On the outside, I look like I have my shit together. The kids make it to school every day with their Gap snowsuits, homework completed and well-rounded lunches.
I joke with the teachers at kiss-n-ride as my crew files out of the minivan, accompanied by I-love-you’s and pats on the back. They don’t know that just minutes before I was screaming like a banshee.
To my future adult children, I apologize for losing my shit all the time.
There are Facebook ads for courses where parents can enroll to learn how not to yell at their children all the time; unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to enroll in them. Because behind closed doors, we are just barely surviving. Hanging by the skin of our teeth, I think the saying goes.
My husband and I have four children, and that’s our fault. We certainly never planned it that way, but I guess that’s our fault too. I hope my children forgive us for this one day.
When you have four kids, and especially when you’re both working parents, it’s hard—really hard—to spend time with any individual child. We delegate quality time so that the eldest plays chess with the middle, and the middle reads books to the youngest. I hope they forgive us for this too one day.
My oldest son was fed an all-organic diet when he was a baby. We kept him away from the TV until he was two, and from video games until he was eight, making him the last kid in his class to get a game console. I hope he forgives us for this one day, too.
My youngest meanwhile has been raised on chips and chocolate. She’s exposed to cartoons and shows her brothers watch that no two-year-old girl should witness. She knows how to work my iPhone like a boss and already knows how to play Donkey Kong. I hope she forgives us for this one day.
The twins have had to share our attention from the moment of inception. We read bedtime books to them at the same time, rather than splitting them up, so the other parent can tackle the post-dinner nightmare in the kitchen. They share birthdays, and most of the photos they appear in. I hope they forgive us for this too one day.
Being a parent is hard, that goes without saying. Being a parent of four is verging on insanity. And being a perfect parent is impossible.
You do your best, and a lot of the time you suck, and most of the time you feel terrible about it. All of the time, though, we love our kids so much (especially after bedtime—hey, absence makes the heart grow fonder).
To my future adult kids, I’m sorry. Perhaps when you’re a parent too one day, you’ll forgive us.