This morning I went to the DMV.
I don’t even have to say anything else; you already know how my morning went. Add subway troubles and tax issues to that and you’ll have a decent idea of why my Friday is starting to feel like a Monday.
The good news is that when I get home there’s a decent chance my son will tell me he doesn’t want to be my friend anymore before spending a large chunk of the three hours before he goes to bed screaming and whining and being put in time-out.
Suddenly the DMV doesn’t seem so bad.
Seven Stressful Things That are Less Stressful Than Parenting
- Moving – I know what you’re thinking: nothing is more stressful than moving. And as someone who has moved halfway across the country twice in the past two years, I agree with you. Except parenting is like moving every single day for the rest of your life and your kids are both the most expensive and most fragile things you own.
- Going to the Dentist – When you visit the dentist, there is an excellent chance you’re going experience pain. But, unless you’re British (zing!) or The Cookie Monster, odds are you’ll be okay; the anticipation of the visit is usually worse than the visit itself. But when you have kids, everything you feared comes true, as does stuff you never could have imagined in your wildest nightmares. Every day brings more pain. Mazel tov!
- Planning a Wedding – I know what you’re thinking: nothing is more stressful than planning a wedding. And as someone who
has gotten married twice in the past two yearshad a relatively small and simple wedding and STILL almost called it off during the two years (TWO YEARS!) of planning, I agree with you. Except parenting is like planning a wedding every single day for the rest of your life.
- Awaiting Test Results – Sure, you might have VD, but at least you don’t have kids! Unless you’re talking about awaiting the results of a pregnancy test. Then you might. Mazel tov?
- Going on a Blind Date – You have no idea what you’re gonna get. Is she ugly? Is he stupid? Does she own too many cats? Does he own too many action figures? Is she obsessed with “The Vampire Diaries”? Is he a Brony? It’s a crapshoot, and there’s a very good chance the person you meet will bear little resemblance to te description your friend, or their internet profile, provided. But if it doesn’t work out, you never have to see that person again! There’s just as good a chance that your kid will have a terrible personality and be into insipid vampire-based entertainment and listen to the Insane Clown Posse and bear little to no resemblance to you, your spouse, or the offspring you imagined. But you’re stuck with them for at least 18 years. There’s no Tinder app for finding children! (Right?)
- Watching Sudden Death Overtime in the Playoffs – Sports are nerve-wracking and sudden death overtime in the playoffs is the ultimate example. “Sudden death” couldn’t be a more apt name except for the fact that no one actually dies. Because at the end of the day, if your team loses, your team has only lost a game or a series. In parenting, the stakes are much higher: there’s always a chance your kid will piss on you.
- Job Interview – Job interviews are stressful as all get out. But if you make it through, and you prove that you’re qualified, and you get the job, you’ll start getting paid! Which should decrease the amount of stress in your life, and decrease the need for additional job interviews. When you’re a parent, you get the job whether you’re qualified or not, whether you even want it or not, and your daily stress increases while your money decreases. Every day is like a new interview, with a new hiring manager, who suddenly made up new rules and responsibilities. And may start screaming at you for no discernible reason.
Am I being too hard on parenting? Maybe.
My trip to the DMV helped put things in perspective. Because going to the DMV is worse than being a parent. To be fair, most of these things are worse, because there’s just not as much upside to them. Sure, once you power through the stress of those events listed above, you may end up with a new home and a new job and a new girlfriend and clean teeth and no gonorrhea, but you don’t end up with a new perspective on life and a new person to share Star Wars with and a new reason to drink to excess.
Having a kid is stressful as hell, obviously, but both the challenge and the benefit is that it’s not a short-term event that you just power through to reach the other side. In fact, it already goes too fast! The fact that it’s something you’ll experience for the rest of your life is part of what makes it special, and yes that means a lot of added stress, but that stress is intermingled with joy all the while.
Because for as often as my son causes me anxiety or gives me a headache or makes me frustrated, he also causes me to laugh and gives me a reason to smile and makes me happy.
The drinking helps.