Opinion: Parenting ain’t easy

Commentary by Danielle Wilson

When does parenting get easy? I thought that once my kids grew out of the croup-prone, communication-challenged phase, I’d be set. Then I was certain that when my oldest could babysit my youngest, life would begin anew. Now that I have a teenage driver, I should be golden, right? But parenting only seems to be getting harder.

The reasons for my current maternal ulcer are one sick daughter and one under-achieving son. Together they have pushed, nay, shoved, my mommy patience to the brink. Two totally different parenting dilemmas thrust upon me as I also try manage a job, house, a husband and various other everyday minutia.

First up, my tiny dancer. Eleven days ago she began complaining of a headache, and while I first chalked it up to lack of sleep, by the fourth day of constant pain, I began trolling the internet for brain tumor symptoms. Everything checked out fine at the pediatrician; the doctor simply advised to up the OTC ibuprofen. But after a sixth day and multiple SOS text messages from her, I had to work some logistical magic over my lunch break to get an unauthorized neighbor to break her out of school. The headache was getting worse, and had us both in tears that evening. It seemed I could do nothing to help my baby. Finally, on office visit number two, the doc found fluid in her ears and swollen glands. Thank Jesus! I can handle a sinus infection! We’re now on antibiotics and the headache has all but disappeared.

In the middle of this “What if my kid has cancer?” week, my husband Doo casually glanced at our 17-year-old’s grades, and completely lost his shtick. We ended up in a fight about the best way to encourage our son to work to his potential, and completely forgot to even ground the ne’er-do-well. How do we motivate a kid who is quite happy with “doing okay?” Should we step back or get in his face? I don’t know, and it’s driving me nuts.

So I ask again, “When does parenting get easy?” Peace out.

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