Some days I just don't want to be a parent anymore. Some days I'd rather be sitting on a beach somewhere (the Caribbean, perhaps?), underneath some palm trees (Mexico, maybe?), sipping a frothy drink with an umbrella in it (Hawaii?).
What they don't teach you in parenting 101 (you took that class, right?) is that some days you'll just feel like walking out the door for a while. Some days you'll just need to take an emotional break. Because, the truth is, parenting is hard.
My house is filled with teenage girls right now. Most of the time it's a delight, but sometimes it's not. Like this weekend when I had to act like a drill sergeant all weekend and by the end of Sunday nobody was talking to me. Or at least that's what it felt like.
It seemed like every time I turned around one of my children (definitely not our Costa Rican guests--they get the good behavior award for the weekend) had left something sitting in the exact wrong place or had not done something I had asked her to do. It felt like the weekend was filled with behavior correction and attitude adjustment.
And the thing is . . . (and I know my girls won't even believe this) . . . I don't like correcting behavior and adjusting attitudes. That is not the fun part of parenting. In fact, it's work. It's draining. And it's exhausting. The emotional toll it takes on me just plain wears me out some days.
So why do I do it? I've seen parents who have just given up, especially with teenagers. I guess they think it's not worth the fight. They just let their kid do his or her thing, figuring they've done their best and leave it at that.
But I do it because that's what I've signed up for, and my job isn't done yet. My job is to help create "productive citizens" (a little family joke there), and some weekends just happen to turn into Citizenship Boot Camp where we have to re-train and re-teach some of the lessons they should have learned a long time ago.
I also do it because it's what I've been called to do. I can't give up. Even though sometimes I look at B and throw up my hands and say to him, "I don't want to be a parent today," the truth is there is no more rewarding job.
Because after a weekend of re-teaching and re-training, I get to enjoy the benefits of some really great kids who absolutely rise to the challenge and who exceed my expectations in some very surprising ways.
And I get the benefit of playing Link's Crossbow on the Wii with my daughter who came in from a meeting, worn out and tired, but who wanted to spend some time with her drill sergeant.
So my booty will stay here in the frozen tundra, doing what I've been called to do. The view may not be so great some days, but the rewards are so much better than five minutes with a frothy drink.