|Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn/freedigitalphotos.net|
I’ve been thinking lately that’s it’s way to easy to become a parent (assuming there are no conception difficulties). When I was in the hospital after having had E, I couldn’t believe that the doctors and nurses were just going to let us take him home! There were no diaper changing tests, no home inspections, not even a background check that we had to pass. Even when we had adopted our dog Sparkle, the cocker spaniel foster home made sure we had a yard for him to run around in and even had us sign a form stating so. No one at the hospital asked us any questions about our home or our experiences with raising a person. It kind of makes parenting seem like the easiest job to qualify for, right?
Wrong! If I could have, I would have given myself a parenting questionnaire to answer to see how prepared (or not!) I was to have kids. I would have required myself to take that test early – not on the day I was to bring E home from the hospital, but much earlier than that – probably on the day I decided I wanted to have kids, way back in the last century. 😛
That questionnaire would have gone something like this:
1. Are you able to function on minimal amounts of sleep, morph into a cow (this is what a nursing mom feels like) and learn to do everything with one hand (because you’ll always be carrying a kid with the other)?
2. Can you remain calm, cool and collected under pressure (for example, when you have 2 screaming kids in line with you at Bed, Bath and Beyond and a grumpy old man keeps giving you the evil eye)?
3. Do you know how to handle unreasonable requests (such as cutting food up exactly the way someone wants it or else be faced with a major emotional meltdown)?
4. Can you show flexibility, patience and persistence in times of extreme frustration (ie. giving sponge baths for a whole month to a toddler who suddenly develops an aversion to water)?
5. Are you able to multi-task efficiently and effectively (for example, nurse a newborn baby while cutting your toddler’s hair as he naps)?
And these would only be the questions addressing the first few years of parenting! Unfortunately, or fortunately, I don’t have the experience yet to write about what it’s like to raise a teenager, though they say it’s similar to the terrible two’s. 😛
So if I had been given that questionnaire before having kids, I would have definitely scored a big, fat zero. And I may have been too scared to become a parent. I was, to put it plainly, very naive about what parenting entails. Hubby, on the other hand, was a lot more realistic and hesitant, which explains why it took us 5 years (and a lot of convincing from me!) to have kids. And now he’s the one who’s always saying we should have had kids earlier!
I may have headed into this parenting adventure blissfully ignorant, but I’ve learned so much along the way. And thanks to my kids, I think I’ve been changing into someone who is a lot less dainty, a lot more decisive and overall, a whole lot tougher. Tough enough to tackle the teenage years ahead? We’ll see about that.
Now if I could only add all these new skills I’ve acquired as a parent in my resume for the next time I apply for a job… 🙂
Here’s a fun video about living “In Tha Muthahood” by Anita Renfroe.
What new skills have you acquired or want to acquire as a parent?