Being a parent is a job that should come with pay. And by pay, I don’t mean hugs and kisses, I mean a paycheck! There have been times when the only thing that could have made sense of the parenting mayhem was some sort of tangible compensation. Maybe if someone had approached me after an unreasonable argument with my teenager, gave me $500, patted me on the back, and told me to go cool off at the mall, it would have made it a lot easier to deal with. Instead I often retreat to my room trying to make sense of it all.
I had heard horror stories from parents of teens who warned me that my daughter wouldn’t always be the loving, adoring, little girl that I breast fed and coddled in a sleep deprived state for over a year. It’s because of you that my boobs sag and you have the nerve to have an attitude with me?! They told me she would start to like boys, talk back (sucking her teeth even!), and may even respond to disciplinary tactics in a slightly aggressive and dissatisfied manner. And to that I said, “Who?!?!”, Not my child! But yes, the day came when my daughter and I were at odds. Major odds.
We couldn’t see eye to eye on anything. Long conversations we shared in my bedroom turned into closed doors that neither of us wanted to walk through. We weren’t “feeling” each other at all. It took awhile for me to come to terms with the fact that it’s a phase I have to get through. Luckily it’s one of those things that ebbs and flows with us and I’m grateful for that. In our case, there are extenuating circumstances such as divorce, custody battles and my kids living in dual households that contributes to the stress that hinders communication. We both have to work overtime to keep those lines open to avoid misunderstandings and more. Over the course of parenthood you will experience a range of emotions and will quite possibly have enough experiences to make a feature film or made for TV movie. Just comes with the territory. It’s the most thankless and amazing job for no pay that there is.
Just for kicks, how much do you think your parenting is worth?
Words by Sid Powell