I don’t want to be a parent today.
Just for today.
I don’t want to be a parent today because instead, I want to sleep.
Or at least sleep a little later than usual. Or at least sit on the couch without two creatures crawling all over me.
I don’t want to be a parent today. Today, I can’t deal with two little bosses who are super rude, rarely say thank you and always leave a mess. I can’t take one more whiny voice or tears over broken toys. I can’t handle the constant interruptions that turn the act of making a “quick and easy dinner” into a two-hour ordeal.
I don’t want to be a parent today. Parents are always on alert. We are always worried about a threat in our children’s food, or behind the wheel of another car on the road, or streaming from the television, or festering on another kid’s hands, or hidden in an non-child-proofed room, or sitting next to us at the DMV, or lurking in the woods by our house.
I don’t want to be a parent today. I want to make decisions about my day based on me and me alone. What do I want to do? When do I need to eat?
But mostly, I don’t want to be a parent today because I want to be able to make mistakes. A parent who makes mistakes is shamed and scorned. Everything I say and write is scrutinized for hints of bad mothering. Parents can’t vent without retribution.
I don’t want to be a parent today because someone who is in a different mindset will read this and call me selfish and ungrateful. They will say that I don’t deserve my children. When a parent says she needs a break, people tell her that she chose this life, so she just needs to deal with it.
I don’t want to be a parent today!
When people criticize a frustrated parent, they are silencing other parents who may need help, parents who may be facing real emotional struggles but are too afraid to voice them because of the thunderous roar their critics might make.
I don’t want to be a parent today. A parent can’t say things like, “My kids are so annoying today,” without someone taking it the wrong way. When a parent is frustrated, people make condescending remarks about working on patience or, “It’s not the kids’ fault; they are just children.”
I don’t want to be a parent today because when parents say they don’t want to be parents for a day, it hurts people who desperately want to be parents but can’t. I don’t want to hurt people, and I definitely don’t want to tell them that when and if they do become parents, they, too, will probably find that they need a break from time to time.
I don’t want to be a parent today. When I don’t feel like being a parent, I am overwhelmed with guilt. My children deserve more than someone who wants to run away, even if it is just for a day. I don’t want to be a parent today because parents don’t get a day to not be a parent. Even when we take time to ourselves, our minds are always thinking about our children.
I don’t want to be a parent today because people assume I will end this by saying that every other day, I love my kids and strive to be the best mom I can be. Even though that’s true, and how I am feeling may be fleeting, I don’t want to have to say it in order to make up for all the things I just admitted.
I don’t want to be a parent today. Just for today.