Basking In My Non-Perfect-Parentness.

It’s no secret that “perfect” parents do not exist. 

Image

In the beginning I think we all feel the need to be “perfect“. We have this vision of the kind of parent we want to be, and we’ll be so much better/cooler than other parents who can’t seem to get it right. We have all the answers. Then we actually have a kid and, oh shit, we don’t have any answers at all. We’re fumbling around like blind rats trying to juggle while walking a tight rope. Suddenly, we suck. The realization hits. This shit is HARD.

Image

I can openly admit to going through the “I have the answers” phase. I know I have made other parents feel bad, even if I really didn’t mean to. I was just all stuck up and thought I knew better than them and that’s why their kids were cray. I quickly grew out of that phase after the first year with my daughter. I think most parents go through a sort of transition with their first child. At some point we realize we aren’t perfect, nor will we ever be. And we loosen up, let go of things that really don’t matter so we can have some sort of sanity, and so we don’t destroy our children. 

Image

Today I am proud to say I AM NOT A PERFECT PARENT BY ANY MEANS. I know that being perfect in any aspect of life is impossible. But that doesn’t stop me from having mom guilt, judging myself, judging other parents, and feeling like shit when other parents on their high horses make stupid comments that I know are ridiculous, but still bug me anyways.

Image

Okay, so, there’s this mom whom I follow on Instagram. I typically like following her, but today she posted something that really got under my skin. She started off with how she’s not a perfect parent. I was like, “Cool, me neither. Love seeing parents embrace their non-perfectness.” Then I read on to her reasons for not being a perfect parent….like, letting her daughter eat junk food once a month, or have some juice when they go out to eat on occasions, watch the baby channel twice a day even though “it’s tv, and not good“, or the fact that her daughter has had chips, cookies and has even tasted ice cream! *GASP* 

Image

Seriously? It’s like that really skinny friend who is always whining about being fat, knowing you’re bigger than she is but continues to talk about it in front of you. SHUT. UP.

Image

I’m not saying it was her intention to offend me or any other parent. But she did. If she thinks those things make her far from perfect, what would she think about my parenting? I honestly felt that if I mentioned the things that make me a non-perfect parent, she would judge me hardcore. If those tiny little things make her not perfect, I must be a train wreck of a parent!

Image

If she really is that strict, good for her, if that’s how she chooses to parent. But, in all honesty, when I hear parents talk about little things like that I feel like they aren’t being honest, and are actually looking for praise. You know, for someone to say, “Oh, if that’s all you do wrong then you’re an amazing parent!” Like I said, if she really is that strict, good for her. Maybe I’m just getting offended because of my own insecurities. 

Image

 

You wanna know what makes me a non-perfect parent? (I can’t fit everything, but here’s a few):

  1. Rayne watches TV everyday. Anything from educational shows, not so educational shows, Family Guy *GASP*, American Dad *DOUBLE GASP*, and you know what? She’s watched Dexter with me. Yeah, that’s right, she’s watched Dexter. Get over it.
  2. She HATES veggies and is very picky about fruit. I would LOVE to feed her only healthy foods, but she’s picky and will have none of it. She eats whatever we eat. Which is anything from eggs and bacon, pasta, pizza, tacos, etc. I don’t typically eat or buy fast food, but, yeah, sometimes she has a freakin’ Happy Meal. 
  3. She drinks chocolate milk almost everyday. I don’t like giving her juice because she has had tummy problems with it in the past, and for the health of her teeth, but she is allowed to have Tummy Yummies (a juice with less sugar, plus vitamins).
  4. Speaking of teeth, she’s had two cavities already. Yep, I still feel awful about it. But what are you gonna do? She has a filling, and might have to get another for the second cavity. Yes, I try to make sure we brush her teeth, but that shits hard, and sometimes it doesn’t get done right due to her crying and kicking me away. 
  5. She doesn’t have a bath EVERYDAY. Sometimes, especially being almost 9 months pregnant, I’m too tired to get her in the sink or fight with her about a bath/shower. It’s not like I let her grow mold or walk around stinking. But sometimes I just don’t give an eff if she goes to bed with dirty hands, hair and feet. There’s always tomorrow. 
  6. Sometimes I raise my voice, or give a swat on her butt if it comes to that. Everyone has different opinions on discipline. Some people are very against spanking and whatnot. If you can discipline your child without ever losing your shit, that’s great. But I don’t see anything wrong with a little butt swat or a firm voice when it’s needed. You don’t know how sassy my kid gets or how difficult she can be sometimes. So I discipline how I see fit for our little family. And honestly, I hardly ever use a spanking. But I have no problem using it. I grew up with very harsh punishments. And I know I would never use any of them on my children. I never even feel tempted to. So when people say spanking your kid makes them think hitting you or someone else is okay, you’re wrong. I was beaten with a belt, hanger, phone cord, etc. and never once hit my parents or anyone else. And that isn’t counting the abuse I endured. I can honestly say I have never even thought of using anything close to that on my child. 
  7. I don’t care if she eats dirt. God made dirt, dirt don’t hurt. The end.
  8. She hardly ever brushes her hair. I do not brush my hair. I have thick wavy hair that only frizzes when I attempt to put a brush through it. So, I don’t think I should be able to tell her she has to use a brush either. It’s nice to get it combed out, but it really doesn’t seem important to me if her hair is out of place.
  9. I don’t care about what clothes she wears. I usually let Rayne pick out her own clothes, if she chooses to wear clothes at all. Obviously, if we’re going out of the house she needs clothes. But if we’re staying in, I don’t care if she stays in jammies all day or runs around in her underwear. And when she does wear clothes, they usually don’t match. Who really cares? Since when is a child’s outfit important? I think letting her wear what she wants and choosing what she likes gives her independence, and lets her express herself how she chooses.
  10. I don’t have a bedtime for Rayne. Yep, that’s right. I don’t make her go to bed at any certain time. If she’s up till 11pm, oh well. Usually I will tell her she’s gotta start calming down and getting in bedtime mode, but I never force her to go to bed at a certain time. BFD

