Let’s be honest, parenting is hard. The Rookie is now at that age where he wants to play all the time… and not by himself but with someone. Without someone else in-house that someone becomes either Mrs. Rookie Dad or myself.
And after a long day, sometimes the last thing I want to do is play with the Rookie. I realize how cruel that sounds but it is the truth. As a dad, I have worked all day to provide the life that he has become accustomed to. A life full of Legos (the bruised feet that come with stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night), the house over his head, the TV that he hogs, and the hermit crabs that we got him as a reward for staying in his bed (which didn’t work in the end).
It wears me out. I can’t count the times that I have asked the Rookie to play by himself while I sit in my easy chair having an adult conversation complaining about how needy he is on twitter. Hitting “tweet” as I lament the fact that the Rookie did a mash-up of Shake It Off and All About That Bass is almost therapeutic hoping that someone on the other end will sympathize with me.
As I sit here and complain about parenting, part of me feels guilty. Recently in the Washington Post there was an opinion article about why dads don’t complain about parenting like moms do and I do have to say that there is some truth to the headline.
The modern dad is changing but our roots for supporting the family run deep. As a dad nation we are becoming more involved with the family. We are doing more chores around the house, we are spending more time playing with our kids, and being more of a positive influence. This is a new movement just in the past decade and because we are more involved with the family, you will not see very many dads complaining about parenting. It has been a very short time that dads have been respected as parent and complaining about being a parent, would just reinforce the exact stereotype we are trying to eliminate.
As a father, I enjoy parenting to its fullest. Just like a job, there are parts of it that you don’t enjoy, however, you work through those times so that you can get back to the parts that you enjoy. While there maybe things that all parents complain about, the very things that we complain about are the things that we love about our children.
Take the countless nights of little sleep. For one I thought by the age of 4 we would be past this. But we aren’t. I’m still getting kicked in the groin some nights but we are to the point where there are nights the Rookie stays in bed that give me a sense of accomplishment. Those little Lego pieces that I step on as I take the Rookie back to bed, are a constant reminder of the times that I am on the floor building a police station with the Rookie.
We can always find something to complain about whether it is the meal that our children aren’t eating. Or their constant blabbering about non-sense. Or maybe it seems that they do not listen to you. What matters though is that no matter how much we complain about our children, we will still show them how much we love and care for them. We will always be there for them no matter how much we say we don’t appreciate them.
I am sure the same goes to the mothers who complain about parenting.