Parenting is an adventure and most of us would agree possibly the toughest job on the planet. We all either are, have been, aspired to be, or will be at some point the type of parents listed below. We have to laugh at our parenting prowess to keep from going insane. So here is the list of parents we love to hate.
1. The "My child has slept all night since birth" parent. When this person shares this bit of information with you, after the fight or flight reaction of punching them in the face due to your total sleep deprivation, you immediately jump to the "fact" that you obviously are doing this whole parenting thing wrong and/or there is something wrong with your child.
Believe me I have 4 children and none of them have slept so spanning my 14 1/2 years of parenting I've probably gotten 2 hours of sleep (my math skills are spot on). I know I haven't done what's necessary to teach my children to sleep but I also know some kids are just more difficult than others. I happen to have 4.
2. The parents who NEVER miss church. I have grown up in the South and lived here most of my life. If you and your family aren't in church every time the doors are open then you probably don't love Jesus. Most churches have Wednesday, Sunday morning, and Sunday night services. As a true Christian family you should be there all three times or people might start questioning your relationship with the good Lord. (Before you gasp too deeply and pass out fellow southerners this is a joke...sort of.)
I am in no way saying regular church attendance isn't important because it can be very instrumental in spiritual growth. However, we all know "that" family, I really wish I could be them. They NEVER miss a service or fellowship and somehow they do this all while looking like they stepped out of a Ralph Lauren catalog (if there are even catalogs anymore but you get the point) and their children are dressed to the nines in boutique clothing complete with matching bows and shoes and their initials are probably monogrammed somewhere. For goodness sake I monogrammed my first daughter's initials on her diaper cover. I had a bow in her hair every single day of her life until she was 7. The bigger the better. And don't even get me started on appliqué or smocking. I mean honestly, is there anything else you can slap on a plain white shirt or dress and increase the value by $50+ in the south? I don't think so.
I commend this family for braving hell or high water, extreme cold and snow, and facing the dreaded flu season with no fear (because hypochondriac, fear driven people like me look at the nursery at this time of year and don't see sweet little children....I see germs....EVERYWHERE!!!). It truly is amazing that your five year old has perfect attendance at Sunday School, while having 3 younger siblings. Mom, I would love to know your secrets and have your wardrobe or just your clothing budget.
Let's just follow that one up with...
3. The parents whose children must ALWAYS be dressed perfectly. Their kids always have the latest styles, the cutest hair and accessories (complete with monogrammed backpack, yes I've been guilty of this as well). Their children dare not step outside of the house with miss matched clothes or a costume when it isn't Halloween.
I've pretty much given up on this dream of perfectly dressed children. I try to suggest or guide them and I especially try to ensure they aren't scantily clad but other than that I have begun to choose my battles and if my daughter wants to dress like Anna from Frozen while we go to the grocery store and the weather is permitting, then why not? You're only a kid once. Explore your style, enjoy your comfort, and rock that ninja turtle costume like its 1989!
4. Super healthy, non GMO, all natural/organic mom or dad. I have DESPERATELY wanted to be this parent. I have tried SO hard but my budget, time, and will just aren't strong enough. When I saw that a vegetarian friend of mine (who is in awesome shape along with the rest of her family) made spinach and peach smoothies for her children to drink for breakfast, I immediately texted my husband that we were SO going to do that!! I'm sure he was like.... yay...(read that with no excitement and complete sarcasm). Just the look of this drink made my children want to puke. While it would be a super healthy alternative it just didn't work for us.
The time that needs to go into planning and preparing the all natural, non GMO food can't be done consistently. Not when you have several kids. Because sometimes you just have to buy that box of frozen waffles or pancakes or pick up that $5 pizza because if you spend one more minute in the kitchen with a child or children screaming at your feet you just might bury your face in the unrefined coconut oil sprinkled with organic flax seed and scream!!!!
5. The parents whose children have never gone through separation anxiety or social awkwardness. You know the feeling when you go to drop off your child at nursery or daycare and they scream bloody murder while doing the choke hold around your neck. It's heart wrenching to see the fear in your child's eyes when you think they feel as though you're abandoning them. What doesn't make that feeling any better is the caregiver or by stander/friend who wants to look shocked and horrified by your child's behavior or they want to tell you that their child always loved going into childcare and never cried a tear.
Thank you for your support. I realize I've made my child a clingy basket case. Why don't you take her/him for a while and see what you can do. Wait...no...I won't let you because I am a crazy hovering mother who can't let go of her child even though his screaming is making me want to run far, far away right now...I'll probably just run with him in my arms while we both scream.
Having the child who has separation anxiety and social awkwardness is a double bonus. Yes, dear sweet church lady, every single time you talk to her she is going to look angrily at you and hide behind my leg. Just be glad she's not screaming at the top of her lungs like her brother does when a stranger speaks to him. It takes a lot of work to be this socially awkward and a lot of mommy nervous sweats.
6. The parent who has a child that says the sweetest things you've ever heard. We've all known or been this parent. I know I've been guilty of it, I just thank the sweet Lord above that there wasn't Facebook when I had my first child. All of us think our first child hung the moon and broke the mold of all awesomeness and no one has ever seen or heard the greatness that spews forth from them. It's just how it is. We're new to all of this making little people stuff but by the second, third, or forth you think they're cute and all but you realize they may just be the spawn of satan sometimes and if that's the case you know who that means satan must be....that's right...it has to be your spouse.
These parents with angelic children would never have a child that drops a bomb in public, maybe even...dare I say it....CHURCH!!! I'm not talking about a diaper bomb. I am speaking of an unforgivable sin of foul language which could have only been learned by his/her other parent or from the hours of dreaded, unsupervised TV I've let them watch. (Yes, I'd much rather have committed that sin than to fess up to the fact that I cuss.) Of course, others look horrified or they give a smirk like, I knew it! I knew she was a heathen!! They have rarely ever let a dirty word slip passed their lips much less in front of their child. Let's just be honest. I try my best not to say "bad" words in front of my children but usually they are what cause me to want to cuss a blue streak so sometimes I can't hold it in. Here's your halo and your wings non-cussing parent. You really deserve them if you can control your mouth 24/7 with a toddler and a teen. And the people said, "Amen!"
7. The mom who left the hospital after giving birth in her pre-maternity blue jeans. This is a mythical creature that I've heard about on occasion. Usually the occasion is when I'm about to burst out of my maternity pants. Some kind soul decides to tell me about their niece, friend, sister-in-law, etc. who just after giving birth jumped right back into her regular blue jeans. Who is this person?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! From the moment I see two lines on a pregnancy test I'm in elastic waist pants, my feet and ankles become as wide as my thighs and I've got those bad boys propped up in the recliner. There is no "popping" right back into shape after my entire body has swollen to its greatest capacity before exploding. Whoever these mythical creatures are, if they indeed do exist, they really need to continue to reproduce and create a super human race of perfect people. I'm sure they will NEVER miss church and look AWESOME all the time!
So, if you found yourself in any of these parents, you're not alone. Except if you're a super skinny mom who just gave birth and your newborn sleeps all night, then I think you're pretty much alone, but I think you're ok with that.