My parenting style is not really parenting. I have kids, yes. Chose to have them, yes. Love them, sometimes. But it’s not what defines me. It’s not what I want to be known for or do for rest of my life.
I’m not a coddling, doting, overly-affectionate parent. Truthfully, I can’t even call myself nurturing and some people believe that just because I have a vagina and am able to birth a child I’m supposed to be sweet, kind and overly protective of my offspring. Please, I’m just raising 2 boys to be decent human beings with the hopes that one day that can do for themselves.
I don’t read to them often. Ok, I can’t remember the last time I read a book to them. GASP! They’re not in the bathtub every night. GASP! They may eat more fast food than they should. GASP! I’m society’s bad mom.
I’m not the ‘come here let me cuddle you’ mom. I more like the “don’t touch me” type of person at the end of a long day. I’ve been single for so long now that (I’m honestly going to write this) I’d get more satisfaction from a hug from a man than my own child right now. Single or lonely parents can sympathize with me here. I’ve been clung to, puked on, pumped dry, hunted down, interrupted, disobeyed so many times now I’m fantasizing of the grocery store checkout person asking me how I’m doing just so it appears someone is expressing concern for me. Did she just ask how am I doing? OMG!
Most nights I find myself in another room of my house away from my children because it’s my personality type to distance myself and be quiet to recover from a typical day. At the end of the day, I’m talked out. I’m tired. I’ve been pulled by my employer, society, my friends (what little I have left now), my family, my very own thoughts that I’m exhausted and wanting to be alone by the time I’m home for the day.
Life is never ending responsibility and pressure. I don’t need to be made to feel bad because I’m not the kind and gentle mother The Brady Bunch mom was to 6 kids. I have 2 and sometimes I’m shutting my bedroom door and muffling a scream for the sake of myself and my children.
It’s not all a fairy tale. We’re not all the same. Not all children are the same. Not all of us dread the day our children leave our homes and set out on their own. Some of us are just treating them exactly how the world, society, employers, and friends will treat them. It’s not good to raise entitled, spoiled children.
Ah, fuck. What do I know? I’m only telling myself these things to make myself feel better. But I shouldn’t, and don’t really feel all that bad, for being a “different” kind of parent and neither should you. It’s ok to mentally ask your child “for fuck’s sake, what now?” after hearing “momma” called for the hundredth time a day. I know this because so far my children are alive, seem to love me and seem to be doing well with others, in public, in different situations and in childhood and I mentally cuss these children all the time.
I could allow this to eat at me since I’m a single parent, their father is dead and I am not dating anyone to offset my parenting style, but I don’t. I can’t really. I focus on the more important stuff: they’re fed, happy and sometimes clean, for fuck’s sake.