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Monday, June 16, 2008

Worst things about parenthood

Parenting is not always as joyful as it is. We deal with children and these kids have uncontrolled behaviors that can't be simply eliminated. We have to be extra patient to be good parents.

Read the following for your reference.
by Kristopher Kaiyala

Philosophical Acquiescence
Having kids won't change my life, you tell yourself. But somewhere between finding out you're expecting, picking out items for the baby registry ("Why is everything plaid?"), and testing the sometimes turbulent-looking waters of the parenting universe, an inevitability to your new life creeps in: You are a parent, and while life is still great and that little bundle of joy really will make you a drooling, sentimental mess, nothing—not your living space, your free time, nor your personal decisions—will ever be the same. At times you'll honestly wonder: What have I gotten myself into?

Sleep Deprivation
Nothing can prepare you for those first few months (or in some cases years) of waking up every couple hours to change a diaper, prepare a bottle, or walk around the living room in a daze hoping the kid you're cradling will finally call it a night. (They probably will around dawn.) Nursing mothers obviously bear the brunt of this, but dads who want to do their part (and to those who don't: Why are you sitting on the sidelines?) feel the effects too. When you're both this tired it affects everything—your social life, your productivity at home and at work, and your ability to communicate amicably. Watch out for that last one.

The Blowout Diaper
Poop. Better get used to it being everywhere—on the furniture, on your clothes, under your nails. And it's staggering how much poop that little human can store up in its body and, without warning, evacuate all at once. Think Mount Vesuvius. The prudent will stock up on extra baby wipes and take them everywhere the baby goes, just for this moment. My wife and I still refer to our seminal diaper-changing moment as "The Costco Parking Lot." We had the car cleaned afterward.

Public Embarrassment
You're there to support your child through good times and bad. But somewhere along the way your kid will trip and fall in full view of hundreds of people at a basketball game, knocking over a vending machine with a loud crash and bring the event to a halt, and you'll want to hide. Guess what? You can't. (And you won't.) Suddenly your parenting skills are on full display, for better or for worse. Good luck.

Mortality
Whether the deceased is a goldfish or a grandparent, managing your child through the death of someone close is one of the toughest and saddest parts of your job. There's not much you can do to stop the tears, so be prepared to ride it out and fumble your way through big questions like, "Why does anything have to die?" If there's a silver lining, it's that kids seem to bounce back faster than adults do, eventually giving you time to grieve—but only after you've helped them get over the loss.

Marriage Issues
Few things can bring out the differences in people like parenting. You may find that your spouse has other ideas when it comes to praise, discipline, routines, homework, housework … just about everything. And those differences usually arise when times get tough. Plus, the constant "hands-on" nature of parenting means a lot less time alone with your partner. Constant communication and mutual understanding are essential; otherwise, get ready for an uncomfortable and unpredictable ride.

Health Issues
Kids are cute—so cute that germs love them. You can disinfect all you want but you're still going to be wiping noses or cleaning up vomit on a regular basis. This malady comes with a side "benefit": because your immune system is feeling the pressure of getting little sleep and being generally more anxious about life, you get sick, too—far more often than you ever remember before having kids. Welcome to the Petri dish.

Routine
Try as you may to avoid it, parenting has a way of sapping the spontaneity from life. Sure, you can still go shopping or hiking on a whim, but that whim may now include packing snacks, making sure each kid has his favorite toy for the car ride, folding the stroller and putting it and the diaper bag in the back of the minivan, checking twice for full water bottles, telling the car's occupants not once but four times to "go to the bathroom before we leave," enduring World War III in the backseat, someone having to go to the bathroom right away, and turning around after two blocks to return home for whatever it is you forgot. Maybe it's best to just stay home and play in the backyard.

Breakdown
There are times you'll feel at your wits' end, and not in some funny way portrayed in a movie or on a sitcom. When something snaps inside, you feel it and the resulting emotions may be confusing or alarming. Worse, you may have no outlet to deal with them because you're the parent and the show must go on. It feels warm and fuzzy to say these trying moments help you grow as a person, but the reality is that sometimes they don't. Sometimes they take the life right out of you.

Trouble child
You get the call at work to come to school for a meeting with the principal. Turns out little Johnny is the school bully and he just punched three kids and a teacher. You saw the tendencies at home, but now your worst fears are true, and in addition to dealing with school administration you have several other parents to answer to. What did you do wrong, and is fixing the problem coming years too late?

Worry
Despite your best efforts to project a calm fa├žade, inside you're wondering if your kids are failing at school, having trouble making friends, hanging out with the wrong crowd, or experimenting in ways that make your skin crawl. As they get older, they spend more time away from you and your protective eyes and arms, and though you try to grant them independence, you dread getting bad news. Suddenly it hits you: You're just like your mom. Somehow that doesn't make you feel any better. source

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