Accidental Parenting

I am writing the last two chapters of my book (that is due at the publishers May 1). Here is my favorite excerpt from today:

“The power of parenting is in the little moments, usually the moments we don’t mean to be “parenting.” In my own opinion, this is what makes parenting so hard. It would be easy if kids eagerly approached you on your best day, the days you felt rested and relaxed, saying “Mom, Dad, teach me something important so I can live a happy and productive life.” They would soak up your jewels of wisdom. Then they would ignore all the times you were overwhelmed and snapped at your husband for no reason, or the time you yelled at the driver who cut you off on the highway, or the time you were overly anxious when your boss came over, or the time you commented about feeling fat in your jeans in front of your mid-puberty daughter. It would be much easier if kids only paid attention when you wore your “parenting hat” and not when your own worse traits popped up. But, alas, they don’t. They pay attention to it all­ – the intentional and the accidental. ”

It makes me wish someone would invent a parenting hat I could wear. When I am wearing it, the kids would pay attention. When I take it off, they should ignore me. This would ensure they would pay attention when I wanted them to (which would be impressive by itself), but also they would ignore me when I wanted to steal candy from the candy jar or have a general end-of-week meltdown.

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