Tag Archives: parenting

To the parents of teenagers

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To the parents of teenagers,

I owe all of you an apology. I was naïve. I was proud. I spoke of that which I did not know. I would listen as you talked about your teen with desperation in your voice at how they had somehow changed overnight. They were now these angsty, hormonal humans who could cut you with their eyes and under their breath mumblings. The looks. The sarcasm. The eye rolls. Honestly, I judged you. I would never have said anything out loud, but in my mind I thought, “Well, maybe if you talked to them more. Maybe if you monitored their every move more. Maybe if you taught them about Jesus more…”

Bless my little heart.

What can I say? I had no idea. I broke the Mom code. I judged you without having walked in your shoes. I’m so ashamed I had these thoughts that it was something YOU did to make your teenager live on the brink of emotional breakdown at all times. I thought you had some control over their stubborn will and annoyed sighing. What did you do to make them stomp off and curse you under their breath?

Oh, it’s called you were being a GOOD parent? But I thought it felt good to be a good parent.

Lies. If someone tells you they are slaying this parenting thing and they never really have any issues with their kids, they’re either liars or really bad parents. You are allowed to feel like an amazing parent for one hot minute. That’s it. You get one minute when all your kids are good and you’re good and your marriage is good, then something will fall apart. It’s SCIENCE.

Maybe I’m writing this to make myself feel better since I’m on the cusp of having a teenager myself. Moods are changing, eyes are being rolled, and general annoyance is heightened. It’s coming. I feel it in my bones and I need to know grace exists when my kid is the one screwing it up. I’m going to be the one needing handholding from those brave mamas that have gone before me. I will need reminding that my identity is not in the hands of my children; it’s in the hands of the God who made me. And my children’s identity isn’t in my hands. I don’t need to be making them into who I want them to be; I should be praying for them and giving them the freedom to be who God wants them to be. That last statement…that’s the hard one. Giving them freedom. The constant questioning of when to give them slack on the rope and when to reign them in is a doubt-filled struggle. And if I’m not going to get it right every time, how can I expect them to always make the right choices? Oh mamas, how do we do this? What are we to do with these children who are turning into adults? We pray. We cry. We open our hands and return to God what was His all along. This is when we begin to trust God with our kids, and when we remember He’s writing their story.

Maybe I’m writing this so I will remember that very thing. He’s writing their story just like He’s writing mine.

Sheesh.

Now I know why no one tells you about actual parenting at your baby shower. Mothers everywhere would be Googling “How to keep your baby in utero longer.” I think I need a “teenager shower” where older, wiser moms can come over and give me advice/condolences about the teenage years. And instead of diapers, everyone just brings me $20 because THESE HUMANS COST SO MUCH MONEY!!!!

Anyone else watching their children turn into little adults before their very eyes?

-Courtney

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15 Things I Know Now That I’m 37

What I Know at 37

  1. 37 doesn’t feel as old as what my 15 year old self would have me believe.
  2. The best friends I had when I was 17 are still my best friends.
  3. Friends I’ve made in adulthood are fewer and farther between but they are genuine and life-giving.
  4. Having kids has made me a better person.
  5. Going to counseling doesn’t mean you’re crazy, or weak, or on the brink of divorce.
  6. Spiritual growth is never easy or without pain.
  7. Marriage requires love AND work and if you don’t believe me you’re fooling yourself.
  8. Marry someone who is going to be your biggest fan, not your biggest critic.
  9. Kids’ taste buds are liars…everything I cook isn’t “DISGUSTING!”
  10. Just because you start on one path doesn’t mean you can’t veer off onto another; that may have been God’s plan all along.
  11. Shame is a sneaky son of a gun that must be dealt with in order for me to love myself.
  12. I will never know how my parents raised 4 kids, who were involved in multiple activities, without cell phones.
  13. Choosing your battles is a great piece of advice for marriage…and for parenting.
  14. God values BEING with me over anything I could ever DO for Him.
  15. I’ve only got 3 years to lose my baby leftovers because I’ve heard that once you hit 40, losing weight is an uphill battle. Maybe yoga pants and joggers will still be in when I’m 40. And, yes, I’m aware my youngest child is 8. I’m on that really, really long-term weight loss plan.

What are some things you know at your age?

-Courtney

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A Letter to the Mamas,

I’m writing this to you because I think you need to hear it, but I’m also writing it to me so I don’t forget.

