Phantom Scribbler posted a link yesterday to Amy's series of posts about resentment. Now I don’t always follow the link, nor do I read so deeply into long posts written by bloggers I don’t usually follow. It’s hard enough keeping up with the blogs I like to read but today was rainy, my house was clean, the kid was playing with her toys by herself and dinner was being put on by the husband so I ventured out of my box.
Amy passionately reviews how her and her husband's lives have changed
“After all, Lance gets to have his same old life except with two extra little morsels to munch on when he comes home from work… He goes to work, just like he always did, and eats lunch in nice restaurants that use cloth napkins, talks and jokes with his colleagues all day,… Just like before the kids, except that now he has the added bonus of Isaac and Vivian. ”
I could not let this next paragraph go.
“Meanwhile, my life is completely, totally, irrevocably changed. I don't do ANYTHING without first considering the kids. And I don't mean in an Uber Mommy oh-let-me-do-that-for-you way; I mean in a two-and-three-year-olds-aren't-even-close-to-being-independent way. I don't ever go anywhere without planning. I can't get my f**king hair cut or go to the doctor without scheduling a time that Isaac is in school, and my mother in law is available to babysit, at a time when traffic won't be an issue, and a day when my doctor or the hair salon is available.”
I relate to it. Shortly after Ella was born I asked my mother how long it would be before I would get actual good nights sleep and she said to me. “When they’re babies you listen for them to cry and you get up to feed them, when they are children you listen for them to whimper and you get up to chase the monsters away, when they are teenagers you listen for them to sneak out of their window, when they are in college you listen for them to come home no matter how late, when they move out you lie awake and worry and hope they are ok… so never.”
When people tell you it will change your life it doesn’t even begin to describe what happens. You can’t even fathom how different you will be until it happens and then you are so gobsmacked with love and responsibility you barely have time to remember who you are. When you finally do find the time, you don’t even want to be who you were and the type of parent you had planned on being isn’t as realistic an idea as you thought it was. Nobody starts out saying I want to be a crappy parent with a crappy marriage.
From what I have gathered the most successful parents are the pliable ones; those who are willing to change the gate mid stride and dance around the tantrums, to laugh in spite of themselves as they find out who they really are. Because until you been pushed to the very physiological limits of normal human function on just 2 hours of sleep while still maintaining your ability to speak in a normal tone to your spouse you have not truly looked your own character in the eye. I suppose the true test of any individual is how one reacts under great pressure, be it screaming baby, winy child, bad traffic, idiot boss, out of control dictators, ignorant politicians. Can you keep your wits about you in the face of aggravation?
I’m not sure the point of this very long rant. (give me a break - it's late) Perhaps it is this - parenting is stressful and it will test your character in ways you can't understand until it is happening to you.