Oh, you remember when…
……you were the best parent there was!
- You knew how to get children to clean their rooms and to love cleaning their rooms.
- You knew how to keep children quiet. To sit perfectly in every situation.
- You knew how to get your children to listen to your every word and obey, even when you weren’t there.
- You knew how to get a child to eat the fancy meals that you liked, so they’d be cultured and intelligent.
- You knew how to teach every child to read by 3, be a math genius by 4 and a master at your favorite sport by 5.
- You knew how to keep your laundry done, no matter how many kids you had.
- You knew how to get any stain out.
- You would never have a yard that looked like that because your children would always pick up every toy when they were done.
- You would never have a van that looked like that because you wouldn’t allow food in your car.
- Your child would never behave that way because you know how to discuss things with children.
My all time favorite of a “never been a parent, but still the best at it” comment: “My child would never do that!” (Btw – since you said that, that’s the first thing they’re going to do!)
I remember this when my boys were still very young. Majority of my friends, family and people we were around hadn’t had children yet and I would hear all these and more, frequently. It used to bother me until they started having children and it became entertaining. All those things that they insisted would never happen or give me “expert” advice on – out the window!
This popped into my mind today as we were talking with a new mother as she was cleaning up a mess. It wasn’t from her child, but from other children playing at the facility we were at.
“I can’t believe these kids. They see the sign that says no kicking the ball and do it anyway? I wouldn’t let my kid act this way?”
“Wait about 15 years and you’ll see.”
“Oh no – My son will not act this way, I know what I’m doing!”
Parenting reality is harsh man. It takes no prisoners…..
Toys get left out. Tantrums are thrown at the worst time possible in the worst place possible. Food is thrown out because it’s “yucky”. Sand thrown at the play ground, no matter how much you discuss being nice. Words you’ve never used, come out of your child’s mouth – usually at the check-out stand. Mystery stains show up and ruin entire loads….. that have been there for two weeks, because you’re still trying to find the weird smell coming from the room that hasn’t been cleaned since…. well, who knows? Walls get colored on and fibs get told. And french fries will show up at some point in time at the bottom of that car, because you just. need. some. quiet.
Now that my boys are older, I get to sit back and watch the people with younger kids tell me how to parent, and giggle. Just as the grandparents get to sit back and giggle when I tell them my grand philosophy on parenting teenagers. (I have none – I’m lost. I admit it!)
So those of you with no children – enjoy your time in the sun as the perfect parent!
Those of you with small children – enjoy your time in the sun as an excellent parent!
Those of you with older children – enjoy your time in the sun as a good parent!
Those of you with no more children – enjoy your time in the sun and giggle at the rest of us!