Hey, you. Yeah, I know you don’t have time for this. You need to get out the door and nobody has their coats or shoes on, and Baby has decided to take his pants off and run around the room. You’re going to be late to the kids’ doctor’s appointment and if it’s by more than 15 minutes they’ll make you reschedule. You’d think a pediatrician’s office would be more FLEXIBLE since, I don’t know, their dealing with CHILDREN WHO CAN’T DO ONE BLESSED THING FOR THEMSELVES SO HOW ON EARTH ARE YOU EXPECTED TO BE ON TIME? Anyway, by now you’ve gotten their coats and shoes on and Baby has on hand-me-down jeans from who knows where and you’re getting them in the car. Now one of them is crying because somebody hit her and Baby is whining and arching his back making it nearly impossible to buckle him into his car seat. As you use your best stern Mom voice to tell them “hands are not for hitting,” you notice you forgot to wipe of Baby’s face from breakfast and he has sticky syrup on his cheeks that has attracted every dirt particle from your home. He basically looks like a homeless baby. So you grab a wet wipe from the diaper bag and wipe his face off which makes him scream and you try to comfort him but you’re late so you figure he’ll get over it and jump into your seat. As you turn on your kids’ music or show, you find yourself starting to zone out.

This is where you need to listen, Moms.

As you begin to tune out all the car chatter, the voices in your head may take you down those old familiar roads. They are like a corn maze you can’t get out of. On your first turn, you head down the “What am I doing with my life?” path, then you take a right onto “Is this what motherhood is supposed to look like?” then hang a left on “Endless fighting and whining is not what I signed up for,” then merge onto “Am I even doing a good job?,” then you make a hard right onto “I suck at being a mom.” Then you’re basically there.

“Where?” you ask.

Right in the place the devil wants you. A place of vulnerability. A place where you’re so unsure of who you are and what your purpose is you are desperate for someone to tell you. So he does. He whispers things like, “No, you’re not really a good mom because what good mom yells at her kids/lets them watch THAT much TV/loses her temper/can’t get her kids to eat healthy foods/can’t get her kids to behave in public/doesn’t want to spend every second having “intentional” time with her kids/scrolls through her phone THAT many times a day/(fill in the blank with anything else that makes you feel like a crappy mom)…

And then the devil takes his toxic shame coat and drapes it over your shoulders and that’s how you live. Covered in shame.

This is where you need to listen, ladies.

Don’t let shame make you forget who you are.

Don’t forget that you are the woman that fed your kids today, you helped them get dressed, you held them when they cried, you listened when they told you about their day, you gave them encouragement when they doubted themselves, you washed their clothes, you picked them up when they needed to be held, you laid with them so they could fall asleep, you read them books, you helped with homework, you got them new jeans because theirs were getting a bit too short, you signed them up for camps, you made doctors’ appointments for them, you put money on their lunch card, you prayed for them, you prayed with them, you told her that she most certainly could not wear shorts that short, you said no to the party that was sketchy on the details, you called them out when they were being less than kind, you pointed them to Jesus with loving words, you corrected them and loved them, YOU DID SO MANY IMPORTANT THINGS.

Don’t forget that the God who made ALL the people gave you a few of His own to raise; because He knew you’d be the perfect fit for them. He chose YOU. He knew you would need help and He knew you would screw it up and He was ok with that.

See, the thing is, as much as we forget who we are sometimes, God doesn’t. If we have been saved through faith in Jesus, the Word says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)

I believe being a mom is good work. It can be exhausting and wonderful and mundane and sweet and aggravating and beautiful and just plain hard. Lots of times being a mom doesn’t feel good. When we feel like all we do is discipline and say no, it doesn’t really feel that awesome to be a mom. But my feelings are all over the place sometimes so it helps to go back to the Truth. “for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Prv. 3:12)

Aaaaahhhhh. Nice to know that all our reproving means that we actually LOVE our kids…contrary to what our kids may say. We’re just trying to point them to Jesus and keep them out of juvie, am I right?

All that to say… Moms, you’re doing a good job. What you’re doing matters. I see you and you are good enough. Actually, scratch that. You are excellent. Now go forth into battle and don’t forget to put snacks in your purse.

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(This pic was taken many years ago but it reminds me that winter with littles is HARD.)

-Courtney

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Post Halloween Diet

This has been my Post-Halloween Diet this year:

8:00- Green smoothie (almond milk, banana, spinach, pineapple, protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds)

**Feeling great about myself and my good choices. I don’t even make eye contact with the candy bowl. The candy bowl is dead to me.

