One day when you’re a parent, you’ll see these celebrities on the red carpet who either just had a baby and have been a parent for two minutes or have seventeen children adopted from various countries throughout the world and don’t travel with less than a pack of six nannies being asked by some reporter–and you’ll know the question is coming–what’s harder, making a movie or being a parent?!
(Tell me, I’m dying to know!)
And hypothetical celebrity will chuckle, of course, and say through a warm smile without hesitation “being a parent!”
And they’ll you be with your gag reflex triggered, because the whole thing is so canned and obvious. She has to say being a parent is harder to seem relatable, like duh!
And then you’ll have a day like we had together yesterday…
…I tried to tell your father at 9:30 p.m. when you finally went to bed after a bear of a 15 1/2 hour day together why I was crying, but I couldn’t. Fragments blurted out…”long day…tough…hard…no control…tried everything…don’t listen…didn’t know what to do…failure”…but in terms of something tangible that happened, I couldn’t even form the sentence. I couldn’t find the words. How to describe just what about a day of mom vs. twin toddlers is so hard??
There are many things. Physical things.
Ever since he saw you standing up peeing he thinks it’s hysterical, so he stripped naked in a nanosecond and was trying to pee on the flat screen in the living room; then while I was dealing with this our daughter took her clothes off and shat on the kitchen floor and thought my horrified reaction was funny so she started playing in it and smearing it all over her play kitchen and all of its 10,000 little food parts…
But perhaps what’s so hard to describe about being a parent are the things you can’t describe. That quiet internal guilt of knowing you want don’t want to take any minute for granted; knowing how lucky you are to have two healthy children; knowing how having kids is the best thing in the world; it is!; knowing how fast it all goes and you have to enjoy it…knowing all of this, but then having your husband come home from work and find you crying in the kitchen comparing you day home with your two children to a day as a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.
(To all those who nominated me for this Mother of the Year award, Thank you!)
Charlie Chaplin has this quote: “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”
When you guys become parents, let this be your motto.
(I will try, too. I will try to laugh at this insanity. As soon as I dip myself and you and the house in lysol I will start saying things like, “I guess this is the definition of shits and giggles!”)
And go easy on yourself and the canned answers of those red-carpet celebrities. Because when it comes to parenting, there is no other way to say it: It is really, really hard.