Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Parent is a verb
I recently read an article about the "verbing" of nouns. How nouns like friend, google, and photo shop are often used as verbs and some linguistic purists take offense to that. I've been a big fan of verbing for years. I was parenting when parenting wasn't cool. How could parent possibly only be a noun if it is so much work and stretches you beyond your wildest dreams. A word that huge has to be a verb. The same is true of mothering and homeschooling as well, but since those words are more specified, I'll go with the more general parenting. As I have mentioned in recent posts, I am hooked on some really good toddlermom blogs (and yes blog is most definitely also a verb). A common theme is please don't tell a mother who is home with multiple toddlers all day that it gets harder as they get older or that time flies too fast. Of course over here we are living proof that time indeed flies much too fast, but if you told me that when Jonathan was 3 and Madi was a baby it would not have helped me. As for the 'they have little problems when they are little and bigger problems when they are big' adage, I'm not so much a fan of that one. For one thing, Jonathan had a stoke at 3 days old, very little baby---big problem. Here's what I know though, when they are little they have DIFFERENT problems (let's just say issues) than they do when they are bigger. It is a whole new minefield to parent through. Yesterday Madi rode with a teenage friend to a fairly far away mall in a fairly big city. While typing this I just exhaled as the text came in that Jonathan made it safely to his class once again. Daily I am facing new challenges as I parent these teenagers, daily we are making big decisions about what is ok and what is not ok. It can be exhausting, no doubt. There's a tradeoff though. I am blogging in a completely quiet house, no one is climbing all over me. No one is requesting a drink or a game of candyland, or to nurse for the 15th time that day, and even when everyone is home I can go to the bathroom all by myself for as long as I like. So moms of toddlers (though I know you don't read my lame blog, even though I read yours), the exhausting part of parenting doesn't really go away, but the change makes it ok. I get to sit and chat with friends over coffee or whatever, for hours on end with almost no interruption (except sometimes the occasional text) for a mom who couldn't go to the bathroom or to bed alone for years and years, this is an unbelievable luxury. The other benefit is that teenagers are pretty cool. Mine are anyway. When they finally get back home from their latest adventures safely, we can have really good conversations. Parenting is a hard job, Mike and I used to say if it's not the hardest job you'll ever have, you're doing it wrong. But parenting teenagers is a different hard job than parenting toddlers. I have the feeling parenting adults will have it's own challenges. My kids are getting older and older everyday, time is most certainly flying, but I'm pretty sure I'll be verbing this parent thing for years to come.