The Fair-Weather Parent
Sometimes I feel like a fair-weather parent. Like this morning, when my 7 year old daughter had a meltdown because she was cold, tired, and didn’t want to go to school. I pretty much felt like I was ready to bail. We drove to school; both of us mad at the other, with occasional bouts of yelling, and her still crying in the back seat. I got no hug, not even a goodbye, only this: “I can’t believe you’re making me go to school with CRYING FACE!”
These types of mornings happen too frequently for my taste, but the problem is, I’m pretty much to blame because nature and nurture are both failing her where early mornings are concerned. She was clearly not born with the early to bed early to rise gene (nature), and I’m apparently failing at training her to love getting up early (nurture). No surprise there, as I consider 8:30 a.m. to be the perfect wake up time and The Boyfriend would sleep until 1 p.m. every day if given the option.
So if I can recognize the fact that I never have, and never will, love the 6 a.m. alarm, I’ve just accepted the fact that I have to deal with it if I want to keep my job; why can I not recognize the fact that she does not, and likely will not ever, love the 6:20 alarm? How can I blame her for throwing a fit about it, when if I’m really honest with myself, I’d love to throw a fit about it too? Why does her morning fit make me question if I’m the right person for this parenting job?
I suppose because I’m a fair-weather parent. I prefer the cuddling and silliness to the yelling and general crappiness. I’d be willing to wager that many parents feel this way and don’t admit it. And I guess I should consider myself lucky that my kid is cuddly and silly a majority of the time and the general crappiness is pretty much limited to when she’s tired or hungry.
Maybe the next time I’m experiencing my tired or hungry slightly insane child, I’ll just take a look at this silly and adorable picture of her wearing a 25 cent fake mustache and that should be enough to remind myself that no amount of general crappiness could make me bail.