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Why Do We Parent?

For some, being a parent is all they ever wanted to do. For others, being a parent is "just what you do." Some are faced with constant emotional and/or financial pressures in their parenting, yet they persist, and parent every day. Regardless of our personal feelings or reasons for being a parent, maybe parenting is to help us as human beings learn to be more caring, loving, patient, and loving (yes, "loving" is in there twice)–even, (ESPECIALLY), in parenting moments like these.

15 (Tongue In Cheek) Reasons to Love ParentingChalk Drawing 3

  1. We love when our child hands us a boog he just picked, as if we know what to do with it, or like that is just something you do in life–pick a boog and matter-of-factly hand it off.

  2. We love when we tell a kid who is potty training to stay on the toilet–for just a split second–while you run for toilet paper.....only to have him slide off the toilet a split second later–leaving a trail of wonder on the toilet seat, and put on his clothes, mashing the remaining delight into the fibers. So now you've got to wipe their cheeks + clean the toilet seat + clean soiled clothes + get kid dressed....again = for the love of Pete!

  3. We love chasing a kid potty training as he runs around in bare cheeks with poop clinging to said cheeks.

  4. We love how we give kids very clear instruction to NOT do something, and while looking at you with a defiant look, they do it anyway, right in front of you.

  5. We love when we failingly teach, explain, feed, lead, bribe, coax, trick, force, parent-hack, beg, plead, and threaten kids to eat enough at meal time so they are not hungry in 10 minutes.....only to have them complain, 10 minutes later, that they are hungry.

  6. We love how we have to celebrate a kid going to the bathroom as if he just created a cure for cancer.

  7. We love how kids explore their bodies, particularly where the sun don't shine, and then wonder why their hands smell.

  8. We love how kids think they don't need to wash their hands before they eat because their "hands aren't dirty," even though you can see the "not dirty" and can literally scrape it off.

  9. We love how we prepare, instruct, rehearse, explain, diagram, mime, draft blue prints showing the exact physics, illustrate using your own childhood experience about a time you were doing something you were warned to stop doing so you wouldn't get hurt but didn't listen and got hurt, and warn kids to stop doing something because you know it is inevitably going to lead to them getting hurt....only to have them not listen, and do it anyway.....and get hurt.

  10. We love how kids cry as if they just lost a limb, but if you ask them if they want a snack or to watch a movie, the tears are immediately gone as if nothing happened.

  11. We love when we specifically hold kids a certain way to keep them from flailing about and hurting themselves–like whacking their head or hand while you walk down the hallway–only to have them flail and wig out....and whack their own hand against the wall. And then they blame you for hurting them.

  12. We love how kids eat only a small ring down the middle of an apple and leave the rest...wherever they are...couch, floor, TV room, our bed. 

  13. We love how kids constantly take our pillow off our bed to use themselves or just to hide it. So each night the pillow is taken, it is a new experience in neck strains, weird dreams, and foggy confusion the next morning

  14. We love how we work all week and extra on the weekend to try to keep the lawn and yard healthy and well-kept, so we have some semblance of peace and calm in our yard, (if you are lucky).....only to have the driveway turned into a giant sidewalk-chalk canvas with mutated, Dr. Seuss-looking people clawing and grabbing at you, seemingly pulling you into their strange, abstract world. (I actually do kind of love this.)

  15. We love how after hugging our child, as he buries his face into our chest and gives us squeezes before we go to work, we notice much later, in public, that he's left a fresh surprise on the front of our shirt. It could be a bit of breakfast, if we are fortunate, or perhaps for a special treat, a boog he has not yet had time to hand us. (Because you know, you are suppose to know what to do with boogs.) And when someone points out today's prize left on the front of our shirt, you think, "That's right. I have a boog on my shirt!" and we wear it proudly, like the badge of honor it is.

Think about it. Do you get better at something when it's easy? Not often. Chances are, you get better at something because you work at it, out of want or need–practicing a sport or an instrument, developing new necessary skills for work, for example. If we improve for those things, why not get better at parenting? And if you've been a parent for more than 12 minutes, it is likely you are better now than when you started. Kids trying our patience, challenging the boundaries, but also being examples of kindness, teaching us lessons about compassion, thoughtfulness, and generosity can do that.

Why do you parent? Share stories or pictures on Facebook and other social media why you parent. Use #WhyIParent and let's see what others experience.

Monster hat and goggles #WhyIParent

He is reason #4 why I parent. Funny thing is, we neither ski nor ride ATV's that would necessitate goggles. I just know he likes them. He knows how to rock them.....matching monster hat and mittens + goggles! #WhyIParent


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