I’ve decided it’s time to share my parenting knowledge with the world.
I have a simple 3 step process that guarantees success. In my case success is a loosely defined word and means three of your four children all have kind of an asshole edge to them, and the fourth may never leave home.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, keep reading.
Have a magic uterus. In our home my uterus is well renowned for it’s magical properties. Four times it produced the most amazing of beings, who for all intents and purposes look more like me than anybody else. Actually truth be told, in all of them except one, I can see their dad in them but the fun part is my second child (girl) and third child (boy) look unnervingly alike. What’s weird about that? They’re siblings, right? Yes, but only half because this girl right here has 2 baby daddies. One for the first two kids, and another one for the second round (whom I’m married to now and forever unless he should one day tire of my wit, good looks, and ability to laugh harder at my own jokes than anyone else does – oh and relentless teasing/mocking/general asshole-ishness). So if you’re following along and doing the math, the 2 children who look the most alike do not have the same dad but because of the #muterus (magic + uterus = muterus and who doesn’t love a good hashtag?), they are almost twins.
Have music of all kinds on all of the time and sing along even if you sound like a llama in heat. Do it. It’s for the kids. My children all grew up listening to music in the house, in the car, anywhere and everywhere. They have yet to ride in a vehicle with me without listening to me sing along with whatever is playing. Also if you’re feeling like taking it up a notch, kids really benefit from their parent crooning along to a little Ed Sheeran (or whomever tickles your musical fancy) with bits of road rage mixed in: “Darling I’ll be loving you until…..WHAT THE FUCK BUDDY?!” Which leads me to another point; this momma has never censored herself much. They all have known the “F” word from a young age and are not restricted to radio edits. Not everyone’s jam, I realize, but I’ve conducted 23 years of research at this point and all signs point to it’s not the end of the world, so chill.
*The perk of this one is you’ll play music for them that they will roll their eyes at as teenagers and then play and enjoy as older teenagers/adults and you’ll relish in the gift that is you being right about just about everything.
Read to them. Read to them when they still want to chew on the book more than they want to hear a story. Read with them even when they are starting to get big and awkward and sometimes make you want to backhand them because of the attitude spouting forth from their know it all little mouths. Buy them books and/or take them to the library. Books, books, books. This will also help you feel less guilty about the amount of time you also spend putting them in front of the TV or watching TV with them yourself on those days/weeks/months where it’s all you can do to form a sentence by the end of the day never mind engage in ‘creative play’ with your child(ren). My youngest is 10 now so I’m no longer in the real thick of picking kids up from daycare, making supper, taking them to soccer/swimming lessons/dance, doing baths, and trying to get them to bed all by 8 pm, but I haven’t forgotten what a special kind of marathon that is, so if you skip a story now and then (or for weeks at a time) and let them watch Paw Patrol or whatever? Don’t sweat it. Ever.
This is clearly just the beginner series but I think it’s a solid start. My children are 23, 20, 13, and 10 and although they are far from perfect (because how boring would that be?), they are all truly awesome in their own right. They all LOVE music, have great senses of humour, are wicked smaht, and most importantly of all, I like them. A lot. Which isn’t always true and I’m sure there are still moments ahead I won’t like the ones entering and nearing adolescence – love, always, like, not necessarily.
Honestly, after 23 years I still don’t really know what I’m doing and am winging it 80% of the time. Parenting is not for the faint of heart and should you have any tips to share in return, I would be most appreciative. Until next time: hang in there, bedtime is closer than you think, they grow up really fast, the housework can wait, wine just might the be the answer, or maybe it’s chocolate, but no matter what?
You’re doing a good job.