Alright, in preparation for this post, I have taken the liberty of enlisting some truly wise help. Please, take a moment and watch this clip.
**Disclaimer: the sound dubbing is slightly off. I'm sorry if that drives you as crazy as it does me. I find this a valid bit of insight and have decided to share it, regardless.***
***Disclaimer number 2: there is cursing in this video.***
Hehehe. Giggle. Chuckle. Hold sides to keep love handles from jiggling while gasping for breath. Wipe laughter induced tears from eyes. Repeat as needed.
I. Laugh. Every. Single. Time.
Because anyone who doesn't admit to having that EXACT day as a parent...isn't being honest.
First of all, I wouldn't put quite as many 'awfuls' into my overall description of parenthood.
But I also have days where that wasn't nearly enough uses of the word.
The Real Story about being a parent has a lot of similarities to the Real Story about marriage.
It's shockingly different than you think it will be, both in a wonderful way, and in a "what the holy crap did I get myself into?" way.
If you're not a parent, I have a few of the shocking, REAL facts for you, just so you don't say "No one ever told me..."
1. You will have no privacy, ever again.
2. You will learn the theme song to every cartoon imaginable.
3. You will come to despise shopping and eating at restaurants.
4. You WILL say "because I said so" regardless of how much you hated it being said to you.
5. You will not be permitted to be sick, and if you are, you will still have to be a parent, complete with diaper changing and nose wiping and butt wiping and toy fixing and blanket hunting and food preparing. You might be able to fit a minute in the middle to puke, or cough, or blow your nose, or medicate...but you might not. My advice- Don't. Get. Sick.
Kids are loud, and messy, and way too curious, and altogether too much work.
And also, they are loving, and forgiving, and hilarious, and helpful.
The moments of AWFUL are absolutely present, I am here to tell you. If you meet a parent in the store that says otherwise, and they are smiling with recently brushed teeth, and holding the hands of their perfectly dressed children, and those children are reading educational books while standing quietly, and that parent with the clean teeth also has combed hair, and they are wearing socks that match, and they tell you that being a parent is the most wonderful, rewarding, easy thing they have ever done...
Run. They are aliens.
Being a parent IS rewarding. When your child tells you they love you with their little grubby hand pressed to your cheek...that is one heck of a reward. When you witness them putting into practice a discipline or attitude or action you taught them...you feel such pride and joy that its impossible to describe. You can only know it if you are willing to brave the WHOLE parenthood package.
I have four children. A daughter and three sons, in that order. And I know, without doubt, that I am blessed abundantly.
Without them in my life, I wouldn't laugh HALF as much.
Without them, I wouldn't be able to look the Target cashier in the eye while buying fruit snacks.
Without my kids, I would feel a lot less cool, because somehow they think I ROCK, and knowing someone thinks that about you never gets old.
They love me, even when I screw up. And boy do I screw up.
They know, when I am standing in a room with my face buried in my hands, and they can hear me muttering, that I am praying for the strength not to kill someone, and they better run away, FAST.
Here is the truest thing I can say about being a parent: It will shine a light on how SELFISH you are, like nothing else ever could, and it will give you a glimpse into what unconditional love truly looks like.
I have been peed on, pooped on, puked on, spit on, slobbered on, snotted on, cried on, farted on, climbed on, burped on, sneezed on, and bled on.
I have been the recipient of back rubs, of hugs so tight I couldn't breathe, of kisses that tasted like heaven and Cheetos, of wild flowers picked just for me, of homemade cards with half the letters written backwards, of smiles that light up my heart.
Parenthood is awful, awful, awful, awful, awful.
You can believe me, because I don't have recently brushed teeth, or combed hair, or matching socks, and my children are watching cartoons instead of reading books, and in ten seconds they will be eating candy they found on the floor, and my youngest will probably pull down his pants and pee on me while I am telling you this...
I am not an alien.
I am a mom.
And being a mom is FREAKING HARD.
And...it's worth it.
And yes, I do tell my children it's not okay to play with other people's s*%#.