Parenting – I have this love / hate relationship thing going on with parenting. I love that I am a parent. I especially love parenting my kids – I guess I couldn’t really parent someone else’s kids now could I.
I also hate parenting my kids. Does that make me odd?
You see, I want to do the job perfectly. I probably do but . . . there are moments when it just doesn’t feel like I am and that is when the hate part of this relationship is evident.
I probably started thinking about being a parent back when I knew everything and realized that my parents were doing it all wrong. I actually remember telling my mom that I was never going to parent like her . . . come to think of it, I told her that many times 😉
As I grew up, being parent’ed by mine, I started to formulate little “parenting plans” long before I was ever thinking about being a parent. I just knew I was going to nail it someday.
In my somewhat older than being parent’ed years I still find ways and experiences to add to my parenting plans. I found little bits of wisdom in songs that were popular at the time. There are a few songs that stand out and have always gotten me to think about parenting – (pre and post parenting eras)
You probably think that I am going to reference Ugly Kid Joe’s version of Cats In The Cradle. Well, you should know that I am a little deeper than that (not that there is anything wrong with that version or that song).
The first song that really got me thinking of parenting is What a Good Boy by the Bare Naked Ladies. This song was released in 1992 and I was just a mere 21 years old but knew that there was something in this song worth applying to my future parenting style.
Here is a pretty good version if you want a little ear candy to go with my boring writing:
Here is the part of the song that always led / leads me to thinking about parenting –
When I was born
They looked at me and said
What a good boy
What a smart boy
What a strong boy
And when you were born
They looked at you and said
What a good girl
What a smart girl
What a pretty girl
We’ve got these chains
Hanging round our necks
People want to strangle us with them before we take our first breath
Now when it comes to parenting – those words are so damn true! We are all born with and into societal and parental expectations. There isn’t anything wrong with that unless and UNTIL those expectations contradict with the life that we choose for our self’s. And that is where being a parent becomes a challenge. The trying to develop your child into the person that you want them to be while loving them as they become the person that they want to be . . . . Remember that Love Hate Thing?
The second song is another one that is sure to thrill you. It is Perfect by (yet another Canadian artist) Alanis Morrissette.
Here is the part of the song that always led / leads me to thinking about parenting:
I’ll live through you
I’ll make you what I never was
If you’re the best, then maybe so am I
Compared to him compared to her
I’m doing this for your own damn good
You’ll make up for what I blew
What’s the problem, why are you crying
Actually – you should really listen to the whole song while reading the lyrics. This song is actually a very scary way to parent but . . . it is a song that helped mold how I planned to parent. My first parenting plan was to make sure that my kids find NOTHING in this song that makes them think of me as dad.
I don’t think that I can count the number of times that I felt as if I just didn’t measure up. How about you? I know that my mom loved me but unfortunately parenting can lead kids to feel this way no matter what! Parenting should be about pushing your kids to do and be their very best. But remember that love hate thing?
When is it too much?
I think we have all seen “the” parent that is just a little over the top and seems to be pushing their kid a little too much. I know that I have. I actually remember it well – It was during the Iron Kids Triathlon – Yeah the KIDS triathlon. Some yahoo dad was literally yelling at his son as the kid was in transition. I mean, some brutally load yelling and was trying to make the point that the kid was going to drop about 12 seconds on his time because he was taking so long. I wanted to punch the dude for being such an ass but then it hit me . . .
. . . While Laura Kate was training for the Iron Kids someone probably thought that I was a yahoo for yelling at my daughter. I wasn’t really yelling but I know that I got real intense with her one time.
Early in the training she was a little afraid of the bike. She had not been doing lots of biking so her confidence was pretty low and she didn’t want to take this sharp curve on the bike path that we were training on. She refused to try – I refused to allow her to NOT try. I wonder if she ever thought . . . that simply wasn’t good enough . . . to make him proud . . .
Remember that love hate thing?
(In the end she finally tried, took the curve well, and her confidence grew – On race day, when she was entering bike/run transition she yelled out to me “this is the time of my life. I want to do this again and again” . . . aghhhh, the love thing!
Finally I am coming to my musical conclusion. I want you to know about another song that contains words of encouragement for a parent. This song contains within one very simple message – the message that my kids, your kids, ALL kids need to hear EVERYDAY!
I BELIEVE IN YOU