Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hey Jealousy

When we decided we were going to have kids I had a somewhat idealised version of what parenthood would be.  Personally I blame the adorable photos people post on social media of their lives with family*, IKEA commercials about building forts out of couch cushions and the sickeningly sweet TGIF television line-up I was raised on as a child of the 1980s.

I did not get the product I was promised and some days, especially this week, I want my money back.

I have friends who had to attend marriage class through their church when they got engaged.  I never went to marriage class, but I really see the merit of it because it gets you talking about important things that aren't very romantic to talk about, but are really important when life happens.  It forces you to have conversations like: Who's in charge of balancing the books, how many children do you want to have, or how will you punish them when they throw a book about potty training at your head while you try to put them into their winter jacket**.  In a class room setting it's easier to take emotion out when compared with having been up all night and bickering because you're super tired and have lost all sanity.

sleeping girl with mom

Chris and I often engage in conversation about how we want to handle things as a team, but you can only be so proactive.

The other day Molly went on and on about how fun and funny her dad is.  How he's silly and she loves to play with him.  Both kids like to play with Chris, because he's a big kid and makes up really fun games, I get it.  He's my best friend too.  That doesn't mean it won't sting a little when no one wants to play ball with me because I'm "the mama".  I don't have a choice in who they want. It's like picking teams in grade five gym class all over again.  It's hard not to get your feelings hurt sometimes.

As parents and humans you face rejection sometimes.  Whether it's through your marital relationship, family, friend groups or otherwise.  Sometimes it's your child deciding that they don't want you to read them a bed time story or give them a hug, that they want someone else.  This is somehow harder than rejection from almost anyone else, mainly because you try to give your children so much.

Yesterday Jack was being temperamental.  This was extra frustrating because Molly is sick and needs extra one on one time.  At daycare he was hitting when he wasn't getting undivided attention from his favourite ECE worker and at home he expected kangaroo treatment from me (to be carried everywhere).  Overnight he woke up not once, but twice, determined that the only parent who could comfort him was me no matter how hard Chris tried to step in.  As he crawled over Chris to jump into my arms, sobbing, I saw a familiar look from Chris.  The one I make every time a child chooses Chris to read a story over me (he does have all the best funny voices after all) or serves him a four course tea party plastic food feast while I sit beside them ignored.

Sometimes you can't choose your parenting roles, your kids select them for you.  I just wish that mine involved a little more play time on the play mat and a little less cuddling at 1:30AM.

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*I now rank among these, but try to pepper in some tantrum photos to show people the real deal.  But let's face it, no one is going to post a photo of when their child projectile defecates all over the nursery without ending up on STFU Parents
**Yes, you are correct  - this is a real situation from our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I think I'm lucky because my son always picks me over his dad :)