I’m at my wits end as a mother. Jim’s at his wits end as a father. We stare at each other, wondering what the hell we got ourselves in to deciding to become parents.
I’m watching childless couples, thinking they look so happy. I watch parents with young children, thinking “wait until puberty hits.” I want to warn them about the horrors awaiting, but know they won’t listen. I wouldn’t have.
I’m ravenously envious of couples who have perfect children. I alternately want to beg them for advice, clues, anything to get me through this and smack them for being so smug and knowing what I don’t.
Hilariously, I used to teach parenting classes. Long ago and far away, I stood at the front of the class and told parents how to do it right. They would shake their heads, tell me it wouldn’t work with their children, and point out that as a childless person I had no idea what I was talking about. I would laugh and explain that I had this book and the book explained it all and it was written by experts and it will work. If they only tried hard enough. They shook their heads and exchanged discouraging looks (very similar ones to the ones Jim and I now exchange).
One month after being a parent, I knew I owed each and every one of those people an apology. Because the books know nothing. Anyone can call themselves an expert at anything. It doesn’t mean they actually are. But if you announce it loud enough and firmly enough, someone will listen. That’s how experts are born.
I’m convinced that I am the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler and Jim, Attila the Hun, and we are being forced to relive our lives again as the victims. Because there is no other logical explanation for these life lessons. We’re good people. We don’t lie, cheat, or steal. We are kind to our neighbors. Kind to nature and animals. Yet we are horrible parents, as indicated by the behavior of our children.
I’m tired of being a mother…