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Thursday, July 21, 2011

There's a Reason It's Called "Parenting"

I'm going to preface this post by saying this: I am not a perfect parent.  In fact, I am far from it.  I have made multitudes of mistakes when parenting, and I humbly acknowledge those.  I'm not a super mom, nor do I claim to be.  I don't view myself as a parenting role model, and I don't think that everyone should parent the way I do.  But, here is my rant about the way other people parent.  Feel free to ignore it if it pisses you off.

What bothers me the most about other parents is that they seem to forget the fact that they actually have to "parent."  You know, pay attention to their children, interact with them, discipline them, teach them things, spend time with them, play with them, and so on.  It seems we have this reoccurring ailment in society where people have kids and then act as though they're this incredible inconvenience.  I get that parenting is exhausting and it's a difficult and complex job, but we signed up for it.

What saddens me is how much we miss out on our own children's lives because we're so involved in other things: working, messing around on our computers or phones, watching television, gabbing with our friends, etc.  Kids grow up really quick, and time really does fly, and you can't get it back once it's gone.  I fully admit that I was once a person who spent so much time working and trying to take care of my dreams and goals that I missed out on some great things with my kid - but thankfully I learned my lesson before it was too late and I missed out on his entire childhood.  I'm constantly evaluating opportunities that are presented to me with my son in mind.  I want to be an active participant in his childhood, and that is my number one priority.

I also enjoy interacting and playing with my son.  Sometimes, I get looks from people like I've utterly lost my mind.  As other parents sit around, sipping cocktails, engaging in adult conversation or simply watching the action, I like to get right down there and be part of it.  Kids do a lot of fun stuff, and I want to be part of that fun, too.  So what if I'm freezing, I'm having a great time sledding with my kid.  So what if I'm getting all wet, Gavin and I are having a blast running through the sprinkler.  I choose to be a participant in the action rather than an observer, and that allows me to make a lot of memories with my kid and spend some quality time with him.

I understand that my sole purpose in life is not to be my child's playmate and constant entertainer, but the fact is, Gavin doesn't have any siblings, so I often have to play with him - and I enjoy it.  Even if he did have siblings, what kid doesn't want their mom or dad to come and play with them, spend some time with them, and give them some undivided attention?  I don't know of a child that doesn't enjoy that (except maybe teenagers, but they're a completely different life form).  And, is it really so hard to log off of Facebook for thirty minutes and play a game with your kid?

I'm not saying we should all abandon our personal dreams and goals, quit our jobs, and spend every waking second with our children - that's completely unrealistic and not feasible.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that we should strive to find some sort of balance - a balance between really making time for our kids and making time for ourselves, a balance between working and relaxation with our families, a balance between our own personal desires and a commitment to enjoying our children's short childhoods, a balance between housework and playing catch in the yard.  It's something I struggle with, but I'm committed to finding that balance.

So, that is my rant - my intent was not to offend but rather vent-, and now I'm off to pretend that I'm Buzz Lightyear while Gavin pretends to be Woody.


  1. I love this rant! You are so right about getting right down in the action with the kids. I love being part of their childhood, and am always trying to treasure every moment. :)

    I'm stopping by from voiceBoks, and now happily following your blog! I would love it if you would follow back on mine. Stop on by and say hi!


  2. I agree that kids need their parents need to get down on the floor with their kids and play with them. The reason I stay home with my kids is that I know my time wiht them in limited and I want to enjoy every minute. That's not to say that I don't need a break from time to time. There are times that I need to not sing twinkle twinkle one.more.time!