Is that even possible? I assume it is because my parents survived parenthood. But that was 30-40 years ago. Plus my brother and I were easy kids to raise (with myself being the easier of the two, of course). Parenting has changed over the millions of years parents have graced the Earth. Dinosaurs could always eat their young if they misbehaved. That’s not really an option for us. So exactly, how does one survive parenthood?
Lots and lots of profanity. Whether you allow your kids to hear your colorful language or it’s muttered under your breath as they walk away, it helps relieve the tension that built up while you argued with your politician. When your kid has an answer for EVERYTHING a few swear words will release the stress. When your kids insists that numbers less than zero are negative but numbers less than negative ten are megative and refuses any correction, you’re best bet is to send him away and give him a couple middle fingers while his back is turned.
Not the fruity kind. Though, enough of those will allow you to frequently use the bathroom where you can hopefully lock the door and keep unwanted guests away with the smell of not using Poo Pourri. These dates are the loving kind. The kidless kind. The do-whatever-you-can-do kind. Perhaps you have a late supper after putting the kids to bed. Being free to make any child unfriendly meal you want is as sweet as bedtime itself. Perhaps you can get a sitter for a couple hours to go out. Perhaps you can send the kids for sleepovers and make a night of it. Perhaps you just snuggle up and snack and watch a movie or binge watch the latest show that has course language and violence and parental supervision is required. Whatever you do, do it well and do it with love. And wine.
I know this one isn’t for everyone. I’ve heard some of you abstain from alcohol. You are the tough ones and I admire your courage. Mind you, we don’t celebrate “The Kids Are Asleep” every night with wine. Lately, we’ve only been celebrating every other weekend. We each have our favorite and we each know what they are so we can resupply when necessary. That’s true love.
If you can’t laugh with or at each other, what can you do? That time I stepped on a toy, picked my foot up and put back down on a different toy, then nearly took a header through the wall? DW laughed so hard tears ran down her leg. That time I was backing out of the driveway and DW took a drink from her water bottle and I slammed on the brakes so she’d soak herself? Sure I called an asshole. But when the 4 year old in the backseat piped up with “Yeah, dad. Don’t be an asshole.” Then the 8 year old chimed in with “Great! Now you’ve got him saying asshole.” Or that time I told DW the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup and it was the first time my home team won it. She asked, “How you know it’s not Washington State?” Because they’re they Capitals? Maybe? Laugh. Laugh often and laugh loud.
Do whatever you have to do
It’s survival of the fittest. Adapt or get run over by life, also known as kids. You do whatever you need to do to survive your kids. Kick them outside. Allow them extra time in front of a screen. Give them an extra snack be it healthy or junk. Let them tromp through the mud, play in the sink, jump on the bed, cut their own hair. If it allows you a minute and a half to cook supper in peace, poop in peace, write a blog post in peace, anything in peace, let it happen. Make it happen. Or else the profanity will hit the fan.