- 6 years ago
- Wedding: January 2010
Oct. 04, 2012 (the 1/10/10 date above is when I got married, not when this post was written. That is the case for everyone’s blog postings).
Delusional Parent Syndrome: “My Kid is the BEST!”
Okay, so here’s another reason why I’m unsure about kids. Generally speaking, I tend to find people without kids are better conversationalists and more interesting. Now I have met some amazing moms that never lost sight of who they are and are honest about their kids strengths and shortcomings. You are not the moms I’m speaking of. With many parents, half the conversation is usually about…you guessed it, their kid. How great their kid is, smart their kid is, best at this, best at that, said the funniest thing, did the funniest thing, how cute they are, how they are going to grow up to be a pro-football star, amazing dancer, actor, doctor, musician, etc. Despite the kids parents’ gushing, by and large most kids don’t grow up to be the best this or that. In reality, which is the reality for most of us, they grow up to have kids and their “talents” become hobbies, not paid professions. This is fine and this is reality.
People without kids usually have more time to strengthen their talents and have more to say about the world around them. Mostly, raising kids falls on the shoulders of the mother. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can also just continue to maintain the status quo. The world over, busy moms don’t have as much time on their hands, or as many opportunities as men and since men and dads usually are the ones who have more time, they can spend their time being dedicated to their careers and continue making money, being the CEO’s, continue running for office, making the rules, and running the world. There are moms who have amazing careers and do amazing things, but the top of the hierarchy still very male dominated the world-over. There are plenty of moms who adore being moms and have found that motherhood enhances their lives in ways they have never known before (and of course dads feel this way, too). However, many moms also admit, particularly stay-at-home moms, that the first couple years, much of their life goes on hold and they realize how difficult, isolating, nerve racking and at times, boring motherhood can be. Some of these moms crave adult interactions and actual conversations, not just one way conversations with a baby who just makes noises and is discovering sound. Yes, this is all fascinating stuff, it’s really cool to see an infant or kid learning new things, at the same time, moms (and stay-at-home dads), need support and need moments by themselves, need time with their friends or their partner, and need space just to breathe and relax. The sound of a baby crying for hours on end is a true irritation, even when it’s your own child (according to some of my mom friends). This is just honesty, and something women and society haven’t been honest about for a long time. Most moms adore their kids and this is obviously a really good thing. But even the best and most loving moms could use a break from time to time. If you ask moms what they could use, many times the answer is “a break,” “a nap,” “more help,” “a sitter,” “a vacation,” or “a moment.” Becoming a mom means saying bye bye to your time for at least the first couple years of your child’s life. Swallow that pill. Really. Every mom I know has said something of the sort. Listen to moms. Pick their brains, but make sure you talk with those cool honest moms. Not the ones who say things like, “Every single moment is just pure bliss.” Really? Every single moment? Huh, those moms are liars and aren’t even very good liars. I wouldn’t trust them for a second and I also wouldn’t be their friend. These are the same women who faked orgasms with their former boyfriends and then when you date those guys, you have to teach them where your clit is because they have no idea and have only been with orgasm fakers. STOP FAKING ORGASMS LADIES!!! Seriously. Do yourself, (or at least the next girl in line) a favor and teach him how it’s done. And don’t be all prude about it. Try to erase all that “good girl/bad girl” crap you’ve been fed your whole life. Maybe you are a former faker, that’s okay. You grew up and realized you’d rather actually have one that fake one. At least you’ve stopped, but if you are still faking it and reading this STOP IT NOW! Learn how to masturbate. Masturbating is not bad and knowing how your body works is empowering. It feels good and is completely natural. It’s also STD free and healthy and you don’t have to worry about cheating, because you won’t be cheating on you. You can trust yourself and be nice to yourself. Plus, it’s empowering to know you can make yourself feel good and don’t always have to rely on someone else to do it for you. I know this from experience. I was raised Catholic and used to be all pent up about masturbation. I started having urges to masturbate at 14, but didn’t actually do it till I was 20. And you know what I saw at 20 that opened my mind? I saw my dog masturbating. Yep, that’s right. My dog. And I thought, he doesn’t have years of guilt over his head, he’s just going for it. So, later in the privacy of my room, I started going for it, and once I figured it out, it was awesome. I have also never faked an orgasm. I’m just too honest for that. Dear reader, I want you to know I’m not saying all this stuff to make you feel bad. If you’ve faked it in the past, okay you’ve faked it. However if you are still faking it, I’m saying this stuff to empower you. I wish I had had an honest friend who figured this stuff out when I was younger, instead of having to figure it all out on my own.
