Parenting: Draining the Life Force Out of Rational Adults for Generations


Parenting is so frigging hard. I mean, seriously. We love, cherish, nurture, guide, pray over, redirect, lose sleep over, clean up vomit after and heart burst over our children. We drop tens of thousands of dollars on dance lessons, recital costumes, instrument lessons and athletics. Even though we know good and well our children will never make it into the New York Ballet Co or Julliard, make a career of volleyball or sign a multi million dollar contract in the NFL. Still, we do everything in our power to give them what they need to succeed in life.

What a dichotomy parenting is. We intentionally bring a new life into this world, are filled with awe and wonder and then spend the rest of the time pulling our hair out. We love our children so fiercely and want them to be good human beings so badly that our life force is drained from us. Slowly, over the course of years, parenting forges deep valleys between our eyebrows from the effort of turning a spitter or a hitter or a biter or a picky eater (or any other number of “I’ll never let my child be like that” until you actually have children and realize it’s pretty much a crap shoot) into a productive member of society who holds down job, loves their spouse and votes. Just so that they can, in turn, forge their own deep eyebrow v. But because we made them and love them, we would have it no other way.

I have this amazing group of women whom I’m proud to call my mama friends. We have an ongoing online chat group that has been going for several years. We bring our joys and sorrows, pray over each other and support each other. We can’t always get together in real life, because…life, so we use the online chat to keep each other informed of the daily crap. Over the years it has covered topics you can’t even begin to imagine, many of which include childhood ailments, infections, and diseases.

Today was one of those days when I wanted to smother them all in hugs. In just one day we covered the gamut of mama bear to sisters loving on each other for one nanosecond and making the world smile to one mom and her baby being admitted and then discharged from the ER to another dealing with hand-foot-mouth virus that has turned into full body hand-foot-mouth to another dealing with tantrums over the Wii. The Wii for god sakes.

Sweet Jesus with a prescription pad please give these tired moms some relief. 

One of our moms is a pediatrician. Let me tell you one thing; if you ever have the chance to have a friend who is a doctor…do it. Many of us can say that we have texted her pictures of various rashes on various parts of our children. We are so in awe of her abilities and selfless attitude to assist a friend that we bought her a margarita machine. Love hath no truer friend that one who will buy you a Margaritaville margarita machine. Today she was the hero in going above and beyond in the ER situation.

Another mom, who is the most even keeled went all mama bear up at her school. When she told us of a bully incident that went down we all agreed that the offender, the mom of the offender, the teacher and principal should all be thanking their lucky stars that they can still see and didn’t get their eyes scratched out and can still hear and didn’t get their ear drums busted from the mama bear yelling. That kid should be kissing her feet because she is desecrate enough not to say his name and better pray that we don’t all figure out his identity by some covert fashion. Because don’t mess with my friends and their kids who have had many a sleep-over at my house.

One of our moms is one of the most sweet spirited and down to earth seeming amongst us. Today she admitted to a tantrum over the Wii not being able to turn on that ended in yelling about what a horrible mom she is. Oh my heart. One day this precious one will look back with chagrin at his behavior. Despite the seething inside, she kept her cool and bit her tongue. Sometimes the silent furry is even more powerful than the top of the voice yelling. Her boys should start saving up for her mother’s day gift right now, because she is a saint in our eyes.

When I heard about the silent fury reaction to the Wii tantrum I thought about how I would have handled it. It probably would have involved yelling and threatening to remove the Wii from the house forever more in a violent fashion. Harry (the 5 year old) describes me as the Incredible Hulk if ever I have to do anything video gaming related. That got me thinking about a childhood memory. We were on a road trip and my mom had enough of my older brother’s “satanic” heavy metal music. I’m pretty sure she was convinced is was the cause of his longish hair and smart mouth. She had reached her breaking point so at the next gas station she tossed all of his cassette tapes in the trash just before we pealed out. If you don’t think that was a long drive, I don’t know what was. 

Don’t we all remember saying things and acting like such little shits that were not our most shiny moments? I do. Mom, I’m sorry I was such a know-it-all, bratty teenager. I’m just now figuring out that the world does not revolve around me and I’m sure you and dad look on with delight as you watch my oldest align the planets around himself.

Parenting, it drains the life force out of you. Go now and thank your parents for putting up with you and for apologizing for draining them dry. Then go and watch your precious ones sleep. Brush the hair away from their forehead, pray over them, kiss them and slightly worry over their future. Touch the deep v in-between your eyebrows and thank God for it. Know that you are doing awesome right now, because it all starts over tomorrow.



2 Responses

  1. Chris Carter

    Aw!!!! What a GREAT way to start my day! I just love your group of moms and all of the authentic support and beautiful comradery you have with them!! I want a Doctor friend… bad. I could have used one the first ten years of my parenting. Sigh…

    I want and wish for EVERY mom to have a posse of peeps to hold her tight when she wants to crumble, and laugh to tears when she needs to lighten up, and especially huddle around her if a crisis unfolds.

    It looks like you’ve got just that.

    Carry on, soldier! Today’s another day.
    Chris Carter recently posted…Parenting Through Principles and PerspectiveMy Profile

    • Stephanie Clinton

      Thanks friend.

      “posse of peeps” That’s awesome. I’m so fortunate to have real life friends that I can lean on and online friends too. God is good.

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