10 Things I Hate about Parenting

Self on 09.16.12
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Photo: AndrewEik/ Creative Commons

I wasn't always sure I was cut out to be a parent. As the oldest sister of three brothers, I was a selfish, bossy know-it-all. My mother was a Catholic and a nurse-- selfless love was her department.

Thankfully, I love being a mom. Raising kids has grown my patience and expanded this selfish girl's sense of self. But I would never claim (especially to a non-parent considering taking the plunge) that life with the kids looks like a field of daises.

In the spirit of full disclosure, here are ten things I hate about parenting:

1.Three and a half hour games/sporting events (especially if your kid is on the bench). Yes, horse shows, swim meets and baseball games can actually last this long. I am interested for the first hour or so, and then the afternoon fades into numb, sunburnt boredom.

2.Grime, poop and vomit. I am a messy person, but kids bring it to another level. Imagine cleaning puke, diarrhea, mashed peas and urine off your own body, your child's body, and then scraping it out of the crack in the coffee table.

3.Elementary school band concerts. Even when the band is "good," these concerts are bad. Once I get past the thrill of seeing my child play the instrument he's been practicing, I start to hear the actual cacophony and long for invisible headphones.

4. Math homework. I hated math homework the first time around, and now I am expected to help with (and understand) the same material. Now it's taught in a Singapore Math Method, so I have to google and go to seminars when really I just want to use a calculator!

5. Sleeplessness. This varies according to the child, but I lost about three years of sleep with my daughter. The cry-it-out method was not designed for apartment living, and my daughter weaseled her way into my bed where she cuddled, kicked, and woke me up.

6. Slow walking and dawdling. I am a fast walker (and talker and do-er). Having kids is like attaching gigantic weights to your legs. Yes, it's nice to sometimes slow down and smell the roses, but then other times, it's nice to speed up and get where you're going.

7. Kid-versation. Don't get me wrong, I love listening to the hilarious conversing of the group of kindergarteners in the backseat. And I appreciate the older kids' growing insights into issues, but sometimes when I am alone with the kids for a stretch, I long for adult conversation.  

8. Lack of free time. Suddenly your days of lingering in the coffee shop, catching a spin class at the gym, and then puttering around a museum are over. The sliver of "me" time becomes less and less. And then you get a speeding ticket on the way to yoga.

9. Endless chauffeuring. I would never choose to drive a bus, and yet some days between pick ups and drop offs I feel like what the kids really need is a driver.

10. Quadrupling dentist appointments and haircuts. I always hated staying on top of my dental cleanings every six months. Now I am supposed to monitor dental cleanings, doctor appointments, eye exams and haircuts for my kids (plus home grooming). Nobody wants to be the mom of the kid with the longest fingernails, though I'm pretty sure I have been. 

I know the kids will grow up too fast and my lifestyle will shift (and keep shifting until the dance ends). Maybe I will look back and yearn for to have back the things about parenting I once hated.  Then again, maybe I won't.

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