There are times when I do not like being a parent. This is not a “my child is this or that” or “my child is a this or that” post. This is about me, the parent and the times, such as today, and in a about a years time, when I won’t like being a parent because of the things my kids have to do because of me and my choices.
No, I am not about to go to jail, so nothing as life altering as that. I remember having to move a lot. I remember having to go to work with my mother. I remember not having a lot of friends. These are the things I remember about my childhood. These are things I did not want my children to have to experience to the same degree that I feel I did (perception as a child vs reality?). Yet, because of my choice to go back to school, these are things they have had to deal with and will have to deal with at least one more time. A far cry from my perception of my childhood, but still more than I wanted for them.
We, meaning the adults, have very few friends where we are at. Before moving here, we planned for this-at least as a concept-but hoped for better. The few friends we have are either students or working adults or moved away for one reason or another. There is no family support here, by that I mean if Barb and I wanted to go out for the evening we do not have a family member who could watch the kids for an evening. Thus the kids go everywhere we go. Not a problem most of the time, as we tend to go places that are fun for the whole family-a perk of the two adults being more like kids, we were going to fun places before having kids now we have an “excuse.” Still there are times when it would be nice to go out with other adults.
Due to scheduling, this being the kids Spring Break, they have to go with one of us to classes. The kids chose me because they wouldn’t have to travel an hour each day, they are close to home and toys, and they know my professors. Thankfully, my professors know me. One, has excused me from classes for the week, knowing our situation and the limited seating and attention span of children in a classroom. Bad enough they had to sit through 45 minutes of presentations yesterday. The other, has kids of her own and the classroom is huge and empty. Thus my kids can find a place to be kids. But I don’t want them there.
Them sitting through class is totally unfair to them. I could care less if it is fair to me, but to them. They should not have to travel with me to classes, sit through classes, and be on their best behavior all of the time. Unfortunately, that is not our situation. They “understand” and do their best, but I feel for them. It has never been my intention to take them with me to work, unless they wanted to go.
Related to this is the fact, within a year’s time we will be moving again. No ifs ands or buts, we must move on. The kids had just started going to school when we moved the first time, thus they did not have any long term attachments. Now, four years later, they have friends. Due to the transient nature of college students, some of their friends have moved on-meaning our kids know that change or shit happens-but being honest, I wanted my children to have those friends I hear about, you know life long or as close to that as possible. Or at least have a few more years before their friends were removed from their lives due to my choices.
Today, in class really brought all of these thoughts to the fore. A friend of mine offered to bring toys for my kids to play with because he remembered how much it sucked having to go to work with a parent. I appreciate his offer more than I expressed at the time. He made me remember what it was like for me when I was a kid. Thus, my kids got some extra slack. Funny story, the kids brought stuff to do, but in typical kid fashion, did not want to play with what they brought and nobody (them or me) thought to boot up Netfix on the computer. Again, they shouldn’t have to pack toys in the first place.
I know shit happens, you do what you can, parenting is not an exact science, they will come out stronger for the experience, and all of that jazz. But I didn’t want them to have to experience this or maybe I didn’t want to have to relive parts of my life better left buried in the past. Both, actually.