Are Parents Always Doomed To Feel Selfish?


Feeling selfish has pretty much become my full-time job. If I’m going to be perfectly honest (let’s face it, that’s pretty much the only language I speak), I have two really challenging kiddos. Throughout the years, I have often looked at other ‘professional child rearers’ on the playground and after a quick compare/contrast of minions, have wondered how much crack mine really might be smoking on the side. My eldest daughter is like Lady Ga Ga and Richard Simmons combined (mature angst mixed with incomparable levels of movement and activity), while my youngest should have been cast in every Kevin Smith flick ever made. And even though they are polar opposites (“go go go” with “let’s hang and chill”), both are extremely smart, extremely special in terms of their varied needs, and extremely loud… so I’m told, anyways.

Parenthood is never going to be easy… there is just no way around it. If I could count the number of times that people say “well, just wash your hair at night” or “just do your work while they’re napping”, than I would perhaps be getting enough sleep to actually count in numerical order. Aside from… I don’t know, maybe sleeping?…there is just no perfect way to be a single parent. Sometimes you need to wash your hair while the kids are sitting on the bathroom floor with crayons, or do your work while they’re climbing on your back, or not cook dinner than takes more than 60 seconds in the microwave (or better yet, go for cereal). In my world, there is simply no such thing as “me” time. The closest thing I’ve ever had to a 2-star-vacation [let alone this mythological spa day or honeymoon that people speak of], is a 10 minute bath watching New Girl on Hulu while children light small fires on the other side of the door. Don’t worry, I’m at least somewhat joking.

That being said, parents are still people (and Rihanna is totally making the right decision by dating Chris Brown again. Plus, pigs can fly). If I could encourage any of us to do one thing today, it’s to write down the three things that make you feel like you [the you before analyzing the array of color palettes in diaper-laden fecal matter became part of your identity], and find a way to incorporate it in to your month. If this involved smoking illegal substances or listening to Chumbawumba pre-children, than don’t take my advice. Otherwise, nothing detrimental will be derived from parents who feel like satiated, challenged, excited beings… except maybe less moments of you snapping “I will not watch another episode of Shake It Up!”

So, figure out what you love to do, schedule it in and report below. I’ll hold you to it if you do the same. Here are 2 of my choices…

To chase this feeling once a week. Not just as a dance teacher to earn money, or because I would always rather do the above than workout… just BECAUSE.

To write fiction once a week. Again, not to be marketable, not to be printed like my other writing… but for therapy. And one day, if I self publish and no one buys? Zero regret.

Shout Out: What do you vow to do for yourself starting NOW?

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