Parenting is like an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes it’s the one thing that makes you think you are losing your mind. You question yourself at all times. You walk on eggshells. You continuously love harder and deeper than the other person. You change yourself. You adapt. You cry…. a lot. And then all of a sudden, you have a moment/day/hour/tiny second that is so incredibly touching, you forget about all the bad leading up to it. You are on cloud nine and whistling to yourself. Life is made of sunshine and rainbows! Then, before you know it, you are back to feeling like the worst person who ever lived.
Yet, you are reminded you are a parent and this isn’t an unhealthy relationship. This is it. There’s no walking away. Take it or, take it.
The roller coaster ride that is parenting is the most painful and joyful experience the world may ever know. You are constantly guessing and completely unprepared for what lies ahead. However, we find ourselves embarking upon this journey full steam ahead generation after generation.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. More than I love life. More than I love giraffes, the color orange, and books. I think they are the most fascinating creatures to walk this Earth. I’m constantly in awe of them and I cannot get enough of their affection and laughter. What I don’t love is having a great evening with them only to be yelled at because I’m not good at helping with homework. I also don’t love all the cooking and cleaning. I’d do okay without being a chauffeur as well. What I don’t love most of all is giving into that anger inside of me and yelling back. Yeah, because a grown up yelling at a 9-year-old who can’t do her homework is great. Nice. Way to go me.
I officially get the worst parent award right now.
I stay calm a lot. I swallow a lot more frustration than anyone around me is aware of. I get through the sisterly bickering and annoying each other. I don’t raise my voice with all the “why” questions. I don’t even snap back when my head gets bitten off each day by my teenager. With that said, I absolutely have zero/zilch/nada tolerance for that phase a child goes through where they “can’t” do their homework. They sigh, they stomp, they sigh more. Then, they ask for help they refuse to accept. If you are asking me for help and huffing and puffing because you “can’t” do it and you are going to fail… you probably will fail because I can’t talk someone off that ledge. I’m joining them instead.
That’s my weakness, my breaking point. I know it. I feel it coming and I know when I should be walking away from the situation (it’s about 2 seconds into the conversation, in case you were wondering). And unfortunately, I can’t avoid it. I must help with homework. That’s part of my job description.
All I can do instead is apologize to my beautiful princess for losing my patience, remind her I make mistakes too because I’m only human myself, hold myself accountable in hopes she learns to do that herself one day…. and email her teacher for homework assistance.