Parenting is a LOT, right? It’s a wild rollercoaster ride with many, MANY awesome highlights which will bring a smile to your face for years to come. Those gazes, the smiles, the cheeky farts, even the pure innocence. But let’s not be all rose coloured glasses – there are also many times parenting pushes you to the edge where if you could ring HR and say “Nup, I quit parenting”.
Nup, I quit – No guilty feelings, we’ve all been there
Take a look at the TikTok below and nod your head with me if you can relate. Because I’m here nodding my head alongside you and so are over a million other parents!
@mumcentral Nup I quit.📸 @stephaniepeeni #momsoftiktok #motherhood #momlife #momtiktok #iquit ♬ original sound – Mum Central
Disclaimer – I’m no longer knee-deep in the trenches of what I like to call “hypersensitive, active parenting”. My youngest child is almost 16, so I like to look at my parenting now as the trifecta of negotiations, networking and guidance.
So with 23 years of parenting experience, I can whip off a handful of times I’ve felt pressed. Maybe I resorted to drinking a glass of wine in the cubby house, I cried in the shower or let off a silent scream into my pillow. Yep, I did all that. But would I change it? Never.
Well, some things (maybe) I would.
12 Times I’ve Wanted to Say “Nup, I Quit Parenting”
1. Go the f*ck to sleep
As a parent, sleep is a VERY sensitive subject. Our third child was a nocturnal baby, which was not ideal when I had other kids to deal with during the day. His blanket ruling on sleep refusal nearly broke me. That and watching my husband sleep through the night, daring to grizzle if woken before 7am. There was also that. Feeling stabby? Absolutely.
I just want to sleep. Please. Shut eye come at me. via GIPHY
2. Poo Picasso
Anyone who has ever had to deal with a baby or toddler who has discovered how to quietly undo their nappy in their cot and artistically spread its contents from one end of the cot to the other... I SEE YOU. And I can almost still smell the memory. Here’s the hot tip – don’t push the cot up against a wall because poo sticks to paint like Weet-Bix sticks to a melamine bowl.
3. Toddler taming
Toddlers are fickle beasts. They’re sweet and delicious but spiral into meltdowns quicker than two-minute noodles. What they say they want isn’t always what they actually want. And when you’re on your sixth attempt at trying to nail the brief, it wears thin – thinner than my post-partum hair.
4. Family holidays
Everyone loves a family holiday, right? Wrong. The mum excitement level gets drained a little … especially when you have to plan it, book it, pack for it, clean the house so it’s clean on return, find a pet sitter and then often get everyone (and everything) from A to B (in on piece). It’s a lot.
Plus, as the mothers we are, we’ll only really get to enjoy it for about 50% of the time because you deal with the same stuff you do at home, just in a nicer holiday location. “Put your shoes on, we’re going for breakfast”.
Parenting is a LOT. So much. via GIPHY
5. Car sickness
Living in the country, travelling hundreds of kilometres in the car was part of our life. Sadly though, when your kid power vomits on every trip and your husband claims he “has a weak stomach” and “doesn’t like vomit” … we’ll let’s leave that one up to your imagination!
6. When gastro strikes
Speaking of vomit and body fluids, when gastro hits your home, you’ll wish you had a ‘Get out of parenting free card’. We assure you.
7. When head lice invade
See above in ‘Gastro’. Much skin-crawling, washing of hair, nit combs and changes of bedding. On repeat. For all of the school years. UGH, head lice suck.
Every time that lice note comes home… via GIPHY
8. House chef
Nothing frustrates me ore than spending a good part of my night preparing a delicious dinner to have my kids turn their noses up. You know … not even try it to eat it, they just push it around their plates and then declare they’re not hungry. Then happen to catch them rummaging in the pantry for snacks 20 minutes later.
9. Ridiculous school photos
My personal bugbear. Paying decent money for school photos that are often don’t turn out good. But, of course, you do it because there’s an unwritten rule that it’s the right thing to do. The more kids you have in school, the more expensive it is.
10. Dealing with science experiment lunch boxes
My last words every school term are “don’t forget to put your lunch boxes in the sink!” So you can imagine the delight to discover a ballooning Tupperware container full of what was once freshly cut watermelon, out of a school bag several weeks into the holidays.I JUST CANNOT ANY MORE.
Forgotten lunch boxes. Nope, not for me. via GIPHY
11. Selective hearing
Parenting feels like a lot of repetitive requests. You know, hearing yourself ask the same thing over and over again. Of course, refraining from saying “I told you so” despite being SO tempted because they just don’t bloody listen! Sadly, this has never been truer. I once took my daughter to our GP because I thought she had hearing issues. But no, she was simply ignoring me. #truestory
“Don’t cut the tags off until you’ve tried them on.” … “Running with scissors isn’t safe!” … “Are you SURE you’ve packed your footy boots?”
12. Unsuccessful love bombing
In our home and family dynamic, there’s been a clear FUN DAD role. It’s kind of like good cop, bad cop but with less policing given hubby always leaves the tricky decisions to me. #BADCOP. So to boost my spot in the parent pecking order, I would occasionally attempt to love-bomb our kids. Speak their currency, buy my way up the scale if you will. Movies and choc-tops? YES. New PlayStation game? COOL. Mani and pedi? SIGN US UP.
They’d lap it up. But are they back to pushing my dinner away the very same night? Yes, yes they are. Asshats.
So there are the 12 (wonderful) reminders that I can confidently say have pushed my ‘I quit parenting’ button. But don’t worry, we all feel it at some point. And karma has a lovely way of returning the favour one day when they have ‘adorable kids’ of their own!
What’s not on the list that has made you want to lodge your resignation (even if only temporary)? Drop it in the comments below, we’d love to hear it too!