12:00- hard boiled egg, apple slices with sunflower seed butter, cheese and multigrain crackers

**I may have casually glanced at the candy bowl. It didn’t mean anything, I just happened to gaze over there. It’s fine. I don’t NEED candy.

2:30- hummus and pita chips

**So I walked over to the candy bowl. What? It’s a free country, I can go wherever I want. So what if I made hand contact with the candy. I just wanted to SEE what the kids got. Wow, those mini candies really are VERY mini. Like barely a bite. It’s fine, I don’t NEED the candy but IF I did, the mini ones wouldn’t be that bad.

3:00- Mini Twix and mini Kit Kat

**I mean, if I’m going to eat a piece of candy I have to do it before the kids get home. I can’t let them see me stealing their candy! They’re very unforgiving when it comes to stealing their candy. Not that I would know about that or anything. Plus, they don’t really need all this candy. It’s not good for their little bodies. I’m basically sacrificing my body for their health. Sheesh, the things we do for our kids.

4:00- Mini Snickers

**What? So I’m hiding in the bathroom shoving this chocolate deliciousness in my mouth.  Whatever. The kids were getting candy but I didn’t want to be a bad example!

5:30- Mini Reeses cup

**I’m STARVING and dinner isn’t ready! I’ve barely eaten anything ALL day!

6:30- Salmon with a honey soy sauce, brown rice, and roasted asparagus

**That was such a healthy dinner I deserve a little sweet treat later. You know, just a little something.

7:15- Mini Milky Way and little box of Junior Mints

**I mean the kids were having candy for dessert soooo….

***And Junior Mints aren’t really candy, they’re just mints.

9:00- Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Kit Kat, Hershey bar, Sour Patch kids, Twix, Reeses (all mini, of course)

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(just a few of my wrappers)

**BECAUSE THE KIDS ARE FINALLY IN BED AND I’M A GROWN-UP SO I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!!!!!!

***And they’re all “mini” so I feel good about it.

Anyone else have a similar post Halloween diet these days?

-Courtney

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Are you a wimpy parent?

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(Image cred:: Pinterest)

When did we become wimpy parents? When did we decide that it was more important to be our child’s friend than be their parent? When did our lines get crossed about who is actually in charge?

I’m not anywhere close to being the perfect parent. I can be one of the most inconsistent people on the planet. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease in my house because I am so tired of listening to the broken record that’s asking me, “Can I pleeeaaase have a snack/play for 5 more minutes/watch TV/play video games/____________?” So just know, I’m losing little battles every single day in my home.

But one thing that runs all over me is when I see kids disrespecting their parents with their mouths. Nothing gets my blood boiling more than watching a kid spew venomous, disrespectful words at the person who cares for them. It makes me want to tell Jesus to cover his eyes and ears because I’m about to lose my religion all over this kid.

Our American culture has distorted “freedom of speech” to mean, “I can say whatever rude, ugly, and hateful words that I want because that’s my right.” And because of this “freedom,” people have forgotten how to be respectful of one another. If you think I’m wrong, just look at our top presidential candidates for this year’s election. It’s disgusting. The whole idea of freedom of speech was to give people the right to express different ideas without persecution, not to give people a free pass to be jerks.

In my house, we don’t abide by the amendment that gives our children the freedom of speech. We abide by the “If you don’t have anything nice to say, shut your face” rule. Does that mean my kids are always kind and loving towards one another? Ummmmm…no. If they were, we wouldn’t have to have this rule. Are my kids always obedient and respectful towards Kyle and me? No, but, like other bad behavior, there are consequences for their actions. When we allow our children to speak to us, their parents, in a disrespectful way, what makes us think they will do anything less to their teachers, police officers, or bosses one day?

Parents, being respectful and kind is just like any other lesson we teach our children. As parents, we think it’s our job to make our child the best: get them into the best school, they need to be the best on the team, they need to have the best grades, get them the best of everything. Why not, instead, teach them how to be generous with what they’ve been given? Instead of basking in the glory of being the best athlete on the team, what if we advised them to offer to practice extra with the kids who don’t get as much playing time? If our kid really excels in one particular subject, what if we encouraged them to offer help to the kids who don’t do as well in that class? What if we, as parents, put emphasis on their character rather than their performance? Teaching them respect and generosity and kindness are just as much our responsibility as teaching them their ABC’s. It’s hard work, but it’s important work and it starts with us.

