Well, if that didn’t draw you in, I don’t know what will. This will be a little bit more of a rant, but sometimes a dad just needs to decompress. After all, Troy and I started this little site as a way to share satirical stories about being dads to four girls in a very real way — and today, it’s going to be a therapeutic battleground of me to unload my feelings and or opinions on a few parenting topics. Annnnndddddd go.
Any parent with kids under the age of five that talk about how their kids brush their teeth by themselves, love putting on their jammies, read some advanced books for their age, listen to Rosetta Stone and fall asleep on their own is living on another planet. As of lately, Brooke who’s normally been the better sleeper of our two kids, has thought bed time equals party time. All that eye rubbing and crabbiness from supper time on just seems to have vanished into thin air. She’ll sometimes have her face practically in her plate full of food, catnapping her way through dinner. Then, when we finally make it to bed time, I sometimes feel like I’m in Rocky IV, and even though she doesn’t talk much yet, she looks up me and with her best Ivan Drago face that says, “I must break you.” Where did this sudden jolt of energy come from?
But I will tell you what, when she does fall asleep and you look down at them peacefully sleeping in your arms, knowing you helped make that life, the last hour of misery and your throbbing headache just seems to go away.
Contrary to what social media would tell you, being a parent isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s hard…like really hard. There’s no manual and there’s no right or wrong way of doing anything. There’s your way and the way others do it — and I highly suggest you don’t get the two confused. With two little girls under our belt, I learned to stop measuring my kids milestones, growth rates, and vocabulary against all others. Just because my kid isn’t reciting the Encyclopedia Brittanica by 18 months doesn’t mean she’s not going to graduate high school. They may not walk or talk as soon as the next kid, but that’s okay. So pay no attention to the parents that use to condescending, “Oh really? My so and so is already doing that. And my other kid did this…” You get the point.
What works for you may not work for other people, and thats okay. You know why? Because they’re your kids! So don’t let them super parents who seem to have it all figured out influence you too much, because behind the perfectly filtered photos of their kids smiling and looking all cute in the most adorable situations, there’s 30 photos in their deleted folder from the ones that didn’t go as planned and make the social media cut.
My wife and I sat back the other day and watched our kids go crazy before bed and we each caught each others eye with a look of, “This is nuts, but it’s our nuts.” As one pranced around with her underwear on her head “shaking her booty”, as she calls it, to Peppa Pig playing in the background, and the other sat quietly in the corner putting small Barbie toys in her mouth, we couldn’t help but soak it all in. If you were to walk into my house at that very moment, I’m positive you would’ve thought it was the looney bin and we were fit for straight jackets. We might not be perfect at parenting, but we’ve found what works for us and with a 3.5 year old that’s incredibly smart, funny, beautiful and still has all four limbs and appendages, I’d say the second one and someday a third, is going to turn out just fine.
So with all that, as a parent, sometimes you just have to take a step back and give yourself a pat on the back. No one said it was going to be easy, but just that it would be worth it. Becoming a parent has made me appreciate my parents so much more because all those years of “You wait till you’re a father…”, have now come to fruition and I’m like — they were totally right. You’ve got to remember you’re doing the hardest, most thankless full-time job on the planet on top of your eight to five. Disregard the perfect parents because they’re anything but perfect…no matter what Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat tells you.