Summer is over, Labor Day came and went, and the kids are back at school. For a lot of us adults who have taken advantage of the long and lazy days of August – summer Fridays, bosses on vacation, clients on vacation, longer lunches and shorter working hours – it’s back to reality. But for parents, summer didn’t mean any time off from the annoying jobs that go hand in hand with parenting. There are a lot of wonderful, fulfilling and amazing things about parenting, but parenting is also a lot of really crappy work. Which has us thinking about our least favorite parenting “jobs.” We’ve compiled our top 7 list of the worst jobs of parenting young children:
1. Newborn Naptime: or bedtime really. You’ll spend an hour rocking, shushing, pacifying your newborn to sleep before attempting the transfer to him to the crib, only to see his eyes magically pop open. Yet sometimes he can fall asleep mid-burp session, sitting up straight, head plopped down into chest. How is that possible?
2. Swaddling: it’s so annoying, complicated and almost always takes place in the wee hours of the night. The velcro and diaper swaddles are the easiest to maneuver but anything else is so difficult they should teach it in boy/girl scouts and give a badge for it.
3. Daycare/Preschool Drop-off: it’s stress on top of stress trying to get yourself ready for work and get your kids ready and out the door for daycare or preschool AND then get to work on time. Throw a little separation anxiety crying at daycare drop-off, or a particularly slow-moving preschooler, and you’ll need a cocktail instead of coffee waiting for you on your desk at work.
4. Mealtime Cleanup: We understand that cleaning food bits off of the floor three or more times a day doesn’t seem like a big deal to those lucky enough to own a dog who lives to lick the floor. But surely they must understand the excruciating awfulness of cleaning dried oatmeal, smushed banana and other nasty bits off a high chair tray or seat… Just to have tomato sauce, soup and milk dumped all over it a few hours later. Rinse, repeat, awful.
5. Laundry: it’s a black hole. Just as we get to the bottom of the basket and put away all the fresh clean clothes, we turn around and the basket is full with a new pile of dirty ones. I understand how postal workers feel, and think perhaps the term “going postal” could be changed to “going launderer.”
6. Wiping (other people’s) butts: really, does anyone like this job? The worst is you think the world has changed completely once you’ve finally got your kids potty trained. The truth is, you’ll be called into the bathroom with cries of “I need help wiping!” for years following the potty training milestone. Wiping butts is just gross. Really, really gross.
7. Arts and Crafts: We love when our children want to express their artistic sides, but do we have to do it with them? Can’t they save all that artiness for daycare or preschool? Judging by Pinterest, we realize we may be in a minority, but we seriously hate doing the painting, glueing, cutting, etc. involved in crafting. It’s a mess. And the control freak perfectionists in us can’t even stand watching our young children color everywhere in the coloring book except INSIDE THE LINES. Seriously, kid, GIVE ME THAT CRAYON. YOU’RE TERRIBLE AT THIS!
This list is not exhaustive, but we said we’d stick to 7 lest we sound like the least happy and loving parents ever. (We love them, we do!) But we do not love these “jobs.”
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