We teach them how to be respectful by being respectful ourselves. We ought to treat the Queen and the person behind the cash register with the same respect because they’re both human beings. (I’m going to try to say this as lovingly as possible: Get off the phone when you’re checking out and make eye contact with the cashier. She is a person; treat her as such or wait to check out until your call is finished…dear. Did that come off loving?)

We teach them kindness by being kind. We are kind to people’s faces and we’re kind when they walk away (this can be HARD, ladies, and our girls are watching.)

We can teach them to be generous by being generous with our own gifts. Whether that’s money, time, or talents, we all have something we can give.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, they’re looking to us to see how to live. It’s a lot to take on, but cling to the cross and you’ll be just fine.

-Courtney

Looking for my new children’s Christmas book? Find it here!!

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What is infecting the kids in our community?

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WilCo-itis.

It’s infecting children everywhere in my community, Williamson County. It may be genetic, but it is highly contagious from kid to kid. I felt like it was my duty to inform you as I’ve seen signs of it in my own children from time to time. Here are 7 signs your child might be suffering from WilCo-itis:

  1. The idea that any “break” from school demands an amazing vacation.
  2. If you didn’t beach it at 30A, your child may not even consider it “the beach.”
  3. A little man on a horse is no longer a good enough shirt emblem. It has to be a whale or you can just forget it.
  4. Sonic happy hour? No. Frappes from Starbies.
  5. Duckface with a peace sign is the only selfie worth posting on social media.
  6. Expecting a car before their sixteenth birthday.
  7. Nike is so old school, Under Armour and Lulu are the only athletic clothes to be seen in. Even if you’re not being particularly “athletic.”

 

I know it sounds bad but don’t worry, it can be remedied. Sometimes it stays in the system for a while so it’s hard to kick, but hang in there. The treatment for this is going to be hard, parents. You will have to be vigilant. So here’s the cure:

WORK.

That’s it. Make your kids do work. Then make them use the money they WORKED TO EARN to pay for their own Starbies and whale shirts. Some other treatments are: phone deprivation, staying home during school breaks, and keeping your money in your own wallet. These are also effective.

Now, I have to warn you, the side effects of the treatment can be brutal. Here are 7 side effects that come with the cure for WilCo-itis.

  1. HEAVY eye-rolling
  2. Huffing
  3. Puffing
  4. Complaining
  5. The phrase “But ___________’s parents don’t make him/her work!”
  6. Overall tiredness
  7. Grouchiness

I know, the side effects look grim especially if you have to live with them every day. Not the kids, you. You will have to live with them every day. It will be hard but I think you can do it. YOU have the ability to raise children that aren’t entitled little jerks running around with their parents’ credit card. YOU are the parent, not the fun/entertainment director. YOUR KIDS ARE NOT THE BOSS OF YOU. You are the boss, and occasionally, you let them make choices and you don’t have to feel bad about it. Even the tweens need (GASP) guidance even though they know everything already. You are equipped to do this. You can cure your kids of this nasty disease and they will be better humans for it. Together we can beat Wilco-itis.

-Courtney

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Why I don’t cook for my kids

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(This was taken years ago but is still pretty accurate.)

I know it sounds a bit harsh: “I don’t cook for my kids.”

But it’s the truth.

I had a friend ask me a while back, “Doesn’t it hurt your feelings when your kids don’t like your cooking?”

The short answer? No.

Here’s why:

  1. If I cooked for my kids, we would only eat chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas. That’s a fact, friends.
  2. They think the Kids Cuisine TV dinners are real food. They would be wrong.
  3. They eat old candy they find in my car.
  4. They think box macaroni and cheese is better than homemade. It’s baffling.
  5. Basically, they think anything out of a box is pretty much going to be better than whatever I’m making.
  6. They’re little, surely their taste buds are still developing.
  7. They judge a restaurant by whether or not it has an iPad at the table or queso as an appetizer.
  8. I’ve seen them eat their boogers.
  9. They don’t love when I cook Pioneer Woman recipes. Say WHAA?
  10. They hate Tazikis.

 

Because of these things, I feel they are not objective when it comes to good food therefore their opinions are invalid. Seriously, who doesn’t like Pioneer Woman?

I’m not great at a lot of things: cleaning, putting away laundry, excel spreadsheets, sticking to a budget, walking into a room full of strangers, and on and on the list could go. But one thing I would say I’m pretty good at is cooking. I’ve made some disgusting meals I wouldn’t even feed my dog but for the most part I can follow a recipe. So when my kids put up a fuss about dinner and say “It’s GROOOSSSSSSS!!!!” (a regular occurrence) before they’ve even tried it, I don’t pay it any mind. When they just look at their plate of food and ask how many bites must they eat before they can get up, I smile and say, “Just go ahead and get started and we’ll see.” They love that. I’ve seen them eat old M&Ms off my dirty car floor, why on earth would I let them hold my cooking ego in their grubby hands? This is ludicrous.

