I recently became a mother. I am now the proud mother of two, 17-year-old boys. They are exchange students with a program through the state department. They will be staying with my husband and me for 7 days. They are good kids but have reaffirmed my decision to never have children, ever. They have also made me realize that parents are superheroes and deserve medals. How do you all do it? 7 days might kill me; true parenthood means ETERNITY! Holy Hell!
1) Planning meals all the time Growing boys and girls need nourishment. They seem to be starving all the time and eat obscene amounts of food. At the same time, teenagers seem to be picky while not able to articulate what they want for dinner. They do seem to know what they don’t want. Trying to come up with 2 or 3 meals a day (that everyone likes and is willing to eat), not being repetitive and making sure the meals are healthy and tasty is a nightmare. I used to love cooking but I’m growing to hate it.
2) Laundry I have lots of clothes and do my fair share of laundry but adding two children to the mix seems to have quadrupled the laundry. How did that happen? That math makes no sense. They only brought tiny suitcases with them. Where are all these clothes coming from and why do they need to be washed so much? I can’t get anything done in the day because I’m doing laundry (or planning meals).
3) Electricity I remember when I was a teenager, I left the lights on or the refrigerator door open, so I don’t think it is a cultural thing. But, turn off the lights when you leave a room or go to bed for the night! The bathroom lights seem to be permanently stuck on and the bedroom lights only turn off when they are sleeping. Each day they have left lights on in every room they entered or exited. I don’t understand why teenagers need so much light. Is it to study themselves in the mirror more closely? I’d probably need to take a second job to pay the electric bill if I had children.
4) Tardiness The concept of time seems to be missing from the minds of teenage boys. When I say, “we are leaving in 15 minutes” they think that means “remain doing what you are doing and please, continue to post photos to Facebook.” For three days in a row, my children have not gotten breakfast because they couldn’t get upstairs in time to eat before we had to leave. I’ve practically lost my mind and arrived late to work three days in a row. I’d probably be fired from my job if I had children because of tardiness. Although, it is probably more likely that I’d lose my job because I’d be in jail for the murder of my child.
5) Property Children seem totally oblivious to their slow and steady destruction of property. How many times can you drag your chair against the floor, knock your desk chair into the wall, slam the cupboards and nick the walls without a care in the world or seemingly even notice what you are doing? Is that chocolate ice cream on the couch? Are you just going to leave it there as you watch your movies and not eat at the dinner table? I just bought that couch and you are grinding rice into the seams…and you don’t care. I will kill you now.
6) Stank I think 17 year olds are better about showering than 13 year olds, but children of all ages stink. Body odor, pee and poop (when they are in diapers), and copious amounts of cologne and perfume are abusing my olfactory senses and drilling tiny painful holes into my brain. How many years of stank do parents have to endure? Too many is my guess.
7) Self-Centeredness Many parents tell me the job is thankless and I believe that to be true, especially with teenagers. They seem to be happy to take your money, eat your food, live in your house and never thank you or worry about anything but their own stuff. Children are ingrates and parenting is WORK. If you aren’t going to get paid monetarily and there isn’t even a “thank you” to validate your existence, why bother bearing children?
8) Trash My children are only now getting properly trained, but I feel like this might be a theme amongst children. When you finish drinking a bottle of water, throw the bottle away. Don’t leave it on the table for the imaginary maid (Emily Lund) to take care of it for you. When you finish with your granola bar, don’t leave the wrapper on the counter, throw that shit away. When you see the large trash bag sitting by the garage door as you walk by, pick it up and put it in the dumpster. The amount of effort it requires to train your children to clean up and throw things away is too much for me to handle.
9) Activities What in the hell? Apparently, you don’t ever get to do anything you want to do or planned to do because you have to constantly wait around for your children to finish up with their activities or you are driving them to their activities or picking them up from their activities…every…single… day! Does this ever end? I totally understand why people own minivans now. I NEVER want to have one or drive one, so I can’t have children.
10) Technology With all this technology flying around, the world can be a little worrisome. There are scary things and people out there in the interwebs. I would be constantly worried my child was cyber impregnating someone or being stalked by a 50-year-old child molester from North Dakota. It’s so hard to 1) get your child’s attention away from technology 2) monitor what they are doing on the internet and 3) protect your child from the unknown. All of that is much too much for me. Maybe I should consider virtual children instead?
I honestly have no idea how you parents have lasted this long and I really do understand why people drink now. Thank you, parents. You are keeping the species going so I don’t have to.