You know what drives me crazy these days? When people can’t take a joke. In parenthood, this happens all the time. There was a viral post that a wife left for her husband who was tasked with watching their kids all weekend. It was filled with the most fantastic dose of sarcasm I’ve read in a while, referring to their kids as “the others,” and basically preparing her partner for real-life battle.
In new parenthood, these battles are particularly exhausting because they are fought in our every day moments that you’d never even imagine could become battles – like getting dressed, eating dinner and simply leaving the house.
These battles are so much better when we can laugh through them. And I have a feeling that’s exactly what this mama was doing – sharing some humor with her husband who was about to take on the weight of solo parenting.
Yet the Internet trolls came out, of course, and made it something that it wasn’t. People used it as a platform to exclaim how parents who dare complain about parenting should never have had children in the first place. So I guess adults who dare ever complain about adulting should never have left their parents’ house in the first place, too?
Parenting is one of the most exhausting kinds of adulting. When we joke – or seriously complain – both are allowed without being assumed to be horrible and ungrateful.
Here’s the thing. What people don’t always see from the outside looking in are those quiet moments that exist between the sippy cup battles, embarrassing public tantrums and complaints about never sleeping.
You may have seen me roll my eyes and tense up my shoulders in the grocery store when my toddler started throwing food out of the cart repeatedly. What you didn’t see was on our drive home how we danced to the radio and shared a sweet smile through his car seat mirror.
You may have overheard me at the coffee shop complaining to my mom friend about how difficult getting out of the house was this morning because he wanted to wear his rain boots but I could only find one. What you didn’t see was later that night how we played dress up in boots, hats and mittens and made silly videos until we laughed so hard our bellies ached.
You may have seen me joke on social media about barely hanging in there, listing my greatest accomplishment of the day as keeping everyone alive. What you didn’t see was earlier that morning when I read a book with my son and he perfectly put together a new sentence.
You may have seen me in passing, with evidence of dry shampoo in my hair and bags under my eyes, looking more defeated than anything. What you didn’t see was the night before when I couldn’t fall asleep because my heart was too busy trying not to explode while admiring my two babies sleeping peacefully.
We as parents may share glimpses of our journeys with you, but that is all they are. There is so much in-between the lines that you will never know, as you shouldn’t, because there is something sacred and intimate about these otherwise unspoken moments between parent and child.
No parent who calls their toddler an asshole actually believes they birthed an asshole. They love that asshole to the ends of this world, and YOU don’t get to question that because of the one moment you saw out of 4,567,980 moments we will have that day.
There is nothing more annoying than hearing MAMA screamed at me 834 times in a row before the sun comes up. And there is no sound I would rather wake up to than my kid screaming MAMA 834 times in a row.
We love them so much it hurts, and sometimes we may need an outlet for that hurt.