What Is REALLY Being A Parent?

8 08 2010

It’s staying up all night rocking him back to sleep. Making his baby food myself, so I know exactly what is it. Breastfeeding for 18 months because it’s better for the baby. Playing peek-a-boo for hours instead of studying for a big test. Not leaving the hospital for three weeks, to be there for every alarm sounding, tube feeding, weigh in, and diaper change. Laughing and playing at the park all day. Giving him medicine six times a day, so he wouldn’t have to have surgery. Making up silly games that make him laugh. Cuddling all night when he can’t fall asleep. Making sure the car seat is always in right, so he is safe. Waiting in the doctor’s office for hours for every check up. Giving up going out with friends every night for more playtime with baby. Taking as many classes online at night when he is asleep, so I can spend all day with him. Funday Friday’s and Super Sunday’s. Calling and checking on him the few times I have to leave him with someone else to go take an exam. Reading him books when I should be reading my textbooks and still having a 3.8 GPA because my education is both of our futures. Taking him on bike rides because he loves going past the dog park and saying dog. Going in stores with a fussy toddler to buy new clothes and shoes. Carrying him everywhere because he likes it better than riding in the stroller. Playing ducks and splash attack in the bath time. Fixing grilled cheese and macaroni all the time because it’s one of the only things he will eat. Painting him pictures that he can keep forever. Changing every smelly diaper in the middle of the night. Waking up at five when he runs down the hall laughing. Dancing crazy because he thinks it’s funny. Blowing bubbles and playing with chalk all day. Making every holiday special. Thinking about him every second of every day. Saying a prayer for him every night before bed.

I’m not a perfect parent, but I’m doing the best I can. I’m there for almost every second of his life. Someone else can take a million pictures twice a month for a few hours and pretend like they are there, but what about the other 28 days and all the nights? No phone calls asking how he is doing. Never asking if you can see him other than the days you are suppose to. Not even spending the whole day with him the couple days a month you do see him. No call or card wishing him a Merry 1st Christmas. Not giving him a present to open on his birthday. Not even holding him the first five months and supervised visits, instead playing on the phone the whole time. Never giving him a toy to take home with him that he can play with more than twice a month. As much as I do for him sometimes I worry it’s not enough. He won’t have a dad around the worries about him and thinks of him all the time. Twice a month that’s it. Sometimes I think he would be better off without a dad because he will never grow up and take responsibility. He’s too concerned with himself to have time to think about someone else.

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