There was a time when I cooked for my kids, or kid. When I had only one child and he was a picky eater I catered to whatever I thought he would eat. It was easy because, well, I just had the one kid. My mother guilt sometimes creeps in and convinces me this is why he is still a picky eater at 11 years old. I only did it until I had my 2nd kid and realized Mama ain’t got time for all that. Sorry, bro, you gotta eat like Mom and Dad. These were hard times for Paxton.

Do I think I only cook well-balanced, nutritious meals for my family? No. I love some enchiladas and jambalaya. Do I think most of the food I cook is healthier than what they would pick if they had a choice? Most definitely yes. Do I sometimes give them quesadillas and chicken nuggets because it’s easier? Yes, because sometimes I need sanity and if I hear one more complaint I might lose it.

So to the Mamas whose kids hate everything they cook: I FEEL YOU. Keep cooking good food. Remember they are kids; they wouldn’t bath or brush their teeth if not for you. Clearly they don’t always want to make good choices and this is why they have us, the parents, to teach and guide them that there are other foods out there. Expand their palates!! Maybe just maybe they’ll end up liking it one day.

-Courtney

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A Little Christmas Note to Self

Dear 29 year old self,

It’s Christmas Eve. You are about to set out the presents from Santa for your precious little children. It’s the most exciting part of Christmas Eve. You can feel the anticipation building as you wait for the kids to fall asleep. You need them to fall asleep so you can start assembling the Cozy Coupe for little Blake. He’s only 1 but you’re sure he’s going to love it. Kyle is putting together Caitlin’s new bike which actually proves to be easier than the Cozy Coupe, much to your irritation.

It’s at this moment that, me, your 35 year old self, needs to interject. You have no idea but in just a few moments you are going to feel like the worst mother in the world. You are going to feel like a failure. You are going to say the F word. I know it’s shocking because you can’t even imagine what could go so terribly wrong that you would go from joyful excitement to utter devastation. It’s about to happen just try to calm yourself and keep perspective. You won’t but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

As Kyle begins to bring presents down and set them up, he says solemnly, “Court, um, you bought the Guitar Hero that goes to a PlayStation, not the Wii. It’s the wrong one.” WHAT?!?!?!?! That can’t be right! I checked! I was certain I had bought the right one! I looked at it and sure enough, it was the one for the PlayStation. I felt like I might be having a panic attack. This was the ONE thing Paxton really wanted. His ONE big present and I had screwed it up. I’m pretty sure this is when I said more cuss words than I had ever said in my entire life. I’m not proud of it, Mom, but it happened. Kyle went straight into fix-it mode. He was going to go to Walmart and get the right one. It was 11:30 at night. On Christmas Eve. Apparently even Walmart closes at some point during the holidays so that wouldn’t work. He then had the brilliant idea to call his brother, the gamer, who happened to be at his parents’ house in Murfreesboro to see if he had his guitar from his own Guitar Hero game. By some Christmas miracle, he does. (Don’t worry, Jordan, I won’t tell them how old you are J)

This is another moment I, your future self, need to pop in. Precious 29 year old self, it is all going to be ok. Don’t make Kyle drive in the pouring rain to meet his brother. I know you feel like a complete and total failure because you got the wrong thing but, for the love, you are not a gamer! You know Super Mario Brothers and that’s it. You can take down Bowser but other than that you know nothing. Cut yourself some slack here. He’s only 6 and he has plenty of other presents to play with. I know, I know, it’s the big one that you messed up but I’m here to tell you he won’t even care.

When Kyle asks you what you want him to do, you hiss at him, “Do whatever you need to do to make sure Paxton is going to be happy when he gets up tomorrow.” Wow. Strong words. You’re practically seething. So Kyle leaves to meet his brother while you wallow in self-disgust. When Kyle gets home, you decided to leave a note for Paxton from Santa saying he ran out of Guitar Heroes for the Wii so he brought Uncle Jordan’s to play with until his parents bought him the right one. It’s unbelievable the tales we tell for Santa.

