I’m blessed to have friends from all different phases of life surrounding me all the time. From the young, newly married to the marriage lifers and single peeps and some that are divorced or single parents, to those who have never had kids.Getting them together for a fun night of gossip and gorging out on pizza is normally the highlight of my week.
Their perspectives are insightful, encouraging and well….Honest. I hang on to every word, laughing and filled with relief when I realize I am not the only one who feels or thinks “that” way. Not once have I ever walked away from a night with them angry or disappointed.
The gathering of the minds had begun. Those of us with children were rounding em up and placing food before them while those who were lucky enough to be away from their children or didn’t have any were in the living room laughing over beer and previews for the upcoming movies when a good friend and full time single dad swatted his 2 year olds butt after trying repeatedly to get the boy to sit in his chair so he could eat. The swat was followed with a raised voice telling him it would get worse if he didn’t listen.
Everything went silent.
The other “full time” parents continued on with their routine, instructing their kids to eat and try not to make a mess. Watching the previews, etc. But somehow this moment struck a nerve with one of the “part time” parents. (when I say “part time” I mean like she sees her kid once a month for 2 hours at a restaurant.) Who in turn, said to another “part time” parent ( this one with more experience being that he gets to see his daughter 3 hours a week and every other weekend) ” You should NEVER raise your voice or spank your 2 year old. I don’t care what they’re doing” Naturally the part time parents agreed.
To those SPECIFIC types of parents, who aren’t there for their baths every day, don’t get to read them their bed time stories, don’t have to clean up behind their kids all day everyday and will see 1/4 of the meltdowns that actually occur on a daily basis I say this.
Shut the fuck up.
I get that your heart is broken because you are missing important moments with your children. I get that you feel like half a person when your children are not around. I get that it truly does hurt for you and this pain you feel will never go away. I get all of those things and I could never imagine the loss you walk around with everyday. You get points for breathing.
But don’t you dare stand there and pull a “holier than thou card” on a person who can’t even take a shit without a baby in their lap. You’re the fun parent. The one that swoops in every couple of days and gives their child treats and takes them places the full time parent can’t afford to go, and will probably never try because when the day is over and the kids are whiny and exhausted and the full time parent is spent from chasing them, it doesn’t end for them. But the part time parent on the other hand, gets to drop them off, go home and take a nap before going out with their friends later that night.
Yes part time parent, you will never raise your voice or spank your kids. Because when you get to celebrate school events and accomplishments with your kids you’re the one at the end of the race. The one cheering from the sidelines and taking all the credit while the full time parent sits at the kitchen table for hours a night practicing and re-practicing the kids lines for the school play or finishing up the finishing touches on the school project they’ve been working on for months. Despite the childs screaming fits that they don’t wanna work on the project, they wanna go play.
You’re the parent who isn’t looked down on at work because you missed 5 days last month when your child was ill. The parent with the spotless house filled with yummy treats because you don’t have to pay the dentist bill or stay up all night while they puke from eating to much candy. You’re the parent with the nice clothes who has never had to get up 2 hours earlier on a weekday to get yourself and your child dressed so you could go to work. You don’t leave your home covered in food stains and spilled milk. Or listen to Radio Disney with screaming children in traffic jams.
You make parenting look easy. Because, for you it is.
You have no idea what parenting really is