It's so easy to appear to be a "good" parent.
Posting pictures of smiling faces, engaging in enriching activities, and fooling everyone into thinking you're the most perfect, most loving, most amazing parent ever in the history of parenting.
Several times in the past, I've had moments of weakness and frustration, and have confided in my friends about my perceived failures as a loving, adoring mother.
Their reply is always the same. In one way or another, they reassure me that I'm a "good" mother, and that I'm doing an amazing job with the kids.
To a point...
Like nearly every other mother in the world, I am sure I love my kids beyond what anyone else could even fathom. Even when wading thru shit and vomit, there isn't even the slightest waver in my adoration of them.
They're my babies, and I love them so much I could just squish them.
And we do our best to be predictable and reliable with our discipline, while still making sure they know they're always loved. Loved, even at their most unlovable. Even thru their rolling eyes, their disgusting rooms, and their terrible hygienic habits, we love them irrevocably.
And they know that.
In that regard, I think we fall into the category of "good" parents.
However, there are moments that we don't share. Moments that I think we would be better off sharing. All of us. Because nothing sucks more than believing you're not as "good" at being a parent as the rest of your friends. Nothing sucks more than believing that despite your best efforts, you're fucking up your kids on a grand scale, because of all those funny little things that happen in between the "good" moments.
In the spirit of honesty, and parental camaraderie, here are a few of our more embarrassing, real, and "bad" parenting moments.
Yeah. Here they are.
Gonna type 'em. Riiiiight now.
Taking a pretty big leap to the assumption that I'm not alone in this...
"Bad" parent moment #1
Bitching at your kids for dropping cereal all over the floor, and leaving it.
Promptly dropping cereal all over the floor, looking around in all directions, and kicking it under the fridge. That was me.
"Bad" parent moment #2
Revoking all TV privileges for the rest of the afternoon, simply so I don't have to hear the sound of the Phineus and Pherb theme song for one more god-forsaken second. That was me, too.
"Bad" parent moment #3
"NO, you may not have cake. NO MORE JUNK FOOD today. Too much junk food is bad for you."
Followed by a sneaky midnight visit to the kitchen, to eat the cake I told them they couldn't have. For the sake of their health and safety.
Goddammit, that was me, too.
"Bad" parent moment #4
"That does it! Early bedtimes for everyone!"
When I just want a moment to myself, for fucksake.
These are all me. This is becoming an embarrassment...
"Bad" parent moment #5
"Your grandma is coming. Make sure your rooms are sparkling!"
Meanwhile, I ignore my own room, and opt instead to just keep the door closed while she's here.
In my defense, I'm usually so exhausted from scrubbing the other 95% of the house, that the cleanliness of my own bedroom can suck my balls.
"Bad" parent moment #6
"Don't listen to what that mean kid at school said. Her mother is an alcoholic barfly."
Not my finest hour. But dammit, if she raised her kids not to be assholes, I wouldn't have to comfort my kid after hers went out of her way to break his fragile heart.
"Bad" parent moment #7
Shushing the beautiful, yet constant singing of your sweet daughter.
Seriously. She's got an adorable little voice, complete with vibrato and accurate pitch. And she loves to hear herself. At great length. All. The. Time.
And I'm not proud of it, but sometimes, I just need her to shut the fuck up. A lot. No, really.
Even knowing that I will miss her little voice constantly filling the air with music, I still need her to quit it sometimes. Because, damn.
"Bad" parent moment #8
Shouting the shortened "STFU" instead of actually saying, "yo! Shut the fuck up!" Because, well, that's rude. However, we've used the relatively PG rated "STFU" so often that we've had to explain what it meant. Although, when you really think about it, knowing what "STFU" stands for is better than not knowing, right? Education, yo.
"Bad" parent moment #9
(God. This is turning out to be a much larger list than I anticipated...)
Sending both kids to their rooms for an argument that was pretty one sided, simply because I want them to STFU already!
Honestly. Does every pair of siblings argue this way? Sometimes it's literally over the sound of the other breathing. They fight over an involuntary bodily function that's fucking necessary for being alive. I mean, stick a fork in me.
"Bad" parent moment #10
We argue in front of them.
I mean, it's rare that we ever get into those really awful arguments that everyone has, but no one admits. And if we do that, we take it to our room.
But for every-day skirmishes, we air all our business right in front of our poor babies.
In our defense, if we fight in front of them, we apologize and make up in front of them. If they're there for the carnage, they ought at least be present for the stitches.
"Bad" parent moment #11
Hoping like hell that your kid acts up, talks back, destroys room, etc., simply so you can ground them, instead of letting them go do the terrifying, yet totally reasonable right-of-passage type thing they want to do.
Seriously. Every time my son wants to go out with his friends, in their car, that they will be driving, I silently hope he behaves like a douchebag before the event arrives, so I don't have to let him out of my sight. Ugh.
Somebody tell me we're not alone.
Somebody reassure me that we're not raising serial killers, and that they won't have to spend thousands of dollars in therapy trying to undo the damage we've done to their fragile little brains.
Somebody tell me you, too, keep a stash of secret cookies in your room, for the sole purpose of not sharing them with your kids.
Fuck. I guess that should have been "bad" parent moment number 12...