Parenting in and of itself can be a daunting responsibility. You find yourself responsible for another living human being. To make matters more complicated and stressful you not only have to keep them alive but also have to “form” them into a respectful individual. One that will obey legal and social norms that you deem acceptable. Many times I find myself wondering if I am even coming close to hitting the mark or making the grade then then it happens . . . the perfect golf shot!
What do I mean by the perfect golf shot you may be asking? For anyone that has played golf, you can relate to the fact that it can be an equally frustrating game, just like parenting. There is technique in how you swing the golf club just as there is technique in how you talk with your kids. Many times you swing thinking the golf ball will go straight and instead it goes to the left, right, or just skips along the fairway in front of you. Frustrating as it can be, when you hit the golf ball just right and it lands but a few feet away from the hole your faith in your ability to play the game is instantly renewed and ahead you charge with newly found motivation and dedication to the game.
Such is the life of a parent. Take mine for example. Just yesterday my co-parent and I (under a newly found truce) agreed to deviate from our schedule so that I could meet a work obligation. We coordinated for the kids to be with their mother from noon until about 6pm so that I could go into the office and attend some meetings. When I picked up the kids at 6pm, our youngest daughter was in tears and not wanting to leave her mothers house. Eventually, she got in the car and slowly came back to me in the form of speaking and her behavior changed. At night when it was just her and I and I was putting her to bed I asked if she wanted to talk about what happened and reassured her that I knew how tough it must be and that both myself and her mother love her and that by talking about things we can help each other help the other.
She laid in bed looking at me and almost instantly declined my request just shutting her eyes and going to sleep. *Insert dagger through heart here* My heart felt and ache, a pain that never becomes any easier to deal with. I felt completely shut out, helpless and unable to comfort my daughter as I wanted to. Feeling totally rejected, I laid next to her for a new minutes with my eyes open just starring down at the comforter wondering what I was going to do. I looked up to see her looking at me and she placed her hand on my cheek and said those four words that always make me forget about all the pain and world around us. “I love you daddy.” Here was I thinking I was supposed to be comforting her and yet it was happening the other way around.
In the end, I know I am not perfect, I know I make my mistakes, but just when I feel like a complete failure, that perfect golf shot always brings me back for me.
Who hasn’t struggled with maintaining a routine when it comes to bed time and how much harder is it when its one against well pick your number of kids! Whether it’s one, two, or more it can be overwhelming! While there are so many things that go into establishing a healthy bedtime routine one of those aspects often overlooked is the bedding. When my co-parent and I went through our divorce years ago, it was tough on the middle child. All he wanted was to be held and comforted at night which was almost impossible for me because I have three kids and I cannot split myself into thirds.
Enter the solution, the weighted blanket! Many of us hav heard the benefits of using weighted blankets that are appropriate for the age and size of the person and I’m here to tell you they work wonders. I was skeptical at first and purchased a 7lbs blanket just to try it out and it was almost instant! Within a week, my middle guy was sleeping more soundly and through the night and over the years we have not graduated to a 18lbs blanket like the one here! I can personally tell you that it is a lifesaver and once the little guy (12 years old and 90lbs) is under it he is asleep before I know it! Give it a shot and tell me what you think, would love to hear your thoughts!
It never really ends does it? I get it, most of us signed up to be parents and to help form and create good honest human beings but it seems as if with each addition it become exponentially more and more difficult to keep up. To keep up with schedules, with financial obligations, with ones own health and well being. If I’m not working at the job then I’m working at home. Whether its doing 2 – 3 loads of laundry every other day, cleaning a house that inevitably becomes dirty the second I walk away.
Yet I and the rest of us continue to push through, fumbling, exhausted and looking to find that magical “balance” that so many speak of. Sometimes I wonder, does it mean I just need to stop caring about certain things or people and just focus on what I believe to be most important or do I continue to practice what I preach which is putting others needs before my own.
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you want to look at it I am lucky. As I am one of two “willing” co-parents that take care of our 3 children both myself and my co-parents schedules align to where she works one week at the job site and I the following. This allows for us to care of the DNA without having to put them in a daycare or work-care solution since they are all learning virtually at the moment. Yet even with all this “extra” tie every other week how come I can’t catch up. I currently work two jobs, my primary and my secondary which is a delivery driver for an online food order company. I essentially pay rent to just sleep in my apartment for a few hours a day, an a few extra ones on the weekends. Yet the cleaning is never done, the cooking is never done, and the organizing is never done. It never really does end! Comment and let me know if you feel the same or if I’m just going nuts, let me know!!
Is it just me or does it seem like as a parent one is constantly struggling to imprint the proper values, morales, and way of being with one’s DNA these days? Case and point, the 14 year old, which has a smartphone was told that when the phone was received that he would have to keep the same passcode as both myself and the co-parent need to have access to the phone when ever we like to. This is to ensure that we can validate that he is not doing anything he should not be doing and at a minimum exhibiting proper etiquette when texting others. I understand that kids today text far different than I do but given how critical one’s online and social media presence is to future jobs/endeavors I just want to make sure he has a fighting chance.
I find out at 4:45am this morning that he had unilaterally changed the passcode to his phone since he had apparently set not one not two not three but five alarms to get up on time! I don’t knock he effort to be able to get on time, I applaud that, but he seemed unbothered by the fact that he had done something contrary to what we had agreed. All I have wanted is for him to understand that his actions carry consequences and that it is his actions themselves that show his integrity or character or lack thereof.
Turns out that he changed it so that his bother could not get on the phone when he was not looking. He dismissed the need for proper ownership of the phone and when asked why he didn’t just work with his brother to have him understand why he must not just go on his phone he stated “I tried everything and nothing worked!” The real question is did he really try everything? Turns out the answer was no. He had asked his mother but not myself. So now I have two issues. Lack of trust and a willingness to take the easy route and not address issues when the come up. Also, a lack of willingness to explore all avenues with both parents.
I get that today kids simply want the quick solution but there is something to be said for actually confronting conflict and working things out. A skill/trait that our younger generation is quickly losing and simply learning to avoid challenges instead of meeting them head on. You tell me, am I being to harsh or expecting too much?
Welcome one and all! Let us get into the sauce here and find out what I and you all as my passengers are dealing with. So who is the random guy who is posting all this content to the web? I am a 40 something divorced dad, working a full time job (really a full time job and a half), father of three kids (two older sons 14 and 12, and a younger daughter 7). Being a good parent is relatively simple in theory right? This would imply that you are a half way decent person, know right from wrong, and are a contributing member to society. The reality is that parenting is probably the craziest and most convoluted thing ever that is constantly evolving! There are no instruction manuals, no one size fits all solutions, and the kids are constantly transforming, growing, changing the game on the parent.
Either way, whether we choose to make those kiddos or if they came as a surprise, we all made the choice to keep them around and accepted all of the good and very very very difficult that comes with being a parent. Thanks for being a part of this journey with me and realizing the purpose that parenting in numbers and together we can be stronger and better for our kids. Parenting is not easy whether one or two parents involved but in the end we do the best that we can and I applaud all of you for always giving it your all. Welcome and lets start taking those steps on the path together! ~ Ivan