The other day, some guy messaged me, all worried that my constant jokes about hating parenting aren’t jokes. He’s concerned that I truly hate being a dad.
And guess what? He’s right. I do hate it. It sucks!
It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s expensive. It’s stressful. It’s frustrating. It’s boring. It’s loud. It’s demanding. And I’m terrible at it.
What sane person enjoys an activity like that?
I’m sure many parents enjoy it. I know some that are even quite good at it and feel like being a parent is their purpose in life. They’ve always wanted to have kids, it’s the most important thing they’ll ever do, and it fulfills them.
I’m not one of those people.
I have no doubt it’s the most important thing I’ll ever do (unless constantly writing about how much it sucks counts). But I don’t remember dreaming of having kids; I just sort of always assumed I would.
So I had one. And he was awesome. He’s nine now, and despite some growing pains, and being too smart for his own good, he’s still awesome.
Five years (and much debate) later, I had another one. And he’s awesome too! Raising him is not without its challenges but he’s a good-time guy and I love having him in my life. I love having both of them.
My kids aren’t the problem. Parenting is.
And I’m pretty sure most of us hate the same exact things about it, I just tend to mention them more.
It’s having the same argument every night at dinner and the same struggle every morning before school. It’s always being busy and tired and irritated and surrounded. It’s never having time to yourself.
We can all agree that that stuff’s not fun, right?
But the parts that ARE fun? They’re pretty great. Just please don’t ask me to name any of them right now!
Ugh, fine, the snuggles are good. Sometimes my kids make me laugh on purpose. And I like sharing my favorite music and movies with them. Ok? Ok, guy who thinks I hate being a dad?
Despite all that, he’s not wrong.
Sometimes I really do hate it. It’s a lot of work, and I don’t care how awesome your job is, sometimes you can’t help but wish you had a different one.
There’s a difference between hating something and regretting it, and I don’t regret being a dad. Not even a little bit.
But you could definitely say I LOVE to hate it.