Lies That Parents Tell

July 23
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Allow me to be the one to break the news to new parents and parents of young ones everywhere: it never gets easier.
Bam! Honesty.

People told me – as they will tell you – that as the kids grow older “it gets easier.” And that is, in fact, a direct quote from all the sonnabitches that lied straight to my face when I was knee deep in two kids under two…and two kids under three…and then two kids under four. My kids are now 5 and 6 and I do solemnly swear that they never became easy. And they never will. This is one of the lies that parents tell to other parents. Let me break it down.

First, the sonnabitches that lied to me are actually good friends and awesome parents. They meant to encourage Jeff and I when we were short on sleep and even shorter on patience. It seemed that everyone claimed easiness was on the horizon – just wait a few more birthdays and all this struggle of parenthood will melt away. At the end of a tough day, Jeff and I would look at each other and remember the words of our cherished friends, “it gets easier.” We just had to fight the good fight today and wait for the payoff down the road. Easy… the word seduced us. We clung to the promise of that word like a hair on a bar of soap. But when the easy days never rolled around, I found myself cursing these friends who had promised me easy days. It’s like telling me you are taking me to Hawaii and when we get there it’s actually a place called Hey Wally that sells t-shirts with fart jokes on the front.

I am not sure what other parents consider to be easy because I am not them. To me easy means going a whole day without refereeing, finishing a sentence, finishing a meal, not finding unflushed poop in a toilet and sitting. Lots and lots of sitting. (Let’s be honest, I’ll take the sitting and call it a win, everything else is gravy.) But the other day as I was flushing poop that was not mine, it occurred to me that this is just the way of the parent. Kids are not designed to be easy and being any sort of decent parent who tries is quite the opposite of easy. I had been so caught up in the semantics I had given myself a false hope that would never, ever become a reality.

When talking to a frustrated parent with children younger than mine, I try to remember to say, “it will become more manageable.” I think that is fair. “Easy” sounds too glamorous, but “manageable” is realistic. When everyone is wiping their own behind, buckling their own seat belt and able to describe why they don’t feel good, things do become more manageable -and for these things I am so thankful. I do not want to be the one to mislead my fellow parent, I am not going to be known as the lady who took them to Hey Wally.

So the moral of this story is:
liars gonna lie
don’t be a sonnabitch
parenthood may never be easy but it will always be worth it.
And flushing other people’s poop is gross but sometimes it happens.

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