I am not the Bad-Ass Parent I pretend to be. Or… at least.. most days it feels like I’m pretending.
After 30 years of age, doctors appointments outside of sicknesses should probably just be considered “routine maintenance”. Like an old car after 100,000 miles. Maybe you don’t think 30 is old, but THEY’RE PLAYING GREEN DAY ON THE OLDIES STATION. I think I’ve proven my point.
I have the mentality of a 13 year old boy, but the back of a Mesozoic era dinosaur. Roving Landbeast. That’s just my style. Every 6 weeks, I have to go in for a tune up or I’ll be broken down on the side of the damn road. One or more of the children always has to go with me unless I get REALLY lucky and someone can watch them, and I am never lucky.
What exactly it is about the doctor’s office that makes kids lose their damn minds may go down as one of the few wonders left in the world- all I know is that it happens. Every. Single. Time. I’ve tried taking toys, electronics, snacks. I’ve tried bribery and threats and that really terrifying whisper voice us parents like to do when we’re trying to scare kids into calming the fuck DOWN. They don’t work. Every. Single. Time. when the doctor walks into the room, he finds me, with one or two children who are going out of their friggin’ minds, and me… about to go out of my friggin’ mind.
I don’t embarrass easily, and I haven’t even given a tiny nugget-sized shit about what other people think of me in years- but there I sit, head about to explode, mortified. My kids are good kids, I swear it! But every time my doctor sees them, they are TERRIBLE. Every. Single. Time.
He’s never seen me not wanting to snap, and he’s never seen them NOT being complete assholes and disregarding and disobeying everything I say. I, who am rarely embarrassed and who rarely cares about what other people think of my kids or my parenting, end every appointment stressed about the terrible parent I just appeared to be in a public(ish) place.
A justified reaction to this repeated torture would be to say FUCK THIS NOISE and not take them to the doctor with me anymore, right? Instead, I take them. I suck it up, and I take those little shits with me, and I just deal with it, because I have to. It’s what I HAVE to do. I might end up feeling like a shit parent once we finally get back into the car, but I did it. I DID IT.
It’s funny- we all have dreams of being these big parental bad asses. We can be the friend and the leader and at times the evil overlord and end the day with complete confidence in ourselves- but most days, we stress and we question and we’re so excited when we finally get the kids in bed because it means we actually survived another day. No, all days aren’t that extreme, but enough of them are that I’m sitting here typing a fucking blog about it- so that shit happens WAY too often. So much for parental bad-assery, right?
After the last mortifying episode, I got to thinking. Yes, it would be totally justified to have left my little shithead home- but I didn’t. I sucked it up, and I took him anyway; knowing full-well how he was probably going to act, and I didn’t let it break me. It had to get done. I had to do it. THAT act alone makes me a bad ass. No matter how craptastical of a parent I might feel like- I’m still a damn bad-ass.
If you’re taking the kid out because they can’t dictate your life and shit has to get done
If you stayed home and cancelled plans you were actually looking forward to because you can’t take the kid out
If you have to call someone else to watch them for a bit so you can go out and get shit done
If you restrain yourself in public when you want to SNAP on their mean little ass
If you DO snap, even though you know some judgy a-holes are watching and judging
If you put the kids to bed early because, seriously. You can’t take another second.
If you play Hide & Seek with the kids when you have no intention of going to find them
It doesn’t matter WHAT you’re doing, as long as you’re doing your best (whatever that may be for every day, and every day is different) and are present, and your kids are loved. They don’t even have to be LIKED all the time, just loved. That alone equals bad-assery.
This parenting business is tough. It’s about time we give ourselves a little credit.
I AM A BAD ASS PARENT, and even if you don’t think YOU are? I still do.
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