Being a parent sucks. I know that's not news to those of you that are and it's not something you've never heard before but it does.
Of course, it sucks because there are late nights with infants and/or sick kids. It sucks because they require a chunk of your cash flow for clothes, food, toys. It sucks because you have to feed them on a regular basis whether you're hungry or not. But, you knew all this already.
The thing is, there's one way that being a parent sucks, that I'm not sure many people both non-parents and parents alike don't even realize. It sucks because it is a sacrifice.
No longer do you just get to worry about your schedule and your plans. Now you have to worry about someone else's. That's right, that kid you have (or will one day have) is a person too. They have plans and schedules. To be the best kind of parent, you have to respect that.
Sure, you had plans to head to Target in the afternoon to get some needed supplies. Your toddler, on the other hand, had plans to drive cars around on the carpet. Yes, you could just say "screw it" and gather him up kicking and screaming and force him to bend to your will and your plans. That sounds like a blast! Or, you could respect your child as a person. Discuss with him the need to go to Target, and find out what he would like to look at at Target. You could also negotiate with them. "Mommy needs to go to Target. I understand you want to play cars. Let's go to Target quick and then when we get home, Mommy will play cars with you until supper time." Then, and this is important, you HAVE to keep your side of the deal. If you don't, you'll be screwed in the future.
I know, you're skeptical. Your toddler simply screams "NO!" and resumes what he was doing. Yep, it happens from time to time. That's when being a parent really sucks because, you know what, YOU the parent will be better off being the flexible one. That doesn't mean that all is lost. Instead, play cars with your kiddo. Give him at least 20 minutes, but while you're playing cars say things like, "After we're done playing cars, we'll need to get our coats on and go to Target." I know this messes up your entire schedule. You'd hoped to be done with Target by 5 so you could make supper by 5:30. It does, but remember: Being a parent sucks.
I share all this to enlighten you. No, this isn't to enlighten you in how to be a parent. I'm not so conceited as to think I'm an expert at it. Instead, this is my way of explaining why having a second one is not in the works for us. Adding a second would mean yielding to yet another person's plans and schedules.
As it is now, I feel like there's very little time for my agenda. I'm not yet ready to sacrifice to accommodate another's schedule. I'm just getting the hang of the triple blend.
So readers, since I know so many of you have more than one kiddo. What convinced you that you wanted more? Was there a defining moment? Did you have any specific age gap you were shooting for?
Let me know because, honestly, I always thought I'd have four or five, but one is looking pretty good to us right now.
I shouldn't have to say this but my guilty conscience feels the need. Despite my exclamations that parenting sucks, I love my kid... ah, you know the rest.