I am a man of few pet peeves. People who drive below the speed limit and fail to move into the turning lane before breaking are numbers two and three on my hit list.
The undisputed king, however, is people who say, "Parents, your job is. . ."
Pardon me, but who do these people think they are? Are you my employer? Are you paying for my medical benefits? What qualified you to take on a managerial position over me in regards to my parenthood?
At best, they're a teacher at a school--at worst they're some political activist DINK (Double-Income, No Kids). In any case, they are so far out of line and completely off base. Most parents seem to understand that you're out of place telling another parent what to do with there kids. Some parents who've had children move out of their house occasionally cross this boundary--and they are equally insufferable.
Here's my views on it:
PARENTING IS NOT A JOB! It never was a job. You will never get paid for what you do as a parent. You will not get health benefits (you'll actually get a number of detriments). There is no such thing as PTO, or even "time-off." There's no overtime for reading bedtime stories, and no yearly bonus for helping your kid achieve high academic performance at school.
Honestly, you would have to be a completely ignorant moron to say, "Parents, your JOB is. . ."
A more enlightened approach would be, "Parents, your ROLE is. . ."
but even that is a presumptuous and pompous stance. My role shifts and changes from day to day to meet my kids' demands (and they are demands, not deadlines nor user-stories, nor requests).
All and all, if you think you know what to tell a parent to do with their kids, I give you a big fat universal, "Shove it!"
Parents are almost as complicated as kids are. Just do your best and find a way to be happy with it. Some days are more challenging than others, and you simply don't have the energy to keep your kids from fighting.
Kids are people--not subjects of study in academia. If raising kids were simple and easy, we'd be too simple and lethargic a species to raise them. Parenting, in my experience, has been more about acknowledging your faults and rolling with the punches than it is about strict bedtimes and which snacks they can eat. I don't think there are many bad parents out there at all, I believe most are good parents, and let me tell you why:
Good parents are the parents who get up more than they give up.
Good parents are the parents who are mindful of their kids needs.
Good parents don't know they're good parents--they hope they're good parents.
Good parents chose to be parents.
Good parents take care of themselves as well as their kids.
Good parents acknowledge their faults.
And most importantly, good parents don't really care what other people think of their parenting--including me. I'm not qualified to say what makes a good parent and what doesn't--I'm just hoping that something I've said has given the exhausted mom a reason to smile and not criticize herself for trying. I'm just trying to be the cheerleader for the parents of the world.
So, dad, keep going to the job you sometimes hate--because you're a good dad.
Mom, keep making PB&J sandwiches--because you're a good mom.
Mom and Dad, it's okay to take a break, but never give up--because that's what makes you good parents.
To these kids, you're the best parent they could ask for, and don't forget that.
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