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Where the Suniverse stops by to swear up a storm about parenting

by John on July 19th, 2012
I am on vacation — and as a series of quasi-coherent posts about how wonderful my family is, and how beautiful the beach is, and how drunk I might be at a time that would normally be a completely inappropriate time for me to be drunk might not go over all that well, I have asked a collection of my favorite bloggers to stop by and share something.

Posting today is Suniverse of The Suniverse. Like so many bloggers I follow, I have no idea how I stumbled upon The Suniverse. But she swears and makes me laugh, and that’s enough to get the “foot in the door.” When you keep making me laugh, well, I keep coming back. So, since she hasn’t found a way to block me from commenting on her blog posts, she’s sharing her wisdom over here.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Parenting and Co-parenting: Is it really my way or the highway?

I always assumed I would be a single parent.

I’m not sure why, except I was adamant that I’d never get married. I’d never really wanted kids, but I figured that if I did have a kid, it would be one child, a girl, and I would be a very important somethingorother [writer, obviously, but sometimes UN Secretary General or badass covert spy] and would raise my child in a fabulous city [probably New York, but maybe somewhere in Europe] alone, because her father was not in the picture.

Things did not turn out exactly like that. I do have the one child, a girl, and I could not be more thrilled. Truly. I really like her.

I also have a husband and marriage and father to my girl. We live in the suburbs and my job is boring and while I am still working on the writer thing, the UN job and badass spy career move are dead in the water [or are they? Shhhh . . . I’ll never tell!].

I like watching the husband parent the girl. He is adamant about her respecting me as her mother [and also because I am fucking awesome, duh], but he is also great at letting her know that she is important in his life. And thank sweet Jesus that she has him to talk to about boring stuff like The Hobbit and Batman and ohmygod Radiohead, because there is only so much a person should have to put up with. And that shit? Absolutely not.

It’s interesting watching someone else parent. I’m not one of those “Do it my way or else” kind of parents – eh, you know what? I totally fucking am. I am that parent. But I am that person about everything, so it’s not as if I’m singling out one aspect of my life for domination. And I’m not super picky about how everything is done – oh, fuck, yes I am. BUT I’ve found that as I age [and get more tired], I’m willing to see that maybe other people [i.e., the husband] have ideas and techniques that may be almost as good as mine. And that makes my life a lot easier, and makes me wonder why everyone doesn’t
have it so good.

Because I also see parents who, even though they have a partner, still act as if they are single parents. And that shit is EXHAUSTING. I mean, it’s one thing to have to be the default Do Everything Parent because there is no one else, but why be the Do Everything Parent when you have a completely viable person standing there, WANTING to be part of the parenting equation? If you don’t want to do it for the good of your family, do it for selfish reasons, so you don’t have to be the one who takes the kid to the batting cages, for example.

Take that time to work on becoming a supersecret spy. Or the next Kofi Anan. Or a writer. Everyone will be happier that way. Probably Iran most of all, because you seem like someone who would be great at negotiations.

From → Blogging, Guest Post

41 Comments
  1. YAY!

    I’m so excited to be here!

    Thanks so much for the opportunity – and I tried to keep the swearing to a minimum. I TRIED.

  2. You know you’re not awake when: I came to read your lovely post and forgot it was a guest post. I got to the part about being a mother and was confused as I thought this was a dad’s blog, but since I am an open minded parent in 2012 I went with it. I then remembered this was a guest post. *sigh*.

    My favorite sentence of your post “And I’m not super picky about how everything is done – oh, fuck, yes I am.”

    That’s parenting is a nutshell to me 🙂

    • HA! John and I have become one.

      And yes, that IS parenting in a nutshell.

    • My senior year of high school, my English teacher had us write essays — the rule was that they had to be typed and they had to include a cover page with our name & the title of the essay. She was going to show us that she could figure out who each of us was just by our writing.

      Naturally, I wrote about getting my first period. She did figure me out, but only by process of elimination.

  3. unmitigated me permalink

    If I am going to be the SecGen, I want to be Boutros Boutros Ghali. Much cooler to have a name that repeats.

    • True. You can’t go wrong with a repetitive name. It just sings!

    • I don’t know, I keep hearing Slick Willie might be a possible SecGen, if the UN would decide to ever place a SecGen from a “permanent security council” country.

      And I’d love to be Bill Clinton for a little while. I’d absolutely love it.

  4. My application for badass covert spy was rejected.
    Apparently, you have to provide your own trenchcoat.
    And shoes with poison tip spikes.
    I still had my X-Ray specs from 7th grade, though.
    Still, those pricks at the CIA didn’t think I was good enough for them.
    I’ll show them. I’ll get a job at the TSA. Let’s see how they feel when they have to catch a flight to Denver and I’m still checking out their junk……hey!!!!! Wait a minute.
    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
    On second thought, I’m kinda happy with life the way it is.

    • HA! From CIA to TSA – how the mighty have fallen!

    • My best friend actually works for the TSA (actually for Customs & Border Patrol – he mostly verifies visas upon entry to the US). Not too long ago, he got to check in a porn star. At the time, he only saw that she was an actress, but he looked her up, and she was *that kind* of actress.

      He thought that was pretty cool.

  5. I say I don’t care, just do it alread, but I’ve had the mirror held up.

    Thank you, Yogi Suni.

