Anytime any of my girlfriends have told me they are pregnant, there’s always a split second of hesitance before my reaction because two thoughts cross my mind. The first one is OH MY GOODNESS, YOU’VE DECIDED TO MAKE A TINY HUMAN AND THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!!! The second one is HOLY S#%* YOU’RE SOMEBODY’S MOM AND CHILDBIRTH LOGISTICALLY STILL MAKES NO SENSE TO ME AND NOW WE CAN’T DRINK WINE TOGETHER…but YAY!!!
I’m pregnant. Two words and their entire lives have changed. Meanwhile, I’m just trying to get through the day without cracking my phone screen. It’s an 18 year committment which, at this point in time, is more than half of my life. I don’t think it’s something you ever feel ready for. I think it’s like a tornado or fire drill…you think you know how it should all go down but when it’s actual go time, no one is going single file anywhere.
As a kid, you see your parents as these people who have it all figured out. They know best, they have all the answers, and they always know what to do. They are chef extraordinaires, human encyclopedias, certified camp counsellors, GPS circuited chauffeurs, planners with arms, walking Buddhas, and all powerful mind-reading wizards. I’m sure if you’re a parent reading this, you know this couldn’t be further from the truth.
At the end of the day, parents are simply tall humans with responsibilities, expectations, bills, and the ability to use the word ‘because’ as an actual answer. No capes, no powers, no special abilities. What makes them extraordinary is the love they have for you. It would make them move mountains and defy gravity. Parents aren’t inherent superheroes. Ironically, that fact makes them all the more sensational.
Being a parent is no easy task. I know this because I had a giga pet once. Also because the thought of being responsible for someone other than myself sends my head into a tailspin because I can’t even keep track of my AppleTV remote, my go-to for advice is Google, I use a muffin tin to make ice cubes, and I’ve been known to leave the house with my underwear on inside out. #Fact Life is no longer about you once you become a mom or a dad. It’s one of the toughest jobs out there that and the pay is crap- not to be confused with the rewards. So do them a favor and don’t do what I did and make it harder than it already is.
I was a lot to handle growing up, which I’m sure any of you who know me can imagine. I did not make my parents’ lives easy by any means. Hence, why my parents put me in drama class. Hence, why I live in a 500 square foot apartment by myself and live from paycheck to paycheck. (We can get into that at another time.) I wasn’t intentionally trying to be a pain, I just didn’t understand that being a parent requires forfeiting the friendship you have with your kids from time to time, not to mention a whole heap of other sacrifices that never crossed my mind until I watched Parenthood. Best.Show.Ever.
The dinner table was essentially a duel between me and my parents. One night my dad told me I couldn’t leave the table until I finished what was on my plate. So I didn’t. We sat there. I had my arms crossed with my plate pushed toward the middle of the table. It was a total stubborn Greek face off. At a future dinner, I told my parents there was a ferris wheel in my stomach and every food group had a designated cart which is why I always had room for dessert. Who says that?
I’m fairly convinced I was sent through Catholic schooling solely so the daily screaming matches with my mother about my outfits would stop. She liked flowers and pastels. I was more of an Umbro shorts and NoFear t-shirt kinda gal. I pretended I couldn’t read in first grade. I realized all of the advanced readers were sent off by themselves to read alone and write a book report while everyone else stayed together. Extra work? No, thank you. Nice try. So I took it upon myself to make sure my teacher had no idea what a good reader I was, which caused a lot of confusion during parent-teacher conferences.
I used to put the thermometer on the radiator so I could stay home from school. Although, I’m fairly certain my mom knew. She always said I asked too many questions during her soap opera when I was faking it. Oops. My mom always told me that her mom told her when she had kids, karma was headed her way. So, you’re welcome grandma. Here I am, karma in the flesh.
It wasn’t until I was in my later teen years that I started to wonder what my parents were like when they were my age. I was going through an old photo album in my basement and I came across this picture of my mom with some friends in a convertible. She had bright blonde hair held back with a bandana and these big sunglasses on and I thought to myself my mom is actually really cool. And then I was momentarily horrified which then melted into pure confusion and denial. But I realized she had a life way before I came into the picture and even before she met my dad. Same with my dad, vice versa. I realized they had emotions and a personality and hobbies. I never really thought about them like that.
Because parents are human, they aren’t perfect. They will make mistakes, they will let you down, they won’t always have the answers, and they might even reverse the roles and need YOU every once in awhile. There are all kinds of parents out there. I know that not everyone has a healthy relationship with their parents. I know some relationships are strained and sometimes quite broken. I know some parents aren’t biological and others haven’t been around. Sometimes we look up to people who aren’t our parents. There is a myriad of parents out there figuring it out, succeeding, failing, and getting through the day.
My point is, parents aren’t superheroes. Not genetically. And, yet, they are super and heroic. They’re human and they love you in their own weird way. Remember that. Try not to make a colossal job harder. Get to know them outside of permissions and requests. And try not to take them for granted because what the majority of parents do for their kids is pure magic. You never know when that last phone call or hug will be. I was very lucky in the parent lotto, very lucky indeed.
To my superhero, thanks for everything ma #lakme xx
I’m speechless! I just can’t believe you gave me my own hashtag…just so honored!