I need to discuss several matters of importance that have come to my attention lately and about which I have recently tweeted. Namely, I’m considering a career change.
Why not? I mean we have this revelation in other aspects of our lives. Who’s to say after a few years of parenting you’re not going to tire of it or realize, perhaps, your strengths lie elsewhere? Despite the best of intentions, sometime things just don’t work out. That’s understandable. Like any other job, maybe parenting just isn’t your thing. Shouldn’t you be able to say, “You know what? I gave it my best shot. Time to move on.”
As for my kids, I’ve done my part. I’ve given them a good start. I think it’s high time they made it on their own. Or maybe my husband can take a stab at it. It’s only fair. I raised the kids for the first 10 years, he can do the next 10. I got them more than half way to adulthood. That really ought to be enough.
If, however, it’s not I do have a few bits of advice for those out there struggling to make this untenable situation work.
This advice of course is for those whose children can walk or otherwise will not sit silent and immobile in a shopping cart for an hour or more, watching nothing but endless rows of jars and boxes scroll past with complete fascination. I think that narrows it down to roughly the entire free world. So if you have a kid who’s stroller-bound, strap them in and park them at the front of the store. They will most likely still be there when you get back with your packages.
But if your kids, like mine, are older just don’t do it. Don’t put yourself through the agony. It’s not worth it. My solution? Friday night food shopping. When my husband gets home from work, I swipe on the lipstick, slip on my sensible shoes and head out the door. Those have been some of my wilder weekend nights. If you actually have dinner or date plans for Friday nights, well, then I suppose you’ve made your priorities clear. I won’t judge, and I’ll still offer you the same advice I gave my husband when he made the unfortunate mistake of stopping at Foodtown for a few select dinner items with the kids in tow: Pretend you don’t know them.
When the automatic glass doors slide open, beckoning you into a dizzying world of gleaming, brightly-colored produce, cases and cases of meats and cheeses and aisle upon tidy aisle of neat, eye-catching packages, do not hesitate, not even in the slightest. March briskly through the aisles, sweeping items off the shelves as you go. Never stop. Never glance back. Heed not your name and halt only upon reaching the checkout counter.
The first few times your kids might lose sight of you and get lost, but that’s all part of the learning experience. You’re certain to hear the little devils in the background and you may even catch a glimpse of them in your peripheral vision, but if you’re moving fast enough they will quickly fade out of earshot and field of view. If they manage to keep pace, look disdainfully over your shoulder at them, and, shaking your head, say, “Who are those awful, ill-behaved, loud-mouthed brats running like lunatics down the aile? Their parent should be ashamed.”
This method I understand is not ideal, but it’s the only one I’ve found to work.
If for whatever reason you’re unable to make use of this fail-proof method, I have one more sage piece of advice for you. Try shouting:
That should do it.
I remembered that little expression just the other day when Crazy was doing something more irritating than normal. I think he was moaning and groaning about his homework and pretending he forgot how to subtract after years of successfully completing mathematical equations, and it came to me. Your ass is grass. Although I hadn’t heard the expression for many decades – since perhaps 8th grade – all the memories came flooding back, triggered by Crazy because never had there been a situation so perfectly suited to that phrase.
That day I held my tongue, but I became keenly aware of the efficiency of the motto. Four little words. Four words to convey all my feelings and frustrations.
But, as crazy as Crazy can drive me, he’ll often go and do something completely in earnest like this.
How can I ever stay mad?
Have great parenting advice of your own? Well, let’s hear it.
If you have learned anything here today, vote for me? One click on the banner is all it takes to register your vote. Thanks!
Powered by Facebook Comments