Image

These are only 10 reasons off the top of my head that make me SO NOT PERFECT. I’m sure there’s a lot more though. My point is, I’m willing to admit these things, and I can’t say that I actually feel bad about any of them. My child is never in harms way, she is healthy, smart, kind, and constantly impressing me with how quickly she learns. I don’t have any concerns about her development. So what she watches TV? So what she doesn’t eat broccoli? So what she’s usually dirty, has messy hair and stays up late? SO EFFING WHAT?! She’s my daughter, and she’s wonderful, despite all these terrible things I expose her to. 

Advertisements

The worst part about being a parent.

 We’ve all heard it before, “Becoming a parent was the best thing to ever happen to me!”. Before you have a child, you kind of just blow this statement off.  But when/if you’re lucky enough to experience having a child, you know that feeling. That sudden rush of overwhelming love pulling at you like an undertow, making your heart feel 50x bigger than you could’ve ever imagined it could grow. Life now has purpose, unlike you’ve ever known. You see the bigger picture. This is what it’s all about. And it’s true. As ridiculously mushy and sentimental as it may be, all of it is true. Having a child is the best thing to ever happen to you. Having said that, it is also the most challenging.

Everyone knows there are quite a bit of downfalls to having a child. Although, most of the people discussing these downfalls are not parents. But, it is a fact. I suppose it depends on the person as to which is the worst of all.

Some believe it to be the ‘Terrible Twos’.

Image

Although this is a VERY difficult part, as long as you keep your patience and understand that your child is learning how to express emotions they don’t understand and it’s your job to teach them, you’ll be alright. And truth be told, sometimes when they’re stomping their tiny feet and screaming at you, it’s hard not to laugh.

Some think the worst part to be teen angst.

Image

I must admit, this part really does scare me. But at the same time, I went through it and survived, and so did my mother. I’m aware it’s something I will have to deal with, but it wont be the end of the world.

A lot of people (especially people who don’t have children), think their inability to go out drinking and having a grand ole time with their kids free friends all the time is the most devastating part.

Image

I guess for some, this could be a real issue. But honestly, good parents lose interest in partying and prefer to spend time with their children. Even those who once were what some would call ‘wild’, change their ways by instinct. Most of the time this naturally fades.

This one is a downer…the ‘Frumpy Mom’.

Image

It’s hard, ladies. I know. With a baby on your hip, or a toddler at your heels begging for attention, it’s not easy to get/keep yourself lookin’ fly. There are times when you forget yourself all together. Your clothes are out dated and baggy. Your hair is a rat’s nest. And for goodness sakes, when was the last time you shaved your legs in private (or at all)?! But by taking the initiative to have some ‘me time’ every day, week, etc., you really can prevent this. Mostly it’s just a misconception that moms who take care of themselves are selfish. Which is complete hogwash. A woman who takes good care of herself, is always better equipped to take care of others.

Now, all of these things are not fun, but they aren’t the worst. In my opinion, none of these hold a candle to the real downfall of being a parent. The real horrible part of being a parent is the fear.

Image

The moment that little baby looks into your eyes, you’re suddenly aware of everything that could possibly ever go wrong and everything that could ever harm them physically, mentally, emotionally…any way possible. The world is a much more dangerous place than it was mere months ago. I know, because it has been the main thing raining on my parent parade.