I am a former teacher and former childcare worker. I have worked with newborns through 13 year olds. I have been a surrogate mom to thousands of kids through the years. I loved teaching and loved the kids I worked with. I loved some of the kids so much that I wished they were my own, but also knew that I might not have a kid like that and had no idea what kind of kid I’d have. And there were kids who were very tough and stressful to work with, and who drained all my energies by the day’s end. I know not all kids are fun and games, but I’ve heard parents say that they can’t stand other people’s kids, but that they feel differently about their own children. I have truly loved other people’s kids and saw them for the amazing individuals they are. I felt I had a more honest view of the kids I taught, because, unlike a parent who favors their own kid (even accidentally) and boasts about their own child’s abilities, I was able to see just how amazing each kid was. Now, don’t get me wrong, even though I loved teaching, I knew I didn’t want to do it forever, mainly because as a teacher, you have to work really hard, often bring your work home with you, sometimes pay for supplies out of your own funds, and get paid terribly. The “getting paid terribly” was the hardest part.
Our society and politicians love to talk about teachers and schools during election season because they want the teachers’ and parents’ votes. But they are never willing to go the extra mile and actually pay teacher’s a decent living wage. Teaching is still considered “women’s work” and any field that is “women’s work” is underpaid. And, if you are a male in a female dominated industry, guess what? You also get paid badly. The only industries where women make more than men is 1. prostitution and 2. modeling. Nice. Okay, so back to the teaching thing, though I generally loved working with kids, I definitely didn’t always love it and had days that were really long, where I was over-worked, stressed, and so forth…much like parenthood can be at times. However, unlike motherhood, I was able to have my nights and weekends to myself and if I didn’t like the job, I could always go find another one.
You can’t quit motherhood.
This is why I really grapple with having a kid(s). There are no returns, no do-overs, no “this isn’t for me,” no this isn’t what I expected so I’d like to try something else. It’s permanent. Some people find this thrilling and if you are one of those people, awesome. You are probably a good parent or you might be delusional, or you might not have kids yet and are just hoping that it is everything you’ve ever dreamed of. I urge non-parents, parents-to-be, and people considering parenthood, to have candid conversations with current parents and spend lots of time around children.
My husband has a stronger urge to procreate than I do, but he hasn’t spent much time around kids. Even when his nieces were in town, he was ready to send them home long before I was (probably because I taught kids for many years so my irritation levels are lower than his). I’ve told him he needs to spend more time around kids. He claims that he doesn’t and that our kids will be different. Wow, where I have heard that before? From almost every parent-to-be I know. But guess what? Even your own kids will sometimes drive you bonkers and it’s unfair and unrealistic to think otherwise. For instance, I love my husband, but sometimes he gets under my skin and I certainly know that I do for him as well. I suppose one of the differences is, we are both adults. We can take a break from each other and later reconvene and see where the other person is coming from. With kids, especially young kids, this is not an option. Try rationalizing with or taking an extended break from a 1 year old.
I have found that a lot of monumental things in life don’t always live up to what people have told me they’d be like. For example, high school for the most part was crap. I wasn’t a dork or the coolest kid, but I remember certain adults who perhaps really did love their high school experiences or were misremembering how crummy it could be, nostalgically saying, “These are the best years of your life.” I remember saying to my friends, “If these are the best, I don’t want to see the worst.” I also thought to myself, “Wow. Life is potentially long. I could live for 80+ years and after these four years, my best days are gone? How bleak.” Thankfully those adults were wrong. College was pretty cool and I have found the years after college to be even better. Thank goodness. I urge parents, particularly moms, to be honest about all the ups and downs that come with parenting. I know being a parent can be an amazing experience, but I’ve also been told it can be really difficult. Please do parents, parents-to-be and non-parents a favor. Drop the facade and get real. I will leave you with this, if the sensation of an orgasm felt like childbirth and the pain of childbirth felt like orgasms, we would all be extinct. Now go thank your mother.