting cold on a plastic Disney plate...the mom holding a dripping, sticky, crying baby while she tries to mop up the mess...the nearly-4-year old looking down at them from his chair, complaining that the milk is still dripping from his Lightening McQueen place mat and oh no, now his cup is empty.

I don't know if all other moms are like me. I don't know if some of them actually enjoy the daily grind. I am sure most don't, but I wonder if most hate it as much as I do. When I find myself surrounded by the cartoon noise coming from the TV, the whines of my 3-year-old, and the cries of my 11-month old, all while trying to tend to the necessities of life: loads of laundry that have been sitting and waiting to be folded for days, dishes in the sink that quite possibly now contain the beginnings of curdled milk, and at least 40 Hot Wheels cars strewn throughout the living is very, very, very hard for me to remain calm.

Being a parent (at least of very small children) is basically like being a slave. I am constantly "on call." I am either being asked to play with, fix, make, or clean something. I barely like making my own dinner, much less someone else's...especially when that someone else whines and complains at least 50% of the time about what is on the plate. (Never mind that yesterday tomatoes were his "favorite," but tonight...well, apparently, tonight he decided he is "never eating tomatoes again.")

After all was said and done, Ben and I sat on the couch and snuggled as he watched one more episode of "Max and Ruby." (Yes, I had to bribe him: "If you keep snuggling with me, I'll let you keep watching for a few more minutes..." Something I never thought I'd say to my child, but then again, there are a lot of things I "never thought" before I had kids.) And he was so delicious. But stuck in between those delicious, funny, poignant moments are the crappy ones. The diapers, the vomit, the bickering, the whining, the spills, the cleaning up, the complaints, the crying, the tantrums, the defiance, the disciplining...that never ends. Everyday you wake up to do it all over again. Some days are better than others. On those days, I thank God for my family, my two little boys, my house full of noise. On other days, I wonder why I ever got into this, if I'm really any good at it, if I was really cut out to be a mom.

I'd love to end this post with something wonderfully poignant, some fabulous and moving closing statement about it all being worth it. But although I do know it is, today I do not have one of those grand finishes. Today, I guess, I don't really have a lesson learned or a point to make. All I have is a sticky floor and that damn pile of laundry.


  1. Aahh - the memories you've brought to mind. It will get easier - and more difficult the older they get. And the laundry? That will NEVER go away.

  2. The milk on the floor is a classic at our house, and it usually occurs on the day that the cleaning ladies have come to work their magic on my house...the laundry, as we speak, is multiplying with the viciousness of two rabbits in heat on my bedroom floor...There have been plenty of days this summer when I would have rathered been in my classroom, trying to explain the horrid equivalent fractions that nearly took my life in February...and so it goes my friend. Motherhood ain't for the meek and cowardly...when it's bad, it's very bad. When it is good, you just need to enjoy it so it can fuel you through the muck.

  3. for you...

  4. You must know after only following my blog for a few weeks that I FEEL YOUR PAIN! There are days that I don't know if I want to or am able to get through the day with the craziness that I endure with my two kids. There are such unbelievable highs and lows but rarely anything in between. I just try to remind myself that everything passes so quickly and I'm sure when I look at my daughter in 10 years and she's giving me a dirty look and saying "Whatever MOM", I'll miss the tantrum she threw because her underwear was giving her a wedgie and all she needed was a hug. NOTHING will make the hellish days better so we just need to embrace the good ones. Remind ME of this when I next bitch and moan about my hellish days - ok?

  5. Maria...I am glad I'm not the only one who has thought about being in the classroom instead this summer... have yourself a deal!

  6. Oh no.. how funny..Its always dinner and a showat my house too. Im a new follower..ur blog is very cool...Natalee

  7. Oh that scene is playing out in homes all over the world! When you are tired it feels like you should just give up and cry, when you have somehow managed to sleep the night before, you may find yourself running for the camera.
    My girls are 7 and 10, the whining has changed to negotiating, and the laundry never goes away, but somehow it is easier. Hang in there!

  8. I have a friend who, when asked "How are your Kids?" always replies, "Loud and constant." that pretty much sums it up, doesn't it! I have borrowed this line and used it often now that I'm the mother of two loud and constant boys.

  9. Oh my gooodness;can we talk? LOL! You definitely brought back memories and I'm here to tell you, it does get easier, but the challenges seem greater as the children grow older. Hang in there!

    I'm PROUD to be your 40th follower!


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