parenting: i quit?

parenting is hard. like, really super insanely hard. like, harder than i ever thought any job could ever be, hard. so i think i’m gonna’ give my notice. resign. quit. blow this popsicle stand.

i can just do that, right? i mean, it’s a job, like any other – and who doesn’t love the idea of walking into a room, throwing down your <insert appropriate throwing-item here> and storming out?

see, i’ve been thinking about it.

i’ve been doing this particular job for 10 years now and quite honestly, most days i don’t feel like i’m getting any better at it. it can be frustrating to the point of exhaustion. it’s mostly straight-up thankless. and the round-the-clock, overtime hours generally have me pretty disgruntled.

in fact, i’m surprised i haven’t been fired yet. with the amount of complaining my bosses do, you’d think they’d be searching for my replacement by now.

to be truthful, i didn’t even actively seek this job out. it kind of just found me. one minute i was free-wheelin’, living the single life and the next thing you know, i’m interviewing for a job i never even knew i wanted.

when i first met my boss, i was thrown off by how demanding and quite frankly, completely inconsolable she could be. she was quite the baby.

i had no idea why she even wanted me for the position. i was totally inexperienced, grossly under-qualified, and i didn’t own a resume listing any relatable traits.

she didn’t have much to say… she just smiled coyly, cooed and praised me with smiles and fluttery eyes. apparently, that was all it took. somehow i was won over by the small adorable human who was testing me out to be her mama.

so i accepted the job, and completely forgot to ask about salary, benefits, or paid vacation.

and if that wasn’t enough, 3 and a half years later, she got herself a partner in crime. so basically, it became 2 against 1. and trust me, when they put their collective minds together to broker an agreement or close a deal, it’s a no-win situation for me.

what’s weird is, i didn’t even have to write a test to get this job. i mean, isn’t that odd? when you want to drive a car, you have to study and take courses and prove your knowledge to someone. when you become a parent, no one checks a box to say YES or NO. it’s just GO time.

the minute i became a parent, i had to negotiate having zero patience to needing all the patience in the world. i learned to multiMULTItask and i actually did grow eyes in the back of my head.

i quickly became immune to certain sounds and smells. i learned how to wipe peanut butter off any type of material. i instinctively put the needs of every single person in my house, before my own. i literally eat scraps from plates.

plus, i had to acquire all of these special skills.

my resume now includes:

bather, bum-wiper, nose-blower, fence-mender, chef, server, baker, bartender.

chaperone, driver, launderer, tucker-inner, owie-kisser, cheerleader, scrape-fixer.

hairstylist, fundraiser, personal shopper, secret keeper.

problem solver, spider-getter, homework helper, fun time maker.

and not only do i not get paid for this gargantuan gig, i have to pay OUT. parents spend A LOT of money to do a job that, let’s face it, kinda’ sucks sometimes.

and then, one night i come home late from work, and they’re already tucked into bed. i pull back the covers to find a sweaty mess of a person who looks drunk on good dreams and they no longer seem like the tyrant of a boss i made them out to be.

they are quiet and innocent and just about the most perfect people you’d ever hope to meet.

eyes groggily open and i’m spotted through a sleepy fog. “mama?”

it doesn’t matter how grown-up they become, that sweet soft voice asking for you will never, ever, get tired. arms stretch out for a hug and you know that at the end of the day, it’s really all we both need.

and just like that, my heart explodes out of my chest and i vow never again to make idle threats about quitting.

well, at least until they wake up.

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