We Are Parents
I met this hilarious, lovable rogue on Facebook, and he quickly became a dear friend. Briton Underwood is well known on Facebook as “Punk Rock Papa,” a man who unabashedly loves being a father. Besides writing his own blog, Briton recently co-founded a hot new blog collective, “Original Bunker Punks.” He’s funny, sweet, genuine, and the kind of father everyone wishes they had.
Please welcome Punk Rock Papa.
Want to know the defining moment of becoming a parent?
It happens around mealtime. After you spend all that time making your kids food, and sit there watching them eat it or throw it on the floor. Then mealtime ends, and there is still some leftover Mac and Cheese. So you eat it. And you call it lunch.
That’s parenting. Eating your kid’s leftovers because you are too tired to make something for yourself, even a sandwich.
Okay. Maybe that’s not everyone’s defining moment where they realize it’s over and they are parents.
Do you have “the pants?” The sweatpants you wear more than once a week because they are comfy and make you more aerodynamic when you parent? They probably have stains that will NEVER wash out, no matter how many times you run them with oxyclean. That mark, most likely spaghetti, is a badge of parenting, worn by parents the world over.
Fine, you don’t have those pants. Sorry I brought them up! That certainly isn’t them, sitting next to your dirty clothes, and you haven’t put them on three times this week.
Ever picked another person’s booger? Or had your sleeve used to wipe a nose? How about caught half-chewed food in your hand from an adorable little mouth?
Welcome to Parenthood, folks! These are the things they failed to bring up in sex education! Man, could you imagine if when they gave you the fake baby, they included dirty sweats, a snot covered shirt and a half eaten can of Raviolis?
Parents, as a superior group of people, love to squabble over everything from discipline to education to the proper brand of diaper to purchase. We can all agree on one thing though – being a parent is hard!
Before continuing, any parent that pretends that they have this whole thing down or that they have never messed up or had a day where they felt the wrinkles coming in and their hair growing gray should stop reading.
Go ahead. Exit browser and continue being perfect somewhere else.
Okay, now that all the people full of shit have left, lets revel in how hard this parenting is!
The first year of parenting is pretty easy. They can’t move, they don’t talk back. The process is usually pretty simple: bottle, diaper, swaddle. The first year is really more of a mental game. Your ability to work through sleep deprivation.
Those milestones, though! Talk about revitalization! Comparing kids has always felt wrong. Each kid moves at his own pace. The rest of their lives they will be sorted accordingly by looks and ability. Let them have a pass those first few years!
Then comes baby puberty. Where they feel such entitlement! Grown enough to avoid nap time. Lunch better be up to toddler standards or it’s not eaten; or worse, it’s thrown to the ground.
Then, the terrible twos, Dawn of Toddlerhood. It’s tough! Physically AND emotionally draining.
This is where you transcend into parentdom. As children gain the ability to walk, they seem to gain this mindset that they should always do it in the opposite direction of their parent. With talking, a need to push boundaries, and testing everything with a unsure “no” before completing an action they know to be wrong.
Parentdom. Where you start to eat your kids’ leftover meals. Those sweatpants that are so disgusting, yet so goddamn comfy, are worn three times a week.
Parenting might just be the most unglamorous thing in the world. We adopt this junkie look; blood shot baggy eyes, dirty worn clothing, emaciated look from only eating a scoop of lunch a day.
It’s a sight to see, certainly. But there is something glamorous in it.
Parents possess such a glow. A mixture of pride, joy, love and many pure emotions that shine from them like some sort of visible aura.
Somedays, it’s not so bad. Almost as if the kids know Mommy and Daddy need a break from picky eating and temper tantrums. You have a chance to throw on real pants, even an opportunity to eat more than leftovers.
So us parents will rock the homeless junkie look, five or six times a week even.
We will learn as we go, falter sometimes, but we won’t give up.
Our kids are more of a priority than ourselves.
We are parents.
Briton “Punk Rock Papa” Underwood is a proud Parent, Writer and Original Bunker Punk. His passion for writing is second only to his passion for parenting. Co-founder of the Original Bunker Punks, Punk Rock Papa enjoys helping people’s thoughts, stories and emotions be heard.