Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Gloria Steinem had the foresight to say, “I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.”
But, I say, “Marriage and a career – sheesh—that’s nothing, try adding kids into the equation.”
Pru, Piper, and Phoebe can’t even compete with most Moms because it takes more than magic to make a good Mom.
Sometimes I think I’m living the easy life, in this world of high technology where everything is right at my fingertips. But as I travel down this overcrowded information highway, using my Blackberry, mapquest, and gps, somehow I’m still lost.
No electronic gadget can make parenting EZ and even with so much help right in my hands, it's that four-letter word that keeps running through my head:
T. I. M. E.
Maybe it’s because becoming a “Mom” doesn't come with a handbook and there are no rules. What other job offers no training, has you on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and doesn’t even provide a bathroom break . . . ? There's no pat-on-the back here and this one job offers no financial incentive to compel a person into this chaotic career, no motivational paycheck, commission, or bonus at the end of the month.
Instead this career calls for extreme patience because there are a few unwritten realities of parenting, which I will willingly point out for any unsympathetic people out there:
1) Cranberry juice never spills on linoleum;
2) A child only falls down and rips his pants - when he’s dressed in his Sunday best;
3) Kids never spill anything on a dirty floor - somehow - they always wait until it’s just been mopped, swept or vacuumed;
4) Children are never thirsty and don’t have to go to the bathroom until after they’ve been tucked into bed;
5) Children only complain about their earache after the clock strikes 5:00 p.m., when the doctor’s office closes;
6) Children always remember to tell someone they need a disposable lunch for the fieldtrip, as the school bus approaches the house;
7) Children will make sure you get the picture order form - the morning pictures are scheduled to be taken which just happens to be two weeks past the time he needed a haircut; and last but not least,
8) On vacation, children never have to go to the bathroom unless the nearest rest stop is more than fifty miles away.
Yet educated people actually choose this occupation. And, when they finally are initiated into this sisterhood of the traveling or “elastic waist-band” pants, they happily celebrate the onslaught of morning sickness and nightly trips to the toilet with a party – called “a shower”, which they gladly share with a bunch of other women.
And, what could be worse, with all that extra weight to hide?
Adults go to great lengths to celebrate this event – correctly called “labor”.
Parenting is like playing in the stock market – it’s all about patience and long term investment.
With such a simple goal and no rules, it should be easy - right?
I’ve heard it said, “Parents just need to set limits.” What people don’t realize is that sometimes the limits need to be on the parents – not the kids.
One thing is for sure: Parents need to practice a little discipline, and give themselves a “time-out”. So take a hot bath, go for a walk, or just sit for ten minutes and do . . . nothing.
It's Time-Out Tuesday :)