Today ranks right up there as one of the worst days in parenting history.
It is right up there with some of the most difficult days when the littles were toddlers and Styles was a sulking middle schooler.
They tell you that it gets better, but they’re all liars.
It never gets better, not really. It just becomes different. The days of inconsolable crying and constant earaches turn into days you’re wiping poop off of textured walls which turn into days you’re crying in the aisle of a grocery store because your preschooler has just poked your very last nerve. Then that turns into days of school days that begin when you pick the same angels you dropped off in the morning only to find out they touched a drop of water and turned into razor-toothed, slimy aliens.
And then middle school happens and you deal with acne and hormones and mood swings. Straight-A students become flunkies. You worry about bullying and name calling and young suicide.
And then they get into high school and start dating and driving. You have to discuss futures with children who know better than you do, duh; and try to talk about the financing of college. We’re solidly middle class, we have nothing saved. Then you have to worry about sex and drugs and loud music holy mother of everything; grades, grades, grades; chores, chores, chores.
Of course, in the middle of all of that, there are days of joy.
There are days you treasure, and sometimes when you look back on the littered pasts of your parenting, you remember the good times peppered by the bad times that now make you laugh.
But then there are the days like today. The bad days. The days where you look back and see every thing your children did wrong, every misstep you took as a parent; every screaming, crying, lonely day, and you wonder who signed you up for this after all.
And it’s okay to have those days. It’s okay to revel in those moments and hide in the closet and cry. It’s okay to talk about it, actually, I recommend it.
Talk about it.
Talk about how you’re failing as a parent. Tell other parents what you’re going through. Cry to someone about how if your child hits that octave screaming just one more time you’re going to absolutely lose your head. Recall to someone else how you drop angels off at school and pick up criminals. Tell someone that if your high schooler doesn’t go to college that you’re going to spend the rest of your days questioning your own worth on this planet.
Tell, talk, repeat.
Because you’re not alone. And it never, ever gets better.
It just gets different.