The other night, as I was getting my kiddos ready for the following day of school, my father in law and I were talking about how parenting is one of the hardest jobs – IF NOT the hardest job I have ever done. With a swarm of random food items being shoved into Paw Patrol lunch boxes, school clothes being laid out and tennis shoes thrown outside because my kids refuse to wear socks and the shoe smell is UN-believable, I caught myself trying to really think about the role of a parent. Parenting is hard, there is NO DOUBT about that. It’s a wild ride and often feels like an obstacle course full of nightmarish twists and loveable turns that make the entire challenge so worthwhile.
That being said again, it is hard. And challenging. And often feels like an episode of American Gladiators. Now I’m not talking about the current AG you’re watching on television these days, no no. I’m talking parenting my toddlers really… TRULY feels like I’m on an episode of American Gladiators from the 90’s where the contestants are literally scraping and struggling to get by these gladiators alive. That’s my life right now and here’s why.
- Playtime = AG Joust Session – I am the mother of twin girls. In your mind, I know you may think that they love to sit and quietly sip fake tea with stuffed teddy bears and baby dolls but let me explain that currently, in my parenting state (as well as my husbands) we are trying to stay alive during playtime. These girls are ruthless. And rough! And often, playtime with them feels like I took a jousting stick and must defend myself from the laughing blows of toddlers. Worse, they love to literally joust with each other! Other events at playtime consist of climbing The Wall (AKA the couch) Hanging Tough (outside on the monkey bars on the swingset) and Powerball Shots (playing catch outside and trying not to get hit where it hurts). Rock ’em sock ’em in real life over here.
2. Being a toddler parent means you are so out of style, THIS is what you look like on your runs to the gym or to Target. You fall into the parenting trap where you watch 86 episodes of Dora and Friends In The City during the day that you forget what life outside your living room is like. You receive a fashion magazine in the mail which may be your only connection to the outside world at times and decide you want to buy a few of those headbands for the gym or snag that curling wand to do these amazing loose curls on page 46. You make every attempt at really trying – while opening 20 juice boxes in the morning before your coffee, peeling two cuties for breakfast and throwing away countless plates of uneaten food all the while scalding your hands on that curling wand that you really have NO idea how to use, therefore looking like ole Malibu here. He rocked it then. This mama doesn’t.
3. The exhaustion is REAL. My children can go. all. day. You give them a 15 second power nap in the drive through line and they are awake at bedtime for an additional 4 hours. Me on the other hand, has to literally consume more caffeine than humanly possible to keep up with them at times and even then, my exhaustion at bedtime (both mental and physical) is real. I heard my child say “I never get tired, mama! Isn’t that awesome!?” the other day. Yes it is, lovey. Share the wealth.
4. Escaping the toddler grip for personal time can be impossible! You NEED some time away, even if it is for a few minutes in the day, yet finding those moments can be few and far between due to the death grip of your little ones. It can feel impossible to get moments to yourself, date nights or girl time. My sister and I laugh that we hide in the pantry and eat chocolate while our children run bonkers around the house just to have a few moments of peace, but that is short lived when they hunt you down and cling to your body for dear life. Take time our for yourself though, even if you have to claw your way there while the kids are locked on you for the rest of the day. DO. IT. FOR. YOURSELF.
5. Your squad celebrates your Parenting Wins! Being ahead of the game sometimes feels like it’s never going to happen as a parent. Often I am struggling to get through the day without being overtaken by toddler dictators that run the show. But then, those beautiful moments when you hide the organic spinach in their chocolate milkshakes or achieve bedtime 15 minutes early – it’s time to CELEBRATE THAT VICTORY! Parenting toddlers feels alot like American Gladiators most of the time to me but when my team mates throw the celebratory confetti because we just made it out alive, that’s when it’s the best.
Or when you pick the kids up from school (for me in an hour) and all those fleeting woes of parenting fails go out the window because your little ones think you are SUCH a champion rock star. That’s pretty awesome too.
See you at the finish line, friend.
All my love,
Lou “The Eliminator”