Before you had kids, what did you think it would be like? Did you dream about the insightful and special conversations that you and your children would have? Did you think that you and the kids would sit around after dinner every night basking in candlelight, telling stories and snuggling with one another in the moments before they peacefully went to bed adorned in their adorable pajamas? Did you imagine all the important things you would say to them, words of wisdom they would remember for the remainder of their lives? Did you dream of peaceful days and calm evenings, without the need for harsh discipline in a world where you never lost your patience (like your own parents did) and remained calm at all times?
Yea, US TOO!
Then BAM! Like a hockey puck flying from the ice and hitting you square in the forehead – it hits you. Some days, parenting SUCKS and it certainly doesn’t always live up to your pre-childrearing expectations.
The reality of parenting hits you, and you realize that you are not just a parent. You are a broken record. The kind of broken record that skips and sputters on the turntable, repeating itself over and over and over again. So much so that there are times when even YOU are tired of hearing yourself repeat the same old things over again.
Pick up your clothes, brush your teeth, put your shoes away, flush the toilet, stop picking your nose, eat your dinner, do your homework, watch your mouth, turn off the TV, clean your room, make your bed, comb your hair, close the fridge, turn off the lights, put your seatbelt on, wake up, go to sleep, wake up, stop eating junk, say please, say thank you, say excuse me, close the door, open the door, don’t talk to me like that, wash your hands. You get the gist. The rant of today’s parent is not something that most of us ever dreamed of prior to having children. We never thought we would turn into our own parents, never thought that we would have children who required hours upon hours (upon daily hours) of reminders to do the simple things in life.
Seriously, how hard is it to remember to flush the toilet? What is it about children that they constantly leave their shoes in the middle of the floor, or ‘forget’ to brush their teeth, or think that they can leave every light in the house on – despite the fact that you are constantly bitching about it? For years, you – like most parents, have been saying the same old things over and over. Are our kids dense?
The worst part is that the older your children get, the more irritated THEY will become with being the victim of your constant ranting. Then, instead of fixing the problem by obeying the rules and realizing from experience that you expect certain things to be a certain way – they have the audacity to accuse you of being a nag, and (gasp) roll their eyes and stomp off mad because you barked yet another order. Not a new order, but one of the same old things you have being saying for years.
Today’s kids are supposed to be smarter than us!? Most can outdo their parents on any math or science test. Yet they still cannot figure out that not flushing the toilet will leave it clogged and that eating junk before dinner will only irritate their mom and instigate yet another round of rantings and rage.
Of course, parents are then left with the only resort they have left. Raising their voice, and yelling and slamming a door or punching a hole in the drywall. Or completely over reacting and grounding the kids for a week because they didn’t clean their room. Not because they are in need of anger management, but because they are so disappointed with the broken record dialogue that has taken over their parental conversations and remorseful that their dreams of being the perfect parent have been dismantled by perpetually imperfect children who don’t listen.
Every parent at some point or another has found themselves in the awful position of feeling like a broken record. Every parent scratches their head and wonders why the kids cannot just realize if they would do the simple things you ask, life would be easier, less stressful and more fun. Every parent plays a major role in being the constant reminder that in life, there are some things you just have to do. And every parent will eventually be called a nag, a fun-sucker, or be accused of constantly being in a bad mood because they have kids that JUST. WON’T. LISTEN! (No matter how many times they have been told and no matter how upset you get.)
This is the part of parenthood that no one sees coming. This is the part of parenthood that no one warns you about. This is the reality of being a parent that will take over your life from the moment your child learns to walk until the day they move out of your house and have children of their own. Then, and only then will the record truly be broken and then and only then, will your children truly understand what all the fuss about unbrushed teeth, unkempt hair, messy beds, shoes in the middle of the floor, unflushed toilets, back talking and leaving lights on (just to name a few) was really about.