Parenting can be tough, taking care of another human being (or more!) can leave you sleepless and on the brink of insanity. Our latest Cribsters Contributor, Dani, shares her advice for how she takes parenthood and all of its challenges in stride. Dani is a germaphobic first-time mom who has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She writes all about it over on her humor blog, Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine. When she’s not boring you with funny stories about her dysfunctional life, she can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.
The Best Parenting Advice I’ve Ever Received
I don’t know about you, but May 2013 did not impress me.
In 4 short weeks, my 2-year-old threw a fever, 2 colds, an ear infection, 2-year molar teething, and the beginning of the terrible twos my way.
And my husband, bless his heart, put me through not one, but 2 man colds.
It gets better.
With only 4 days to spare until I flew solo with our 2-year-old across the country to visit my parents for a week, I woke up with the mother of all head colds.
But crawling into bed to watch The View and Divorce Court wasn’t an option, so I dragged my ass out of bed at 6 am every morning and spent 15+ hours running myself even more ragged than I already felt so I could get things sorted for our trip, all the while feeling like the worst mother alive for letting Dora The Explorer babysit my child.
And I felt more than a little sorry for myself.
Why couldn’t my husband delay all of the projects he’s working on, close the office, and spend the week waiting on me hand and foot?
How come none of my friends offered to bring their kids over so they could all catch my cold while helping me out?
Why is Dora’s voice so freaking annoying?
But, like all mothers, I didn’t have a heck of a lot of time to sit and dwell. The laundry still needed to be done, the groceries still needed to be purchased, the meals still needed to be cooked, and someone still needed to help Dora and Boots find their way to Polar Bear Mountain 3 million times a day.
And somewhere in the midst of all of that, someone also needed to shop, organize, and pack all of the things we needed to get us through the next 2 weeks.
And that person was me.
So by the time I’d check us in for our flight, endured SEVEN rows of airport security, chased my 2-year-old through the departure area while simultaneously navigating a stroller full of carry-on luggage, sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider at the TOP OF MY LUNGS to keep the peace during a diaper change, struggled down the jetway and to the back of the plane carrying THREE carry-on bags and a 27-lb toddler, buckled my child into her airplane harness, sprayed nasal spray up my schnoz in front of my fellow passengers, prayed to the heavens that my head wouldn’t explode during take-off from all of the congestion, and sat my drenched-with-sweat body into my seat, I was exhausted.
But once I’d handed one of the many carefully selected airplane toys I’d packed to my child, pulled out the first gossip magazine I’d read in 2+ years, and flagged down the flight attendant to ask her for some wine, all of the craziness of the previous week evaporated into thin air and a sense of peace came over me.
And as I looked over at my daughter, who was happily covering her seat with Dora The Explorer stickers, I was reminded of the best piece of advice I’ve ever received as a parent, which went something like this:
Being a parent is the hardest job you’ll ever have. There will be days when it seems as though life does nothing but throw lemons at you and it’s all you can do to keep it together until bedtime. And then, just when you reach your breaking point and start reaching for the wine as soon as you roll out of bed in the morning, things will get better. Not easier. But better. And you’ll suddenly find the strength to make it through to the next rough patch. And there I was, drinking wine at 9 am on a Thursday morning.
And you know what?
Things suddenly got better after that.
What’s the best parenting advice YOU’VE ever received?