Parenting... Not For The Weak
Because kids are all jerks.
Parenting is hard AF. There, I said what I said. I started writing this three weeks ago pondering whether I should write this or not, but honestly, I think more parents need to see this and realize they aren't alone.
I should start this as though I am in a meeting, "Hi My name is Victoria, I have a teenage son, and sometimes, more like all the time, I feel like I am not enough." It's the truth. Parenting is so insanely hard and no one tells you that. They fill your head with stories about how great it is to be a parent and paint this pretty picture as though everything is perfect and kids are a blessing, blah, blah, blah. Don't get me wrong, kids are a blessing, and I am fortunate to have a healthy son, but the reality is that kids can be assholes, parenting is hard, its far from glamorous, and it's ok to say that out loud.
In our home, we are far from perfect. We fight all the time, we yell, I nag, he talks back, we are pretty dysfunctional, but ironically I wouldn't have it any other way because we are real. Don't get me wrong, we could both use a therapist or even a boxing ring to get all this frustration out, but it's us, and I like us. Regardless of all the struggles, I think I raised a pretty good kid. And I mean, he is pretty much a badass soccer player with a good academic record too. Pause while I brush my shoulders off.
I look around at all my friends who are just now starting to have kids, enjoying the toddler phase, it's all giggles and smiles at this point, but I see them struggling thinking they have to be perfect in every way. I just want to say to them, along with every other parent out there, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR SHIT... MORE THAN ONCE AND DON'T FEEL BAD ONE BIT BECAUSE NO ONE IS PERFECT. Literally, my kid is about to graduate high school and it's not until now that I think I'm getting the hang of this parenting thing.
I was that parent doing everything and anything my kid needed so that I would not feel like a failure. I put so much pressure on myself that it just ruined me and made me feel like I was never enough. That's the worst feeling you can ever have as a parent. Unfortunately, I didn't have anyone to tell me this and let me know it's ok to fail over, and over, and over again. And guess what, your kids will still be assholes whether you make mistakes or not.
Especially when your kid becomes a teenager. It's like they suddenly discover this superpower that lets them know how to get under your skin and THEY WILL. They will be mean, they will tell you things they don't mean, they'll yell and have mood swings for no reason, they'll slam doors, they'll talk back, they will literally blame you for everything including the sky being blue. They will do it all just to hurt you, get under your skin, and get you upset. They will use this and they will manipulate you. It's not until now, 17yrs in that I'm learning the game and its basically - IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE. You have to remember that nursery rhyme, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." - Side note who knew this nursery rhyme would be so fitting to being a parent!?
Regardless of how much your kid is an asshole though, unless you are a real POS, all your kid cares about is that you are there, that you show up, and that you never give up on them. And yes, they do love you, don't ever think differently. But know this, you will have your moments (a lot of moments) and I'm here to tell you, have a drink, you will get through it.