It is common knowledge that being a parent is the most fantastic, fulfilling experience. It is rewarding; beautiful. Becoming a parent is the most wonderful thing that will ever happen in a person’s life.
It is an exhausting, frustrating and germ-encrusted experience. Sure, it has its moments, but most of them become wonderful through the passage of time; the snags and pitfalls worn away by an aging mind and sleep-deprived brain. You forget the part where the toddler soaked his pants and car seat in urine in a fit of rage or the time the baby puked into the back of your jeans (and into your underwear) at the mall and you failed to notice.
Hold the phone! There are some really, really good parts, though. Totally selfish, self-absorbed reasons that nobody ever talks about for becoming a parent, but I totally know I’m not the only one who thinks of them.
I am the BEST AT EVERYTHING! Muwa-ha-ha HA! – To my kids, I am the prettiest lady, the most hilarious comedian and I can bust a move like no one on Earth. It is like being the most beautiful, popular girl in high school and you don’t even have to brush your teeth! Or so I would imagine. Unfortunately, this also means I am the meanest person to walk the planet. And while I make the world’s best homemade Cheezeits, I also make the world’s worst mushroom soup. At least this holds true until they start school and then I have all the other moms to compete with.
SHOPPING “For the Kids” – I cannot explain how fun it is to indulge in some major consumerism in the name of my children. I’m not delusional; I realize that I am buying all sorts of this crap for ME, and not for them. Yes, they would survive just fine sporting the $2.99 Walmart Special t-shirts, but where is the fun in that? I get to shop for clothes, and toys and books and strollers and furniture and little cookie cutters that make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into two dinosaurs! It’s not just shopping, either. You get to take them on outings; to Disney World, and the zoo, and the aquarium, and a crazy restaurant where a model train brings you your food! All in the name of the kids, which is completely justifiable. The bummer: paying the bill.
Sweatpants. Oh, Wonderful, Glorious Sweatpants. – I ‘spose that only the stay-at-home set gets to enjoy this. I get to hang out in my jammies all day long if I so choose. There is no more ironing, no more blow drying, no more high-heeled shoes in my morning routine. Want to take a shower at three in the afternoon? No problem! The only people who are going to see you can’t even do long division, so who cares? Ah, yes, it is a slippery slope. I don’t even own a pair of dress pants that are still in style (or that fit), but I don’t have anyplace to wear them, so why bother?
In all actuality, being a parent is pretty amazing, I guess. All the pain in the ass parts of it melt away when Finn hugs me with an “I love you guys” and when Alice smiles and barfs on Nathan instead of me (it’s like she really knows me, you know?). It is so finite; one day they will be grown and in college. And I’ll be sitting here, eighteen years from now, yearning for another day where all I have to worry about is the bodily functions of two precious, tiny humans.