Last week, listening to the radio on my way to work, I heard about a recent study published in Psychological Science. It suggests that parents exaggerate joys of parenthood to justify the big investment. This got me thinking (you know this means trouble, right?) If this study is true, then everything I knew about myself is based on, well, a lie.
It all starts with the (self-perceived) fact that I am not good at telling lies, which is why I aim to be truthful. If this study is right, I’m a master liar and I didn’t even know it. This single truth changes the whole foundation of my life. I could be selling vials of water from the fountain of youth to those desperate to halt the aging process. I could prey on others’ weaknesses and amass great wealth. But, wait, there’s more…
No, there’s not. That’s not me at all. I’ll be honest with you (really, I am a truthful person): having kids is the most wonderful pain in the neck I’ve ever had.
There are times of love so great that I can’t even put it into words: when they share their day’s fun with wide-eyed excitement; snuggle into me when they are scared and need comforting; grin with pride when they are praised; or when they fling their arms around me in a tight hug and tell me they love me without any prompting.
Now, for the other side of the coin: there are times when they tell me I’m mean in a hateful voice; pull away from my hugs; refuse to look at me when they are angry and sass back when I remind them about their chores. Oh, and then there is their fighting. Remember, kids aren’t like dogs; you don’t need a second one to keep the first one company.
There are some days when the thought “What. Was. I. THINKING?” runs through my mind like a stock exchange ticker tape. Then, as if the kids sense that they, too, are hanging from the end of my rope, they will turn on the charm once again. Yes, they nudge me over the cliff (metaphorically speaking) and then reach their hand out to grasp me before gravity pulls me into a free-fall.
The good and the bad are swirled together like the vanilla and chocolate in a marble cake. There is no way to extract either one of the flavors. Sure, I get frustrated, but I would never change it.
So, there you have it. I’m not a liar…I’m a masochist.