Sometime's I don't like being a Parent
Written by: Trish Moser
I’m gonna just go ahead and say it…Sometimes I don’t like parenting.
Parenting is hard.
Parenting is messy.
Parenting is putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own every second of the day.
Parenting is cutting fruit snacks out your favorite fuzzy ottoman.
Parenting is washing the poop out from under your fingernails.
Parenting is going to work and finding a fruit snack stuck to the inside of your shirt.
Parenting is changing the sheets at 4 a.m. because someone had an accident.
Parenting is listening to your son tell your daughter how to deal with someone teasing her at school.
Parenting is watching you one-year-old try to comfort your three-year-old when she hits her head for the umpteenth time.
Parenting is listening to your six-year-old tell her little sister a story before bed.
…And all of this was in just one week!
Here’s the thing…
It’s so important that we actually PARENT our kids, as opposed to BEFRIENDING our kids. These sweet moments that I observed were a result of parenting, not befriending.
When we make the difficult decision to parent our kids, it means that they may not like us some of the time. In fact, they may even say some things to us that hurt our feelings. However, parenting is what builds character in our kids. The only reason these sweet moments happened was because my kids were choosing to live out the character that my husband and I have tried to model and shape in their lives.
Over and over I have watched parents decide they want to be liked instead of being a parent, and those are the homes that are often run by the kids. Here are some ways to check and see if you are living in a kid-centered home…
Is your life dictated by the things your kids want to do? Do you cook based on what your kids refuse to eat? Who cleans your child’s room? Do you focus on your kids more than your marriage? Do you spend more quality time with you kids than you do your spouse? Do your kids speak disrespectfully to you and you just take it?
This list could go on and on, but this is a good way to begin examining the way you are raising your kids. Being your child's friend instead of parent might be more fun for the child, and you might feel like your child likes you more, but this does not help your child out in the long run. Essentially, a parent-child friendship teaches the child that they are the most important person in their world. This does not bode well when they try to make a marriage work or when they don’t like their boss someday.
Now don’t get me wrong, we do fun things with our kids! There are good conversations we have with our kids that are very similar to conversations they would have with their friends. We go out shopping with our girls and to baseball games with our son. There are lots of fun things that happen in our home. However, we are their parent before we are ever their friend.
We have to choose every day which kind of parent we are going to be. Do you want to be your child’s friend, or do you want to plant seeds of good, solid character at their core? Are you going to choose the hard path, or the fun one? You get to decide. Look at their future and decide what kind of adult you want to raise. Now is the time to stop being friends with our kids, and to truly start parenting.
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