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5 Life Lessons That Parenting Has Taught Me

24 August 2016

Congratulations. You are a parent. You and your significant other have given yourselves the daunting task of raising miniature versions of yourself, in hopes that they won't be as screwed up as you are. If you are like me, you will be wondering at least 1,397,596,328,939,247 times a day, how badly you suck at your parenting job, and pray that they don't turn in to that crazy crackhead down the street or even worse, a politician. It's a "learn as you go" adventure. Kinda fun, sometimes, kinda scary, and just downright "rip your f***ing hair out" frustrating. But there are always lessons to be learned in life, especially when it comes to raising humans.

Lesson 1: Silence is NOT golden.
 I repeat. SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN!!!! Forget what you learned on movie theaters etiquette, NOW, before it's too late and you end up with a shaven dog, or new "decorations" on the wall (sometimes consisting of fecal matter). If it is quiet, your little darling is up to something that may take years to repair (sometimes your own mental stability is damaged. (Who am I kidding. This happens everyday. Disregard.)) So unless you want to be fishing toys out of an un-flushed toilet, or replacing drywall, I suggest you take the silence very seriously. Silence is deadly.

Lesson 2: Life isn't fair.
 Especially for kids. Because Billy got this toy, and Suzy got a different toy, and then suddenly, Billy wants what Suzy has, but wants Suzy to pick something else, because there is no way in HELL that his sister is going to have the same toy as him. And if no one complies with his wishes, he will let everyone in the surround area know what an abusive, terrible parent you are, and you get dirty looks from strangers because how dare you not give into your child's every desire, even when society tells you they are spoiled little brats who don't need participation trophies, so either way, you can't fucking win. With all the strength and sanity you can possible muster, take the kids, leave the toys where they are, and get the hell out of there. RUN. LIKE HELL! Distract the kids with something else while you go chug a glass, or bottle, bottle sound better, of wine until you forget why you are mad at those precious angels in the first place. Until they start arguing over who will be the king in their make believe game and the kids scream, "it's not fair!" to each other. Repeat tomorrow. Results may vary.

Lesson 3: Don't compare yourself to other parents.
You want to feel like a shitty parent? That is exactly how you begin to feel like a shitty parent. You see all these parents with their perfect angels, everyone in a perfect line with their perfect clothes and perfect faces, while your kids are flinging snot at each tying to play hide-and-seek in the clothing rack. Let me tell you something. Just because you see that perfect parent with their perfectly behaved kid, doesn't mean it's a reality for them. They could be looking at you wondering how the hell you have the strength and patience to go through all of that. Or they could be thinking get your kids in order because, holy shit, they are heathens. Doesn't matter what that perfect perceived parent thinks. Because when they get home, they are just as frazzled as you. They struggle too. We all have different parenting styles. Embrace each other. Don't be assholes to each other.

Did I just really say that? Okay, I did. I just said that. Look, mom groups are a cesspool of criticism. You are doing everything wrong. You are treating a certain illness wrong, and my favorite, the Doctor of the mom group who tells you to go against actual science, because she's got years of google research under her belt. Look. All moms are doing the best they can for their children, and doing what they think is right. Even the annoying doctor mom. We all love our little heathens and take our job seriously (especially on social media) so it's no wonder other moms are so vicious about advice. Want some advice? Do what works for you and your kid (and take medical advice from an actual doctor. Sorry, just had to throw that in there. I'm such a hypocrite, I know.) But serious, none of these other moms are raising your kids for you, and you aren't raising theirs. Just stay away from mommy groups if you don't want to feel like you are destroying your children, okay?

Lesson 5: It's okay to be angry with you kids.
Lets face it. Kids are assholes. But they are cute assholes, and they are ours! It's okay to let your kids know you are angry with them! It's a legit feeling that they need to learn to process as well! But it is hard to stay angry with them. Don't drag your anger out for long. Let them know why you are mad, and move on. As a kid, there is nothing worse than knowing your parents are angry at you, and you not know why or how to fix it. Give kids that opportunity. And also, when you are being a dick as a parent, your kids are allowed to be angry, too. It's a valid feeling and emotion. So, in summery, be angry! Don't hide that shit! Just get over it quickly before your kid does the next asshole thing to piss you off all over again.

What have you learned on this parenting journey so far? Please feel free to share your experiences!

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