The Hardest Part of Parenting is Everything

choking hazard

It’s nice when he goes to bed early so I have more time at night to do things.

But it’s nice when he goes to bed later so he wakes up later and I can sleep.

But it’s nice when he goes down early when he doesn’t take a nap.

But it’s nice when he takes a nap.

I don’t appreciate the good days as much as I bemoan the hard ones.

I worry that some new crappy behavior such as inconsolable tantrums or running away from me when we’re outside/in the store/in a parking lot/in a restaurant/inside and he doesn’t want to take a bath or go to bed is part of his personality now and it will always be this trying.

I don’t want him to go to school because other kids are assholes or at least one kid will be an asshole and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Maybe he’ll be the asshole.

Oh god, I hope he’s not the asshole.

No, no, being the victim of an asshole is worse.

Wait.

I don’t know.

I’m worried I don’t do enough. Because it honestly feels like feeding, clothing and housing him isn’t enough. I don’t have the energy or interest in doing something ten times like he does. I don’t sit around thinking about all of the creative things we could do with the fucking diaper boxes. I don’t invent fun games or craft projects or make up silly songs or look up ways on Pinterest to entertain him.

I don’t think that I’m failing him, yet it’s hard not to believe I am in some way.

I am failing him because I am me, an imperfect, impatient, impossible human being who would prefer to care only about herself.

His diet is terrible. That’s because when you find something he likes, regardless of whether it’s super healthy, you just want your kid to eat. So the whole thing where you give him a variety of food and make him try new things and blah blah blah all goes down the drain when the main objective becomes wanting him to consume ANYthing.

Failing.

Is he happy? What is happy? Does he feel the kind of joy you think he’ll have over these green Crocs with Sesame Street “accessories?” He is two and a half, so no, probably not.

But buying him something is so much easier than spinning him around a hundred times or reading that really long and boring book or getting on the floor and building blocks when your fucked up brain would rather lie on the couch to scroll through your Facebook feed.

Seriously failing.

Your new mantra is “Maybe I should have, maybe I could have, maybe I would have done it differently. Done it better. Done it not the way I did it.”

You are trying. Really. Maybe not your hardest or your best or maybe this IS your hardest and your best and it will never actually be good enough because that’s impossible but what if you forgive yourself these trespasses instead of being more critical of your parenting and you fuck this person up beyond all recognition even though that is probably every parent’s destiny except for the really lucky ones or maybe saints or whatever kind of person who has infinite youth and patience and understanding the kind of person they write songs and books and movies about and when they interview the people who knew her they say she “just had a way” with people she was filled with angelic kindness and was put on this Earth to help others.

Maybe that person isn’t failing.

That obviously Imaginary Person.

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