This parenting thing can be pretty tough in a lot of ways.
Whether it’s the late nights and constant diaper changes of little ones, the day-to-day frustrations of trying to teach a toddler how to be a kind and respectful human being, or dealing with teenagers who simultaneously depend on you for everything but feel they need you for nothing. Parenting is tough.
But one of the toughest aspects, for me, has been how to be gracious with those who don’t stop to think about what they are saying when they comment on my being home with the boys.
In general I think I’m pretty good at it, by which I mean I look for a kind and non-confrontational way to answer a question or respond to a comment. Sometimes the best way is to smile and say nothing. Other times the right words come. And sometimes I stumble over my answer or say the wrong thing.
In my mind, I usually know what I would like to say, hoping that my snarky sarcasm would get the point across. But I don’t say it, because far too often snarky sarcasm looks suspiciously like being a jerk, which is sort of the opposite of being gracious.
To that end — and to get some of this off of my chest — here are some examples of what I would like to say, but don’t, in no particular order…
Yep! My wife told me that if I want to go see Justin Beiber in concert I needed to earn some money of my own.
I’m not allowed to have any boys over, but I can have all the ice pops I want from the freezer, so it’s alright.
Wrong. My children are descended from Hobbits, and don’t require footwear.
See those goldfish crackers they’re eating? They’re not a snack, they’re Second Breakfast.
Pfft! No! Working is for suckers.
My toddler and preschooler can pretty much fend for themselves when it comes to taking care of their day-to-day needs. I mostly just play Angry Birds.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to pull myself away from Angry Birds long enough to do that.
Oh yes. I totally miss so much about it.
The dress code, the awful coffee, the awkward office hierarchy. But most of all, I miss the hour-long commute each way. Man, I got a lot of napping done back then.
I appreciate the offer.
But like I said, I have a toddler and a preschooler. I think that might be illegal to put them to work like that.
Oh, for sure, I’m a regular Ann Romney. We’re just rolling in money over here.
I mean, I know it looks like we’re not wealthy, what with the small rented apartment, old vehicles, thrifty grocery shopping budget, student loan debt, and lack of involvement in any sort of horse-dancing. I know it looks like we’re really doing this because it is the best use of our gifts and talents, and makes the most sense for our family right now.
But you’re on to us. It’s all a clever ruse to throw you off the scent of the vast money vault/swimming pool we own in Duckburg.
I don’t get it.
I admit it, the main reason I convinced my wife that we should have kids was because I hoped it would someday be an all-access key into the occasional viewing of women I don’t know discreetly breastfeeding.
Oh, you’re absolutely right. Titus 2 is a great model for the ideal Christian home.
After all, Titus 2 is also why we Christians faithfully support slavery, as the right and proper arrangement for the Godly home. It’s why we still expect good Christian slaves to be obedient and polite to their masters, rather than kick up a fuss rudely demanding things like liberty and freedom and justice. I mean, why would it say that if slavery wasn’t okay? Kudos to the 1st century ancient near-east Roman Empire for getting it right 2,000 years ago, so I don’t have to take my cues from this present culture like a godless heathen! *Whew!*
What’s the most annoying thing you’ve been asked as a parent? Did you ever wish you could answer differently?