Friday, November 16, 2012

Post Childhood Parenting IS a Reality

Can we talk honestly? I feel like we’ve known each other a few seconds and that maybe we’ve grown in our relationship and we can take it to the friend level. Not just any friend level either. I think we’re at the point where we tell each other things and ask the other person not to tell anyone that they heard it from us, but will tell other people anyway.

In the spirit of our new friendship I want to tell you that I’m guest blogging today because Kevin needed to have a little time with new people over at my blog.  I’m your new Mommy. Shhh it’s alright. Stop crying. No, really. Stop. Please. Mommy has a headache.

So parents (or those of you thinking of trying this shit at home), let’s talk. I know you were thinking this was going to get easier, this parenting gig. Maybe you’re going through the terrible twos, the trying threes, or the formidable fours... and you just keep telling yourself, “It will be so much easier when I can reason with them!”

Let’s cut the crap right now, okay? First of all, you can’t reason with them, and secondly, it isn’t getting easier until they move out. Go ahead, count the years. We all do it. You’re not a bad parent for doing it. It’s called being a realist. I’m going to pause for a moment and take off my heels and stockings and put on sweats because this is about to get real. Be right back.

Alright, I’m here. You can stop counting years now because you don’t really know when they are going to find a legitimate residence that requires them to sign a lease that doesn’t have your name and social attached to it. Welcome to the long haul, babe.

I love my kids like a middle aged man loves Caddy Shack, but I’m a realist. I don’t know when they’re leaving, but I’m counting the days like I do. I’m picturing a small studio apartment where the only dirty dishes in the sink are the ones I just put there. It’s a world where the laundry no longer wears the shame of an ink pen or 99 cent lipstick left to go through the wash and dry cycles. In my new reality, there won’t be “Mom, can I…?” conversations that result in me running a mental tally of what has yet to be paid and how much lunch money is left to be spent. It’s a simple world and if I could pin it on Pinterest I would. If it were a Facebook page there would be a big old thumbs up with my name right next to it.

Maybe you’re asking yourself, “What’s got her so bitter and jaded?” Well kids, it’s not a single thing. Its 19 years of things that have made me who I am today. Okay, it’s almost 39, but we’re just talking about how the kids have made me a bitch, right? I thought so. Here are a few examples:

  •  Kids don’t realize that you’re giving you real life, straight from the tap, honest to goodness sound advice. They think you’re full of shit… just like you probably did about your own parents.

Me- You really have to think about what you’re doing with your life, hon. You are following in my footsteps and you’re capable of so much more!

Daughter- Don’t worry. I’m not going to ruin my life like YOU did!

      Me- Honey, you are my life.

  • Kids don’t understand your sarcasm. You will be shocked when they don’t immediately deny the drunk and high comments, but that’s how you know they aren’t drunk or high. What kids fail to realize is that you are being logical. When the kid works at the grocery store, it’s only logical that they save you gas by bringing home the things you need… which will just make you wonder if they are drunk and high.

Me- I assume you’re out getting drunk and high. Pick up garbage bags on the way home.

Son- I’m not your grocery getter!

  • Kids don’t always grasp financials. If you give them an inch they will take a mile. If you give them a car they will take a down payment.

Daughter- So if you are giving me the car for graduation can I trade it off on another car?

Me- It’s your car. You can do what you want.

Daughter- Will you still match my down payment?

Me- The car’s trade in will be your down payment. Why would I give you a car and then give you money for a car?

Daughter- You said if I had a down payment you would match it!

Me- That was before I gave you a car!

Please feel free to use the above examples whenever you feel the slightest bit guilty for putting those big red X’s on your calendar, marking each day you’ve knocked out until they graduate college or finally move out of the house. Each time you gaze longingly at those pictures your childless friends send back from their week-long vacation in the south of France (or wherever your cool friends go that doesn’t allow kids) remember,  post childhood parenting is a reality and it can be yours… in a few years or decades. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. 


  1. I have quickly learned that things don't get easier as they get's just new challenges. The only good thing about them getting older is that they are now capable of making their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pouring their own drinks.

    1. Oh, Dan. I completely understand that. When mine got old enough to pour their own cereal and milk in the mornings I finally got my weekend sleep-ins back!

  2. I"m there. Totally there. I have a nineteen year old and I am counting the days he finds 'that special someone' that will help him keep up with his keys, wallet, personal information, ________________you name it, and do the bills/budget because it isn't his strong suit.

    I get it. I have one graduating as well, so I am in a state of flux.

    1. haha CLR! My oldest is promising me that she's getting married in another 18 months. Fortunately, she found someone who doesn't mind doing everything she hates doing for herself... which is most everything. Right now I'm trying to get my son in his best form so that one day he may too find someone who will do everything for him so I don't have to. :)

  3. I'm kind of there and it is kind of wonderful. Even though they are not permanently on their own, they are not in my house. I'll take it, but sometimes? I really miss them, but then I go out for dinner and drinks.

    1. I miss them when I am alone, and then I come here and find you folks and things look better. I am so thankful that I can get away for the weekend now without having to find a sitter or worry that they will run amok and burn the house down.

  4. Hilarious! And I agree I barely survived their teen years. When they were going thru those terrible two's, nothing can prepare you for those teen years. The transition to the empty nest went rather smooth, all I had to do was give them a statement of what they will owe me for their share of bills to continue living here past twenty- and am surprised at how fast they left the coop! Definitely enjoyed your posting! :) Now hopping over to see your blog to visit Kevin!

    1. I told my oldest that she could live at home for free if she decided to go to college and work part time to pay for her own extras... she opted to work for a year before going to school and the rent really threw her for a loop at first. It's good for them to learn. My son moved in with his dad for about 9 months... then quickly came back to the nest. He might be harder to get rid of than the girl. We'll see. :) Thanks for the comment!