Image

Driving is nothing short of terrifying. Any cough or runny nose could be a disease. Someone could break into your home any day now. What if you’re parenting them wrong and they turn out with some sort of dysfunction and need therapy? Is public school really safe?? What if other children corrupt them? What if they’re picked on? What if they can’t concentrate and the school board blames it on a learning disability? What if they try drugs?

Image

What if they have some sort of food allergy you wont know about until they almost die?? What if they break a bone?

Image

What if some psycho snatches them out of the cart in the grocery store while you’re checking prices on cereal??? The fear is infinite. There is always something to be afraid of because you want the best and only the best for your child, but you also know the world. It’s a rough one. Life is hard. You know they’ll get hurt. You know they’ll get sick. You know bad things will happen to them. But how do we stop the fear from taking over the millions of joys we should be enjoying?

If I knew, trust me, I’d share it with you. Unfortunately, I have no clue. I do, however, have some ideas on the subject.

Besides having to go through whatever is going to happen simply because “time marches on”, I think there are ways we can avoid living in fear and go through whatever happens with joy and faith. First of all, we can make the decision. I know, it’s not as easy as it sounds. But the truth is, determination has so much power that most people don’t use. If you decide to keep your joy and have faith that your child can overcome anything, that can be the first step to living a fear-free parenthood. And a lot of it has to do with our lack of faith in our child and how we raised them. We need to make sure we instill our children with strong morals, values and principals. Not just for themselves, but for the good of the world and how they treat others. Not only can we teach these to our children, but we need to lead by example. A child who sees their parent overcome a rough situation, is much more likely to overcome one themselves when it comes their way. If we teach or children to be strong and keep faith, while also doing it ourselves, maybe we can knock out the problem all together.

Image

I mean, fear will always be there. But it doesn’t have to control us. And I know I certainly wouldn’t want my daughter suffering from fear that holds her back. But it’s all easy to say and plan, but fear is the strongest, most controlling emotion next to anger and love. It wont be easy. But it is worth a good try.

How do you control the fears you have as a parent?

Summer.

Summer is one of those things in life that you either love entirely or hate entirely. Perhaps some of that depends on where you’re at in the world when you experience it. Most people I know are lovers of Summer. When people think of Summer, they think of free time, no dreadful school, sunbathing on the hot sandy beach, adventure, excitement, tans. I on the other hand think of Summer as a little piece of Hell on Earth. The first things that come to mind are sweat, sunburns, irritability, and being extremely uncomfortable for 24 hours a day. So, while the teenagers and twenty-somethings are rushing to live this Summer to the fullest, I’m locking myself in the coolest room of the house and pumping myself full of iced tea and water. Does this make me somewhat of a “loser”? Perhaps. But I suppose I’ve always been a “loser” so it doesn’t bother me.

Of course now that I have an almost 2-year-old, its not so easy for me to hide in a cave all day. Most of the day I’m witnessing a loud, thrashing fit due to wanting to play outside (where she makes me carry her because she’s too hot to walk), and refusing to drink water like a normal human being. I’ll breakdown a few times a day and try to take her outside for a bit where my allergies attack full force and a light sunburn makes it’s bed upon my pale shoulders and cheeks. You know, I’ve never quite understood the whole tanning thing. Maybe that’s because I’m a very light-skinned person who doesn’t tan. Or maybe it’s the thought of actually laying in the sun and purposely frying my skin that turns me off to it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy many Summer activities. I love camping and wish I could do it often. In my opinion, BBQ is the best kind of food there is. And perfectly temperatured nights spent with family and friends is heavenly. It’s just the overwhelming heat, large crowds of sweaty, stinky people, and crazy amounts of disgusting blood sucking mosquitoes is what stops me from enjoying it the way I’d like to.  I enjoy all the other seasons quite well. But anything over 65 degrees is not my cup of tea. So, in conclusion, Autumn cannot come soon enough.

Got my hands full.

Rayne has always been an interesting little child. I could tell when she was in the womb that she would be one hell of a spitfire. She’s independent as all get out, and sees herself as at least a teenager if not an adult. She also likes to do very dangerous things and give me mini heart attacks. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it, but the kid keeps me on my toes. And she’s definitely got some kick to her that anyone would respect.

These are just a few examples of Rayne’s antics as of yesterday.

Working on the dozer for Papaw.

I’m pretty sure this pen doesn’t belong in the back of the fan…while it’s on.

Her always impressive balancing act.

Who needs pants to go outside? And lets just through on Nana’s shoes that are 5x too big.

This is just one day of silliness and not even all of it. Yes, I’ve got my hands full.