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Christmas morning comes and the kids are stoked. They run downstairs to see what Santa has brought and squeal with delight over their new toys. (Actually, my children did not squeal with delight. Our expectation of their reaction on Christmas morning always far surpasses what we get from them. They’re happy, they just don’t squeal or yell or run around the house in excitement. Just once I wish that would happen.) Paxton is excited about his gifts and he doesn’t care that he has to borrow Uncle Jordan’s guitar. He was actually more excited about the silly bands in his stocking. Seriously.

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(I need not even mention the tube TV sitting on a chair. These were hard times.)

Ahem, 35 year old self here. See? Paxton loved it anyway. He didn’t even care that he got the wrong one and had to use his uncle’s. But here’s the kicker, you don’t know this yet but he will barely even play with Jordan’s guitar. It’s just not as awesome as he thought it would be. So much so that you end up returning the wrong Guitar Hero and not even buying the correct replacement. And get this: Paxton doesn’t care. If he had asked for the new one of course you would’ve gotten it, but he doesn’t. He lost interest after day 2 or 3. All that self-loathing for nothing. If you could just learn to have a little grace for yourself you wouldn’t waste so much energy being disappointed with yourself when you mess things up. Perfection is for Jesus, grace is for you. Until next time younger self…

 

Much love,

Your older and wiser self

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Dirty Little Secret

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What I’m about to share with you is something I used to not tell anyone. What I’m about to share with you is something I considered shameful for a long time. What I’m about to share with you may lead you to believe I’m a bad mother that must not love her children. What I’m about to share with you may cause you to think less of me. I understand not everyone will agree with me and some of you won’t understand and I’ve decided that’s ok.

Here it is:

I don’t like taking my kids to the park.

Whew. A weight has been lifted.

I’m sure some of you are looking up the number for Child Services so they can come take my kids away from their wretched mother. Many of you are praying for my soul because what I’ve just told you is right up there with hating puppies. Others of you may be staring at your computer screen, blinking, because you don’t understand how anyone could not like the park. It’s ok I do the same thing to the people that tell me they spend hours at the park with their kids and love every minute of it. Blank stares and blinking. Since my kids are older now they don’t request to go to the park very much but when they were little they loved it. Notice I said “they” loved it.

Here are a few reasons I don’t like the park/playground:

  1. It’s hot.
  2. There’s a chance I’m going to have to go down one of those tunnel slides that I can only imagine has a heavy coating of other kids’ urine all over it.
  3. Pushing my kid on the swing will only increase my chances of having to push someone else’s kid on the swing. His mom is nowhere to be found, likely posting about what a fun day she and her son are having at the park.
  4. Being on a seesaw with a kid is basically like doing squats over and over again. Not to mention I feel like an elephant when my kid gets on and nothing happens…I’m still on the ground.
  5. The water fountain never ever works.
  6. Trying to keep a toddler from falling or hurting himself raises my blood pressure to stroke level. (“Honey, no, you can’t go down that way. No, buddy. Budddyyyy. NOOOOOO!!!”)
  7. It’s hot.
  8. Learning to do the monkey bars is hard. After the 27th try, my kids’ legs might as well be tree trunks.
  9. When my kid asks me to watch him go down the slide for the 369th time, I kinda don’t want to.
  10. Never bringing enough water for my kids and now they’re “soooo thirsty”. Refer back to #5.
  11. Trying not to be awkward around other people’s kids so I don’t look like a creeper.
  12. Did I mention it’s hot?

Now, before we get all Judy Judgerson, I feel like it must be said there are things I like to do with my kids. I like to play catch with them, I like to watch movies with them, I like to bake with them (mostly), and I like taking them to Sonic for slushies. I think all of us are wired differently so we’re going to like different things, obviously. Generally speaking I like to let my kids help me bake. Now, if they ask me to play a board game that they don’t really know how to play, I want to go cry in the bathroom. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and preferences for that matter.

And guess what? Recently, I have come to find out I’m not the only one that doesn’t love the blessed park. It was like coming out of the proverbial closet. “You don’t like the park? Me too!” The power of the “me too” is real guys. There’s less shame when we have a “me too.”

I don’t know which book it’s in but Jon Acuff said something I love:

“Your willingness to be vulnerable gives others the gift of going second.”

So here it is guys. Feel free to go second. Feel free to leave a comment and say that thing that you don’t love to do with your kids. It’s ok. We know you do other awesome things as a mom or a dad. Here’s your chance to say that thing that you feel bad about not liking. And you know what just might happen? You’ll give someone else the opportunity to say “Me too!”

-Courtney

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