Shameless Parenting

I love my boys with all my heart.  I give them all I’ve got, day in and day out, in an effort to raise healthy, productive, happy members of society.  I’m not afraid to admit, however, that sometimes all I’ve got is not that much.  

I’ve slipped into some shameless parenting habits that, although very necessary for my own happiness and sanity at times, are not necessarily what one would consider primo parenting.  Since I make no qualms about it (I mean shameless in the literal sense here) I will share them with you in an effort to make you feel better about your own human raising.  

Yelling/Screaming/Acting Like a Crazy Person:  I’m a yeller.  Always have been.  It hit home that I do this all too frequently when I heard my 18 month old screaming incoherently at the dogs when they were barking at the mail lady.  You know, just like I do. 

Under the Breath Cussing:  It is not at all uncommon for me to let loose a profanity laced outpouring of anger, disappointment, frustration, whatever the emotion of the minute is under my breath as I walk away from whatever has caused me to loose the tenuous grip I have on my shit.  Okay, fine.  Sometimes, this happens right out there in the open.

Giant Yeti Tumblers Full of Vodka Drank:  I don’t always fill my Yeti up with vodka and sparkling water, but when I do I am poolside with friends or at the zoo with small people.  You see that smiling parent over there with a death grip on his insulated adult sippy cup?  He and I are in on the same secret.

Having an Extremely Laissez-Faire Attitude Regarding Safety:  When my first was younger, I’d hover over his every move ensuring that any fall was broken by my own body and every bruise was minimized.  These days, I let the toddler go upstairs with only his brother looking out for him and let him roam free in the backyard as long as the dogs are out there, too. 

Giving In, Giving Up:  After removing your child from the top of the play table, the barstool, the stairs, the swing set and having him climb right back up over and over again or telling your eldest no and stop and don’t for the 37th time, occasionally one must thrown in the towel and let it ride.  Resistance is futile.  Let the natives run wild.  

Resting my Eyes:  My own mother, after having exhausted herself entirely from our antics, would sometimes lay on the couch and “rest her eyes” for a period of time.  We’d ask her if she was sleeping and she’d say no, she was only resting her eyes.  I succumb to this siren’s call myself at times but I have the technological advantages not enjoyed by parents of the past.  I can let Netflix auto stream and get some real rest this way, despite the occasional elbow to the stomach, chubby finger to the face, or denied snack requests.

Laying in a Puddle of Self Pity on the Bathroom Floor while Sending a “Please Help Me” Text to My Working Husband: Okay, this has only happened twice in our entire parenting lives and on both occasions I was genuinely and violently ill.  This is not a euphemism for a hangover; this is a legitimate illness of viral origin spread to you from those petri dishes you call your children.  Legitimate need aside, it still somehow felt like I was taking the easy way out.  Full time parenting can create distorted views of guilt and responsibility.  

So stand tall.  Stand proud.  Have no shame when it comes to doing what you must to get through this hectic and often stressful parenting gig.  Your children will not suffer in the long run for your temporary lapse in parenting perfection.  At least, I hope not…

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