I know I just wrote about being kind to children – and absolutely everything in that post still applies. This post isn’t about that – it’s about how I know parenting isn’t for me.
Travis had surgery last week – it was planned and he’s recovering on schedule, thank goodness, so all is well – which rendered him nearly incapacitated for most of the week. Thankfully, the weather cooperated (if you can call it that) with a winter storm, so although I missed days of work, the weather would have kept me home anyway.
That said, although we prepared for the surgery by making a massive batch of soup, making the bed as comfortable as possible, and renting a slew of DVDs from our local library, his recovery has shown me time and again I’m not cut out for parenting. I know, I know, people often say it’s completely different when you have a child, when it’s your own, etc, and while I think that’s super awesome (and I’m secretly very thankful as this isn’t easy), I’m glad I won’t be finding out firsthand.
This week I’ve had to scrub the toilets, take out the trash, vacuum, do all the laundry, change the sheets, cook EVERY SINGLE MEAL (and this man eats a LOT), wash every single dish, play with the cat, draw baths and help Travis in/out of them, remind him to take his medication even when he didn’t want to, help him bandage his wounds, drive him to/from the hospital and subsequent doctors’ office visits, find out answers to surgery questions he asked, run errands for food or other necessities as requested, PUT ON HIS SOCKS FOR HIM, and – oh yeah – go to work myself.
To parents out there everywhere, my GOODNESS, thank you for dedicating your lives to doing this day in and day out, for about a decade or so, until your kids decide you’re only cool enough to drive them around for another eight years, and then dropping them off at college, and finally breathing. This is temporary for us, and it’ll be fine, but I couldn’t imagine doing all of this every single day, especially for a tiny human who wouldn’t understand any of it until much later. It felt like a very solitary existence – Travis up in the bedroom while I buzzed around the downstairs prepping food and cleaning. It felt like that cycle of prepping and cleaning never ended, and by the time everything was put up for the night I was exhausted. I didn’t have any “me” time – no time to read or journal or go for a walk or take a class or play music or anything I would have preferred over cooking and cleaning.
I couldn’t do it. I’m happy to take care of Travis now while he recovers but I personally wouldn’t be a good parent. I am far too selfish – which isn’t always a bad thing because I think it’s good to know yourself – and I am okay with that.
Parenting isn’t for me.