1) You probably are.
2) It’s probably okay.
Mark’s such a good parent. He’s like, a non-asshole parent. He takes time with Miller. He humors 4-year-old whims and wants. He enjoys their time together.
I mean this is happening right now, in my drive, as I sit inside and type as fast as possible:
You know what I enjoy? Time away. When I can actually hear my own thoughts that are otherwise drowned out by some variation of “Mommy [insert demand]!”
Am I an asshole for that? Maybe. But I’m also pretty sure it’s an indicator of being a decent parent, because it means I’m fully vested. Doing my level best to provide for this boy in every way possible including emotional well being and physical nourishment and intellectual stimulation and what feels like being a puppet on a string (and I’m not the puppeteer).
What I tell myself? That it’s okay.
It’s possible to love someone so much you can’t quite put it to words while also wanting space from said love. It’s the great parental paradox.
Parenting isn’t an either or. It’s a whole lot of gray areas and in betweens and blurriness and ands and buts and in a minutes and maybes and we’ll sees and interruptions and run on sentences. And fragments. And fragmented thoughts. Lots of them.
What I know that I know that I know? When we put Miller to bed at night, he tells me he loves me. When he wakes in the night, he comes to me. When he wakes in the morning, he comes and finds me first thing.
So is it true that I can be an asshole parent? Yep. Is it also true that my kid still loves me? Absolutely. Even still, he loves me.
There’s a billboard in town that says “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” That’s what I tell myself when the days get long and my patience runs short.
If you too feel like an asshole parent, you probably are. And that’s probably okay. Because you’re probably not a full-time asshole. You’re a full-time parent, and somewhere, way down low in the fine-print disclaimer is a clause about side effects. Including occasional asshole-ness.
In other words, in some weird messed up kind of way, it’s to be expected.
In other words, you’re not alone.
[bctt tweet=”‘You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.'” username=”CommodeToJoy”]
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