We all know parenting isn’t easy, and there are enough of us out there who can fill up the endless depths of the internet with the daily happenings and struggles of life with kids. I am just like you- a soldier in this never-ending battle against the ravenous monsters that live within our walls. I’m just an average dad who decided it was time to share my parenting stories with the world. The moment encouraging me to start this endeavor is not a sweet tale that will bring you to tears and decidedly prove to you these will be heart-wrenching, dramatic movie blog posts.
No, that’s not it at all. The momentous occasion encouraging me to tell my tales of fatherhood happened when my six-year-old son, Tommy, bent over, grabbed his butt-cheeks and started talking as if though his rear-end had now assumed the role of his face (Think Jim Carey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective). In doing so, he accidentally let loose an onslaught of flatulence that nearly tore the paint off the walls. As the sole adult in the room, accompanied by my two other sons, Teddy and Joey, I laughed so hard with them that I almost passed out. I looked around, desperately looking for another adult to share in the absurdity of the situation. Alas, I was alone in the fray since my wife had used those few, rare moments of freedom to fit in a trip to yoga. After both the laughing and stench left the room, I decided that these three boys, who are often covered in dirt no matter how many times you bathe them and constantly on the verge of shattering the windows in my house with their excessive noise, needed a voice. Our stories needed to be shared. The real stories. Those true accounts of what parenting is really like.
See, I think parenting today is harder than any other time in history… Err, recent history. I guess the whole running water and electricity thing helps out these days and understandably gives us an edge over cave moms and dads. It sure is nice not having to teach your kid how to outrun a saber-toothed tiger and face certain death; however, it would at least get them out of the house and into some fresh air. Am I right!? Despite the conveniences of the 21st century, I’m doubling-down on this. I’m 34-years-old, was born in 1985, and classify myself as a proud child of the 90s, which in my humble opinion, was one of the greatest times in human history. Nirvana, Tupac, Saved by the Bell, Friends, and I can keep giving you that blast from the past, but need I say more? Life was simple then. God that makes me sound old. We played outdoors every single chance we got, wore baggy clothing (I firmly believe this aided into the overall happiness of people because the lack of constriction everybody is experiencing today), and we valued the simplicity of a VHS player and cassette tapes. Forget Apple Music, Spotify, or whatever else people use these days and remember a time when you waited for the radio station countdown so that you could eagerly hit that record button on your boombox. You know you remember when you made that mixtape for that special someone!
Today is different though- good different and bad different. Technology helps us a ton, and I’m not denying that. When our kids were babies, our neighbors must’ve thought we were running some sort of daycare facility out of our house because of the diapers, formulas, wipes, and all things baby that were ALWAYS stacked outside our door from Amazon.
“Chris, we’re running low on diapers. We’ll be out by the end of the week. Can you make sure to get some?”
“On it.” Takes phone out. Opens Amazon app. Buys more diapers. “Amazon Prime, I love you.” Took me a while though to realize you can get that stuff set up on an automated schedule. I guess I didn’t want to make it too easy for myself. It’s great- no doubt! Easy? For sure! Yet with the comforts, advantages, and amenities of the internet comes something I struggled with as an early parent and even to this day.
Those of you who know me will recall I was drastically close to deleting it all.
This form of technology is one of the main reasons I stand solidly by my assertion that parenting today is tougher than what our parents had to deal with. The smiling faces, grand adventures, and painted pictures of perfection we scroll through on a relentless basis can make us question ourselves- especially as parents. In sifting through our feeds, while not intentionally, we’ve all at one point or another compared ourselves to our peers on the internet.
Geez, what a great trip. I wish I had the money right now to take the boys on vacation. My kids will never be able to take a trip like that.
Wait, how did they get all their kids to actually smile for a picture? I wish Tommy would stop purposely crossing his eyes every time we want a nice picture. Why does he keep messing with us like that? What a little…
What in the actual hell? Are they at the opera? The opera! My kid can’t even sit still for Incredibles 2? Forget that, they can’t even make it through the cartoon short before the actual movie without tossing a bucket of popcorn at somebody’s head! What am I doing wrong!?
Ugh, I suck as a parent.
As we scroll through, defeated and questioning our worth as parents, we forget that perfection, in any aspect of life, ESPECIALLY as parents, is without question and unequivocally…IMPOSSIBLE. And, that’s okay! Rarely do we post the bad parts of our day, the trying times that test our will and sanity, and I often wonder, what if more people didn’t hide their crazy? Would we all actually be happier? I don’t know, I think maybe posting reality might be a ton more interesting than the Rockwellesque perfection we as parents try to convey through our posts. “Everything’s great here. We’re just as we should be.” This we shakily type into our phones as the kids circle around us, spears in hand like the savage boys from Lord of the Flies.
Do my wife and I hide our family’s crazy sometimes? Of course. I’m not claiming to be better than everybody else. If you follow me on Facebook, you know I post some of those attempts at “perfect” photos here and there of us fishing, at Medieval Times, or at breakfast, but the real stories are in the reality behind those posts. The kid that ate a minnow from the bait bucket just moments before we caught that bluegill. The pancake chucked across the restaurant that ended up in the lap of some very unhappy and judgmental elderly patron. Do I want to get better at accepting the chaos and insanity that really unfolds behind the scenes? Absolutely, and because of that want and need for change, I decided to start blogging. I want to connect more with people about accepting where we are really at in our lives. I want to help people laugh and feel more comfortable with the concept of simply staying above water, because honestly, at the end of the day, we’re at least trying to swim, right?
Thanks for reading! I hope you decide to come back each week and subscribe below to receive emails and updates! Please leave a comment below and get the conversation started!