  6. And that would be alreadY not alread.

    sheesh.

  7. You know, I also am a do it my way person, but you’re right. Over the years it’s turned more into: aw fuck it, just get it done. Your dumb ass wanna fold the towels like napkins, go right ahead. Just make sure you put them away when you’re done and don’t leave them sitting in the basket for a week like I do.

    I LOVE to eavesdrop on my husband being dad. While yes, sometimes I do think he must be high by some of the shit he says, I appreciate him and their relationship and I sort of like our kids. I can live with that, even if it includes incorrectly folded towels.

    • What is it with men’s inability to CORRECTLY FOLD THE GODDAMN TOWELS? IT IS NOT THAT HARD! I’VE ALREADY SHOWN YOU A THOUSAND GODDAMN TIMES!

      XO

      • Why do towels even need to be folded in the first place? I mean, fuck, they’re towels, who cares if they get wrinkly? I’m all for taking them out of the dryer & throwing them into a towel dispenser. When you need one, you take one. Ta-da.

        Why doesn’t anyone think like me?!

    • I’m not yet to a point where I can sit back & eavesdrop on others. I’m too opinionated and need to have my voice heard.

      Unless I’m trying to pretend that I’m sleeping.

  8. I literally just hung up the phone after having a conversation with my sister about this totally awkward situation I was in the other night at a party watching my friend (the mom) bark at my other friend (the dad) for not parenting her boy the way she thought he should be. Holy shit that was a lot of pronouns. I could have written this, except I was going to be Annie Leibovitz.

    • Oh. My. God.

      WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

      WHY MUST THEY MORTIFY EVERYONE IN THEIR PATH?

      AND WHY CAN’T I STOP ALL CAPS TYPING?

    • Your friends are dogs? Why were they barking? Are they raising Romulus & Remus?

      Romulus & Remus remind me of Goofus & Gallant from Highlights. Dear god, did I want to smack Gallant.

  9. BOOM.

    it’s called delegate. delegate all the things…err…kids.

  10. Handflapper permalink

    Meh, I’m just glad the parenting is done. I guess the four of us (me, my husband, ex-husband, second wife) did an okay job. The kids still speak to us and haven’t robbed any liquor stores that we’ve heard about, although I didn’t agree one iota with the ex’s parenting choices (none of us did, the second wife and I used to have long conversations about what a dumbass he is, imagine that!).

    • Huh – your ex is a dumbass? OF COURSE! HOW DID HE LET YOU GET AWAY!

      Glad you’ve survived parenting. You are an example to us all.

    • Oh, tell me, what’s it like to not have to parent?

      I can’t begin to imagine what that’s like.

      • Oh, you never stop parenting. You just have to become sneakier about it. You must never let it seem like you are guiding or giving advice to your adult child. And it happens gradually. I used to freak out about them being grown and gone, but when it actually happened, I hardly even noticed. But then, I still hear from them often.

  11. GrandeMocha permalink

    My husband wants to be the fun parent. Let the kid stay up late, watch too much bad TV, not eat veggies,…. That’s the part I hate. I have to be the bad cop. If hubby would just do it my way, my life would be simpler.

    • Hell, I want to be the fun parent — stay up late, myself, watch bad TV, not eat my veggies…

      But, my kids – yeah, they don’t get anything fun, ever, when I’m around.

      Actually, I believe I’ve said the words “no lollipops until you’ve finished your chocolate,” but that was a one-time thing. Kind of.

      I’ve also said “you don’t wear your sister’s shoe on your penis.”

      I say lots of things as a father.

  12. I was way too irresponsible to have kids – but self aware enough to know how fucked up my parenting would have been, so I guess that’s good… right? And I have many, MANY opinions on others’ parenting and I am very VERY good at keeping those opinions to myself and talking about guacamole instead. You, of course, are The Supreme Mother and to be revered and obeyed. Amen and out. Rockstar and drugs. Sarah xxx

  13. Uh-oh…so now that I’ve moved in with Kiefer does that mean I have to step up the coparenting? Up until now I pretty much only parent the boys when they are about to hurt each other or when Kiefer is about to hurt them.

    • I’m a big “don’t let the kids hurt each other” fan – but I fear I leave things to go until we’re just shy of the point of bloodshed. Or when either of them reaches for a knife.

  14. I don’t mind sharing the parenting. Seriously, most of the time Adonis is more patient and can keep himself in check. But what do I do with a kid who thinks I am the single parent? Sheesh!

    I wonder is there is a demand for secret spies inside MLB locker rooms… I’d sign up for THAT! And I don’t need a fancy name. Maybe Casey Seymour. Hee.

    • I love any woman who wears her voyeuristic wishes like she does her bra 😉

  15. I would hand over the fucking parenting and just sit back and watch if I could.
    But that’s probably a lie. Or a fantasy.
    It is INCREDIBLY awesome though to be so on the same page as my husband that I can kinda sorta say that. I’ve seen couples who aren’t and it’s work just to be around them.

    • Ugh – I hate being around people where it’s work just to be around them. But, I know exactly what type of people you’re talking about (one couple, I like them each, individually, and when they’re together without the kid — but when it’s them & the kid . . . well, I cringe – badly)

  16. And now I’m sad that I have never had to say “Don’t wear your sister’s shoe on your penis…”

    at least not yet.

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