In life, there will always be those irritating 1% of people that make certain, difficult tasks look super, duper easy.
Then there will be the other 98% of the population who make that same task look much more difficult. But they can still do it. And come out looking okay.
And finally, there is the remaining 1% of the population…the determined and unlucky few…who make that same task look like an impossible feat to humanity. But they try it anyway. “God bless their sweet hearts.” (Said in my best Texan accent.)
Let’s take running for example.
Have you ever been out driving and passed several different runners on the side of the road that evoke complete and opposite thoughts and emotions from you?
Runner 1: Olympian track star/I came out of the womb running.
These are the annoying amazing runners that are so awesome, they don’t make running look like doing anything more than breathing. They are smiling. They are gliding. They AREN’T EVEN SWEATING. They show no signs of breathing hard. They just look like a gazelle. The kind you kind of hope the lions come to eat. Whoops! Totally kidding about that. Sort of.
Runner 2: I run and I sweat but I can do it and I do it often.
These are the runners that have all the right running gear, the backpack that keeps water flowing into their mouths, and their Ipod and ear buds in as they jam to their music. They don’t run speedily. They look for reasons to take breaks to tie their shoe and sip their water, but they are feeling it. They are moving that body. And it looks doable in a tolerable, sweaty kind of way.
Runner 3: When people see me running, they offer to give me a ride home.
These are the super slow and crazily sloppy, sluggish runners that look like they have barbells tied to their wrists and ankles and make it look like the oxygen level in the air is half of what it should be. Their mouths are open gasping for air, their sweat pants and baggy t-shirts are covered in sweat and their pace is so slow you’re not sure if it is fair to call it running or slow-motion jogging. But whatever it is, they make it look hard.
So hard, it looks like some form of torture. Which makes you immediately love that person you’ve never met for their dedication. And commitment. And determination.
Well. Just like in running. In life, there are those same types of parents.
Type 1: You make parenting look like everything I envisioned it to be pre-kid but you actually pull it off post-kid so you can fairly judge all other parents with little hellions cause you are living proof it can be that amazing.
These are the type of parents that prance into church with all their 6 kids perfectly well dressed holding hands and not making a peep. They quietly tell their kids to take a seat in the pew and they don’t even have a bag of toys (dare I say, don’t even own an Ipad) and their kids sit quietly doing who knows what for the entire service with no fits, noise or disruptions. And while you’re in total and utter awe of them, you are also wondering if they are even kids at all, or are they robots? Yes, I think that’s it. Robots, they are.
Type 2: You make parenting look pretty easy with a little of the bad mixed in.
These are the parents that bring their kids to a restaurant and sit them at a table and have to quiet their kids about 6 times AND have to coax their baby to sit in a high chair with a cookie AND have a toddler that starts to meltdown but with a little work (and an Ipad) are reasonably able to manage all the chaos to a level where they can eat their meal and leave. If they were your students, you would give them a sticker at the end of their meal that says, “GOOD EFFORT!”
Type 3: You make parenting look freaking hard!
These are the parents that have kids everywhere while waiting for a table. Kids wrestling. Kids moving. Kids screaming just for fun in a restaurant. These are the parents that have kids that don’t sleep. Kids that wake up at the crack of dawn. Kids that are dare devils. These are the parents that people stop and sincerely say, “Hey, if you don’t have the money for a vasectomy. Just ask. I have some money in my retirement that I am totally willing to give to you to help out your “situation.”
And I am proud to say, this type of parent is me.
I am the third runner.
Because I can honestly admit, I make parenting look so, so difficult. And if Type 3 is you too. Just know. You are not alone.
In fact, there’s a whole team of us out here. A whole league of us. That makes this thing called parenting look really, really hard as we’re gasping for air and sweating. And when we see you struggling, we can’t really help you. But man. We are mentally clinking our empty water bottle against yours before we pass out on the pavement next to you.
Yeah. That’s US. We are the “We Make Parenting Look Hard” team.
And on our team:
Our kids aren’t perfect.
We don’t have all the answers.
And when the pediatrician asks us if our toddlers still use a paci or drink juice or watch TV, we conveniently start faking an asthma attack to defer from answering…
But while we may not make it look pretty. Gosh darn. We still do it. And we love it.
So the next time you find yourself wishing you were on the “We Making Parenting Look Easy” Team as you’re dragging your child out of a duck pond kicking and screaming, just remember this.
While they be winning the medal for first place in this marathon of parenting.
We will be getting a standing ovation from the whole crowd when we finally cross the finish line.
Right before they wheel us off for some extra oxygen, of course. :)