In a matter of a few months (this year), hubs and I went from one child to three. Those of you with more than one child know there is a HUGE step from one child to two. Those of you with more children than parents also know there is a HUGE step from man-to-man coverage to zone defense. After that, though, it doesn’t seem to matter how many children are running around your house.
Until you see how much money you spend on food.
Many of you are aware that we currently have three teenagers living under our roof. One was legally adopted from another country. The other two were fake adopted after late Tuesday night phone calls three months apart requesting a safe place to stay for a little bit. All of them have ugly parts to their respective beginnings, brought about by parents who, for one reason or another, just didn’t have the capacity to do that job well.
I can’t tell you how many times we have received praise for bringing these kiddos into our house. Usually we are called saints or heroes, told we are incredibly good or nice people with big hearts.
But don’t put me on the ballot for sainthood just yet.
Because parenting–no matter the form it takes–is hard. It is work. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a single parent (who I think are usually the real saints), have a partner, parent one child or several, parent healthy children or those with significant limitations, parenting is hard work.
And you never get a day off.
On my best days, I hope and pray that all of my children will become healthy, well-adjusted, independent adults. On my best days, I tell them I love them or give hugs or laugh at their jokes and degenerate ways.
Some days I just hope and pray that I don’t maim or strangle them.
I wouldn’t qualify most days as my best.
Many days, I take my introverted self out of the house and put myself in time out because that’s what I need at the moment. Some days, it’s onto the deck with an adult beverage. Just to hear the quiet hum of a neighbor’s HVAC unit. Because that is way quieter than the circus inside.
Eventually, though, I go back into the house and resume my duties, thankful that I have a solid partner by my side.
And maybe that’s worth an award.
Or maybe every parent worth their stuff should be handed an award. Just for showing up.
I am no different (I don’t think) than those of you outnumbered by children. Some days I love it. Some days I don’t. Every day is a challenge and adventure and hard work. I’m not as inspired by my children as other parents are–though, with the stuff they carry around with them, they get points just for getting out of bed in the morning. It’s not the parenting experience I imagined or hoped for. It simply is mine.
It doesn’t make me a saint.
It might mean, however, that I am legitimately crazy.