Wanda Sykes has a bit about how people with kids try to convince couples without kids to have babies. In this joke she explains the coaxing individuals will tell you all the hard and horrible things about parenting and then tell you… IT IS GREAT, YOU WILL LOVE IT! I cannot count the number of times I have fallen back to this bit in the toughest parenting moments.
There are tough moments. When it comes to parenting there are soul crushing, existence doubting, world smashing moments. Children push us to the brink of our sanity and then follow it with the sweetest comment, biggest hug, or even a macaroni necklace. We then get to decide what memories we are going to take with us. Let me share a couple of examples.
My dear husband worked nights for a while when our daughter was about a year old. One night when he came home from work, he had gone in to give her a kiss goodnight and noticed she felt warm. He grabbed the thermometer to take her temperature. In doing so she woke up and groaned in pain and dissatisfaction. As he went to comfort her, she threw up all over herself and her bedding. He moved into quick action to get her to the bathroom and start cleanup. It was about 2am and he was attempting to do all of this without waking me or our son. I was startled awake to him swiftly moving from the nursery to the bathroom yelling, “Honey, she just threw up in my mouth!”
Have kids, you will love it. This is one of our family favorite memories. We do not look back and think about the fear of a sick child. This moment is not about being tired from two jobs and cleaning sheets and a baby at 2am. The tough parts all fade away. What we remember is laughing in the middle of the night as we all jump to action to help each other. Our memory is the smile on our daughters face over all the attention. Today, when something seems gross or hard to get through and we need to break the tension someone will yell, “Honey, she just threw up in my mouth!” We all laugh. You really will love these memories.
Potty training is hard. One afternoon after a trying time of rushing to the bathroom with our son the whole thing came to a head. We had been sitting on the couch watching a movie. As the funk slowly wafting to my nose, I thought there is no way he pooped while on my lap. I was wrong. I quickly picked him up and whisked him to the bathroom. In getting his pants off and him set on the toilet, I looked down and saw my own soiled pants. I yelled to my dear husband, “Honey, he pooped MY pants.”
Have kids you will love it. This is the day I learned how strong willed and kindhearted my son is. When asked why he had not gone to the potty he explained that he was tired of doing that and just wanted to watch his movie. He then offered to clean his own pants and mine. I do not remember the mess. I do not remember the frustration or being tired. I remember my son offering to help someone else. Today when someone in our family feels they have been wronged and would like to help they say, “Honey he pooped MY pants.” We all laugh. These really are the best memories.
There are times in this process when stress wins. There are times when you think you cannot do it. There are times where the clock cannot move to bedtime fast enough. But, let the sunset wipe away the harshness of the day while you delight in the memories worth keeping. Having a sense of humor does not hurt either. Wanda helped me a great deal because it is great, and I do love it.