Monday, May 9, 2011

Yes, Being a Parent is WORK

Sorry but I think there are plenty of places to go to read an uplifting article about how beautiful motherhood is. Yeah, it is beautiful, but it is difficult work. You are raising little humans with their own will, problems, and brain. They aren't hobbies and they aren't animals that you can train. Raising a human takes many years and that is why I can't really say that there is an easy time since children are always learning new things and are always making new mistakes. Motherhood is beautiful at the beginning and beautiful again when they grow up but in between it is a long struggle. I must say though it is a struggle that is well worth it in the end and I never regret having children.

Right now I am 8 months pregnant. This time of the pregnancy is difficult. I hate all men and I have no patience for my kids right now. I didn't realize how dependent my kids are. When you are in loads of pain you notice more. First let's start with my husband. He doesn't like to work unless it is work that keeps him away from the real responsibility. He keeps busy to keep from working if you know what I mean. So he works all day long, sometimes he goes to the gym, then comes home, lies on the bed and reads about Army jobs and programs until he falls asleep at around 11PM. He only makes an appearance to eat dinner and he spends his dinner yelling at the family because the kids eat like kids and not like quiet little robots. So by the end of dinner my kids are crying and screaming and the "master" goes back to his bed to lie down because "he is so tired". Ok, now I am truly disabled. I can't cook and clean for his majesty. He has to take on more responsibility. He does it but yells and whines and complains the ENTIRE TIME. He always reminds us that it is not a man's job. So if the wife is sick we have to starve? He screams at the kids general orders like "stop your crap I can't stand it anymore?" (what crap do you mean exactly?) CLEAN UP! (clean up what? How do you start? What exactly are they supposed to do?) Stop acting like a nut!! (stop what behavior exactly? What constitutes nutty behavior?) Then he yells at my daughter "you the girl, you are supposed to cook and take care of your brothers!!!" (why does it matter that she is a girl? Can't you just tell her exactly what she needs to do to help and keep the gender role lecture out of it?)

Then my kids. They are honestly confused since they are told to play Xbox games or watch a movie so as not to bother their dad but then get yelled at suddenly to clean up or cook. Viki has learned to engage in arguments with her dad to get out of work. Her dad is so intent on winning an argument that he will forget the chore he gave his daughter. My daughter argues until a friend rings the doorbell. Then she is out the door playing and she got away with not doing her chores. My son screams because he has learned that screaming like a Banshee gets him sympathy and he will get away with his behavior. Aron acts like a baby to get out of doing anything.

So I have to sit on a chair and order everyone including my 35 year old husband precise direct orders. I can't bend over, squat, stand up too long, pick up things, walk around, or load a dishwasher. So I have to in precise detail direct the home. All the children and my husband spend the entire time whining about how miserable their lives are. It gets exhausting by the end of the night and yes I wish I could just take over. But that is think that was the problem in the past. I would just take over everything. The kids would go back to playing Xbox and the husband who lie down on his bed and play on his computer. I just didn't notice that I was doing it until now when I actually depend on their help.

So I don't feel guilty anymore. This is a great opportunity for them to learn how to work. My husband learns that the world is not to serve him. It is actually the opposite. Life is to serve others and yes it is hard work. He is discovering that taking care of kids is difficult because in the past I always took the parenting role on 100% while he went to play soldier or told his family what to do or read about other jobs for hours. If I tell him to help and he throws a fit I am no longer scared of that fit. I get right into his face and tell him too that after almost 9 years and 4 children it is time for him to grow up. Life is work and service not lying around having the world bow to you and feel sorry for you. I know that is how he was raised because his family is the same way. They "work" all of the time but don't actually do a thing. When you call them out on it they complain about how hard their lives are. When you give them a solution they suddenly act stupid and the solution is "too hard!" Now you know why I would never go to Uzbekistan. Uzbek people used me too much in my own home. I am definitely not going over there to be used.

So motherhood is beautiful only after you do the hard work. It is a work that never ends. Another beautiful thing is that you as an adult learn right along with your children. I now know that I was wrong to not give my kids responsibility and make them work. It is difficult for me to have to sit there and give them detailed instructions for hours, but in the end it will make them better people. If my mother-in-law had done that with my husband instead of taking the easy "martyr" route, I wouldn't be teaching him about work at the age of 35.

I am thankful for my parents who made me work. I will never forget the year they made us earn a new Nintendo. That was one of the best summers in my memory because we had something to look forward to. We would help my dad with his business by folding flyers or my brothers would help mow the lawns at the properties my dad managed. We spent hours in the garden. We had to earn our own money for college, our missions, and even our own cars. I am proud of those lessons. 

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