Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parenting. It's Harder than I Thought

There is a part of parenting that is rarely spoken about. I certainly refrain from writing about it here for the most part. But as time goes by, I realize that I must speak about it. It's just the honest truth and it shouldn't be anything to be ashamed about. It just is. So here I go.

I have two sons.

Me boys

They are, for the most part, polar opposites and have been since birth. Dare I say even before birth.

One was breech. The other was not.
One is easy going. One is not.
One is ready to try new things. The other is not.
One challenges my parenting skills daily. The other does not.
One is set in his ways, much like a crotchety old man (Hell hath no fury like this son when his routine is upset). The other is not.

Does this make one easier to love than the other?
Absolutely not. I can't help but love each of them for their good qualities. The good qualities that I have spoken about here ad nauseum. But it is all easy peasy lemon squeezy (as these boys of mine like to say)?

That would be HELL to the no.

You see, one of my sons is more like me than I care to admit. The mere suggestion of anything from me brings full on revolt. Anarchy even. We joke to each other that homeschooling would result in me having no hair and him leaving home by age nine.

I think we clash because we are too alike.

(Here's the part where my parents nod their heads vigorously and laugh with vengeance that I now know what they once dealt with. I, personally, think they are crazy.)

It's not just the we clash or disagree. It's that it brings out the worst in both of us. There is back talking and down right debauchery on his part which brings out my temper and how dare you talk to me like that, I got cut open to give you life on mine.

I am not proud to admit it, but I may have uttered the phrase, "I brought you into this world, I can take you out."

On more than one occasion.

This is not abnormal. I know it's not. It just can't be. No, not all kids are like this, obviously because my other son is not. He watches and has figured out it's not really the ideal. He tries a different, equally frustrating approach. We like to call it the whine approach.

Either way, this parenting gig, 'tis hard. And we haven't even, God help us all, hit the teen years. I am already planning how we will survive and I am pretty sure it's going to take copious amounts of vodka.

It's so easy to watch others parent before you have kids and think, I will never be like that. I will be patient and understanding with my kids. HA. The problem is that once you have your own kids, you can see the attitude coming from a mile away and you don't want to wait until it gets here,you want to squash it like a bug before it even sees you coming. This is where patience flies out the proverbial window and ushers in anger and frustration.

Does this work? Hell no. Does it stop me from doing it? That would also be a hell no.

(Side note: the number of times I have used hell so far: 5)

I don't think it's a coincidence that my first grey hair peeked it's way out shortly after birthing (or in my case laying on a table while the doctor cut him out) my first son.

Would I change it for the world?


Hell (#6) no.

But maybe we could do with a little less attitude and back talking? You know, if I was wishing on a star or something.

Oh and one more for good measure: Hell (#7).

PS if you cannot in any way shape or form relate to this, I am going to guess one of two things, 1) you are not yet a parent, or 2) you are extremely lucky and should get on your knees right now and thank the Good Lord up in Heaven above or fate, whatever your beliefs might be.

Just sayin'.


mamatucci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mamatucci said...

I can relate. Just today I went into Frankie's room and already anticipate the fight that will happen after school. It is not the messy room,it is the lying and hiding about it. and the fact that she just doesnt get it or care I guess. She jokes sometimes that I love her brother more. Of course I dont,I have grown while Frankie has. But does it make me a total ass, that I dont really "like" her sometimes. The talking back, the attitude,the wisdom and physical growth well beyond her years.

But I do love them both the same.Just in different ways I guess. Wow that kinda hurts. But thanks for the post Kami. It does help to know you are not alone

nicole said...

I can absolutely relate. I will be posting (eventually) about some behavior struggles we have had lately. Parenting is hard. If it was easy, people wouldn't be doing so much to avoid it. But it is worth it (most of the time anyway).

Angella said...

Not alone, dude. Not alone. It's the hardest (and most rewarding) job on the planet.

3LittleMonkeys said...

I totally understand what you are saying. My middle child brings out the worst in me. I never knew I had such a hot temper!! I always thought he was like his daddy but I'm thinking he is a lot like me (yikes).

I love them each the same, but my "favorite" child changes daily!

Lori: Teacher Turned Mommy said...

I can so relate to this post! My boys are also opposites and one's personality is just like mine and the other is just like my husband. There are things that are like nails on the chalkboard with both personalities, but I love them both beyond words. Who wants perfect kiddos anyway?? I'd settle for happy and healthy anyday

Elaine A. said...

Oh I can relate girl, "boy" CAN I!!! HELL to the YES!

But I will still thank the Good Lord! ;-)

Hope today is a less challenging day...

Kami said...

Oh. So this is what you were talking about, the "other phase"?? Can I keep my one child a toddler forever? Is that an option?
Oh, hell! Thanks for the heads up!

Threeboys1mommy said...

As the "easy" child, I always kind of admired my little sister for daring to talk back and speak her mind. I would venture to say she's a more productive adult because of it, she's very independent and strong.

There's your light at the end of the tunnel Kams, it's a good thing. Hell! It's a great thing ;-)

Debbie said...

Oh, I can totally relate!

R Royal Family said...

I am heading down that same path. I remember my mom always telling me little people little problems, big people big problems. I am begining to see the truth to that. At least we will have eachother to walk this rough road with, misery loves company ;-) Take Care

Anna-b-bonkers said...

Ha, ha, I love how you say it how it is!!
I agree about the love, no matter what I just love my kids to bits. Though we butt heads in different ways too, they have each got these amazing qualities, each one different that just blows my mind.
Dido to the frustrations, but also dido to the love!

And thank you for the e-mail, Dave knocked my day out of the ball park, I am soooooo loving him. Sometimes I loose track of his awesome qualities too and I need a royal boot in the butt!!! :-)

Kristin said...

Don't forget about the things you like about yourself (ok remember them now) and see them in your children too...

Ashley said...

I'm going to invent helmets to prevent perminent damage from all the head butting that happens in this house.

And great comment Kristin, a good reminder.

Ed said...

Yeah, had someone told me how impossibly difficult this job was going to be--I may have thought twice before signing up.

(probably not, though!)

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for posting this. Hell ya I can relate! I have a 7 year old daughter, going on 13. And alas, she is more like me than I care to admit. My mother used to say "I hope you have a daughter just like you.". Never understood that comment and rolled my eyes at mom. HA!! I can't believe I said that to Liz the other day "I hope you have a child just like you". Oh brother. My parents must have had a lot of patience over the years. Mac is so different. So easy going, and full of happiness. She has her moments, but they are so far and few between. Do I love her more? Absolutely not. Do I love Liz any less? Absolutely not. They are different, and need to be treated differently (yet with the same discipline and values). This is the hardest "job" in the entire world. And yet wouldn't give it up for anything

Jen Wilson said...

AMAZING POST!! (sorry I'm so late reading it)

BeachMama said...

Hell yes, you said it perfectly.

Natalie said...

i can sooooo relate! kirstyn exhausts me and james exhausts david. we joke about each having our own kid. it is because she is so much like me and he is more like his daddy in personality. do i love her any less than him? HELL NO! great post. glad i finally had time to read it!