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Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Parenting: The Humble Brag

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Oh, a newborn? Enjoy that, once he gets mobile you’ll be exhausted.

Oh, a two-year-old? Wait until she talks, you’ll hear “why, why, why” 732 times an hour.

Oh, an eight-year-old? So fun, but you’re about to become the most hated chef ever.

Oh, twelve? Buy wine by the box, she’s about to start crying for no reason, having random meltdowns, and then throwing in moments of joy to keep you on your toes.

Fourteen? Man. That’s a tough age. Welcome to “I’m practically an Adult” ville.

Why do we do it? Why do we throw out these super unhelpful blurbs when talking to other parents about their kids?

It’s a coping mechanism, I suppose.

A way to remind ourselves that we made it through that same age when we thought for sure that there was no way we were going to survive. We almost zone out when we say it, after all, walking away with just the slightest pang of guilt for not being more supportive of both the other parent and the memory of our younger children.

It’s a coping mechanism, right?

A way of telling ourselves that where we are today is because we survived all that, “hey, look at us now!”

Right?

Parenting is hard. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, typically in the form of “WHY????”

Why do we do this?

For me, the answer wasn’t by choice.

Well, I did make the choice of “Marry this man and get two children free!” And that same man did give me plenty of notice of challenging times to come, but still, can’t I still claim innocence?

But, for those who reached parenthood the “normal” way, why?

Why do you do this?

No, really.

I know the Hallmark answer… you fell so deeply and madly in love with your partner that you decided that you never ever wanted to have a relaxing Saturday again.

But there are other ways to achieve that dream.

Did it happen after you got your first pet together? Did you have a dog for a few years and think, “Maybe we should get a cat. No wait, that would be too easy. What if…just spit-balling…what if we add a tiny human into our lives? And what if we build it ourselves?”

Or, did it happen earlier? When dating, did you make a list of all the gray hairs you gave your own parents and, when you looked at the compiled dozens of pages, did you both look deep into each other's eyes and simultaneously blurt out, “We should definitely do that!”?

As a society, do we just thrive on making our lives more complicated?

Does inserting children into our tranquility equal the ultimate status symbol of leveling up in the area of humble stress brags?

I do love my children. Really.

I’m just sometimes shocked that our population grows at all.

I often wonder what a “Parents Wanted” plea would look like.

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Would anyone actually apply?

Right this very minute, I’m sitting in a cutthroat carpool line because Child A (spare driver) dropped the ball and Child B (the one we weren’t going to break) is in a cast (again). I should be dialed into a work meeting but, instead, I’ve just finished a quick online Spanish lesson (because that’s my daily ME time) and my goodness… the juggling…but aren’t children nineteen and sixteen?...and shouldn’t we be passed this…?

Why do we do this again?

Would it be weird if I hopped out of this line and zipped over to the middle school line just so I could find an unsuspecting parent? Just so I could knock on their window and say,

Oh, eighth grade? Yeah, been there, whew! Tough age…

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