You know you’ve thought them, before. Now, here they are. 10 brutally honest, uncensored thoughts every parent has that they’re too afraid to say out loud.
1. This is THE MOST exhausting thing in the world.
Really. People without kids have no way of truly understanding this. Raising kids sometimes feels like your soul is being sucked out of your body. The lack of sleep when they first come homed from the hospital. The amount of relentless nagging that you have to dish out to get them to cooperate. The amount of stress that you feel on most days when you just want things to go smoothly and that’s just not the way it goes. All of that chasing them around (which, by the way, is like trying to herd cats). Being a parent is, without a doubt, the most exhausting thing that ever could be. But if someone were to ask you about how parenthood is going, you won’t tell them that. And you can’t help but to silently laugh when you hear how tired someone is because they were just 2 hours shy of a full night’s sleep.
2. What if my kid isn’t straight?
More parents have thought this than they would like to admit. Honestly, what if your kid’s not straight? What if they identify as something different than their physical anatomy? This world has become much more progressive and it’s not uncommon for things like this to come up. But if it does, what do you do? How would you react? How would you talk to them about it? How do you know that they would even feel comfortable enough to tell you? Would you ask them about it or just not pay any mind and keep on moving through life? Would your relationship with them change or stay the same? You can run a million scenarios in your head in an attempt to prepare yourself if it were to ever come up. But in the end, you just have to wait and see what happens and continue to love your kid for who they are.
3. I sure wish I got more thanks.
Parenthood comes with very little thanks. And it seems selfish to even consider this thought for a second, but it’s true. You put all of your heart and soul into trying to raise your kids the best that you can. You feed them, clothe them, play with them, teach them, love them. But when it comes down to it, other than when they use their “please and thank yous”, when do they ever show a direct sign of gratitude? How often do they say things like, “Thanks for folding my laundry for me” or “Thanks for going out and buying me all of these groceries so I don’t starve”? Not very often. As a parent, you know it is your duty to do these things. And as a parent, you know that they show gratitude in other ways, like smiles and hugs, so you really feel like a jerk for even thinking otherwise. But sometimes, it would be nice for you to actually hear that your efforts are appreciated.
4. I need a break. From my kids. RIGHT NOW.
This is one of those thoughts every parent has that is awkward to say out loud. But those kids know how to work your nerves better than anyone or anything else in existence. Do they try to see how long it takes before they can break you? That’s what it feels like. And sometimes you reach that point where you just need to get the hell away from them. So you lock yourself in the bathroom for 10 minutes, or you make them take a nap or play outside. Anything, anything at all to give yourself a break from them. And then you feel guilty for thinking that you need to be left alone, that you have reached the point of metaphorically running away from your own children. You’re a parent. Shouldn’t you want to be around them all the time? I’m going to answer that question for you. Absolutely not! Don’t you dare feel guilty for doing what you need to do to maintain your sanity and, let’s face it, their wellbeing. Needing a break is probably one of the most common thoughts every parent has!
5. I wonder what my life would be like if I never had kids?
This is one of the thoughts every parent has had cross through their minds. Would kind of person would you be? Where would you live. What job would you have? Would you have a relationship? With who? Parenthood changes everything but you never voice these thoughts because it just doesn’t seem right to imagine your kids not being in existence. But that doesn’t change the fact that plans change, for better or worse. What is important is that you work out new plans, ones that involve your kids. And looking back, you will find that you are much better off working through life as a parent than not.
6. Why do I even bother?
Probably the most frustrating of thoughts every parent has but is certainly not uncommon. You clean up their messes and they make more. You try to teach them right from wrong and they do the opposite of what you say. You receive the occasional attitude when you are just trying to do what is in their best interests. And you wonder why you even bother if all you get is negativity. You know why you bother to do those things so it takes no real explanation but sometimes it just feels like wasted time and energy on your part.
7. I’m worried that my kid might be an asshole.
You know you’ve been there before. Your kid hit a phase of being just downright mean and defiant. Maybe it’s the Terrible Twos, maybe it’s teenaged angst. Whatever it is, you can’t help but think to yourself, “Is my kid really an asshole? How did I not see the signs, before?” And really, how do you talk to someone about it without sounding like an asshole, yourself? So, you keep that thought to yourself and hope that it works its way out of their system with the help of lots of love and parental guidance. This is definitely one of the thoughts every parent has.
8. Sometimes I think my kid is just plain stupid.
It sounds so ridiculously mean so it’s seldom said but it’s true! Parents have definitely thought this at one point or another in parenthood. How is it that you can point to something that is out in the open and kids always seem to wander in the other direction to try to find what it is they are looking for? Why is it that when you tell a kid to not do something that they do it not 10 minutes later, anyway? Why is it that if you tell them that they need to stop doing something or they will get hurt and they don’t listen that they act genuinely surprised when they finally get injured? How do they hear the same words that you have repeated 20 times in a row and still not understand what you are saying to them? You know that it’s all part of learning and growing up, but you can’t help to question their intelligence in such instances. This is one of the hardest thoughts every parent has.
9. Life would be so much easier without kids.
Life with kids is hard. Really, really hard. You have all of these things to do all the time. You have the kids to keep track of while trying to do all of these things all the time. It’s a struggle to leave the house, it’s a struggle to walk through a store, it’s a struggle to make plans just to have some time as an adult and not be mom or dad for a few hours. It would be so much easier to just get up and go without dragging diaper bags, car seats, and a whiny kid that just wants to stay home. Every time you think you found a way to make things in life easier, the kids manage to subconsciously one-up you. You would never say it out loud, but parenthood would be so much easier without the actual “parent” part.
10. My kid deserves better.
This is probably one of the most heartbreaking and private thoughts every parent has about parenthood. Some days it seems like what you do is not enough. It feels like that when your baby has been crying and fussing nonstop for the past half an hour and you need to put them in the crib and just close the door for 5 minutes. It feels that way when you have had a hard day with (or even without) the kids and you become irritable and snippy. Then later you realize it didn’t have to be that way and you have to apologize. It feels that way when you let the kids watch tv or play video games for an extended period of time just for the chance to get things done. It feels that way when you pretend that you fell asleep on the couch just so you don’t have to immediately jump up for the 5 millionth time, today. Overall, no matter how hard you try as a parent, you always feel like you are not giving them the best. Like it or not, this thought is important. It makes you want to work to be the best parent you can be and it shows that you care. And remember that in a world full of other parents, you are not alone. You’ve got this.