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Parenting 101: Things Can Be Irritating

Updated on April 16, 2020
Kyler J Falk profile image

I spend all my time with my son, and researching how to spend that time better and in a more healthy manner for us both.

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At the time of writing this, my son is nearly two years old and I'm feeling every day of these past two years in my bones. I absolutely love being a parent, especially being the main caretaker, but having a child has drastically changed my life. These changes have been mostly for the better, but I'm not going to lie and say the parenting experience has been all peaches and cream.

Parenting has really helped to show me where I'm lacking in life, where I should be improving, and just how irritating it can be to be a parent!

Not Having Family

My girlfriend and I haven't had a single, real day off since the day my son was born. No, I'm not exaggerating, though many people don't believe us when we say it, we have not had a day off from our son in almost two years. Perhaps it is our fault that we do not want to put him in daycare until preschool, but it most certainly isn't our fault that we have no family members capable of watching him for us.

Every time I meet someone they are surprised to hear that we haven't had a day off in nearly two years, and for some reason they are even more astonished when I give a firm "no" to the unavoidable question of "Don't you have family that could help you?!"

This is, sadly, a truth we have to live with that my girlfriend's, and my own, family are full of all different types of abusers. My mother is, by my own definition, suffering from undiagnosed narcissistic personality disorder, her husband has what I was told is bipolar schizophrenia, my oldest brother is an agoraphobic hermit with a short temper, and my youngest brother lives like a caged animal and is what I would describe as near-rabid.

As for my girlfriend's family, her mother is some sort of weird senile egotist/hoarder mix that we can't be around anymore; we can't be around her because she attempted to lie to the state and have our son taken away from us. As for her father, well, last time she heard about him he had no legs and was a "ward of the state" somewhere unbeknownst to anyone for "his own safety".

Family is so important, make sure that your kids and their kids have you to fall back on for support!

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Finding Worthwhile Activities

I'll try to keep this short and simple because this section is so I can ask others to tell me what it is that they would suggest doing with young children. My son and I struggle to find things to do with one another, and this is really irritating because I don't want him watching TV and staying indoors all day. At the same time I don't want to deprive him of experiences other children will be getting, and the educational programs like Sesame Street are always acceptable viewing material.

Here's a list of activities in which we partake already:

Having become a parent I've thought long and hard about what we could be doing to further our son's progression in life, and he is progressing so quick it can be hard to keep up with his demand. Yet, things that he can partake in are so limited.

I'm sure as he gets older this very short list will get longer, but as of now I have so much trouble finding a way to keep a two year old entertained without sticking him in front of the television. It is irritating that many of the places I could take him, places designed for kids, are not designed for kids who cannot fully communicate yet. If you have some suggestions for me, and anyone else with toddlers, as to activities in which we may partake, please go to the comments section and let me know how you go about entertaining toddlers!

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Snobby Know-It-All Parents

My family and I, despite not having real political or social opinions, look like proverbial hippies. We dress, act, and look bohemian; when you live in the upscale suburbs, it is rare to be accepted by the "stick-up-the-butt" demographic that you find here. We like long, flowing clothes, bare feet, and to be outside even when we are supposed to be practicing things like "#SaferAtHome".

Our appearance alone is enough to scare away snobby, know-it-all parenting types, but that doesn't stop a certain vocal few from telling us how to live our lives. Mind you, I don't do or say anything I can't back up with staunch fact based in valid sciences, so in defending myself I tend to piss off these self-proclaimed "expert" parents. To be fair, them questioning me upsets me to begin with and their stuck-up and rigid lifestyle seems boring and overall limiting their capacity for experience.

God forbid I run into a Jesus-freak family who insists on preaching to me, then uses their religion to condescend to me rather than spread love; because there is no evidence for God as a deity, and there most likely never will be. I'm all for your right to express yourself, but I have the right to let you know that you're objectively wrong if you preach it to me as truth. Better to just keep your beliefs to yourself if they can't be proven to be real, and the objective evidence would prove that brainwashing is the main catalyst in the beliefs to begin with.

If you are the type to think you know better than other parents, you may be right so don't be a jerk about it. When you strive to present your beliefs as suggestions, not looking down on someone for things you perceive to be "lacking" or "regressive' in nature, you may just do someone and their family some good in the long-term. Then again, if you're the snobby type I'm referring to, I'd be surprised if you could see past your own nose to begin with and I'm most likely preaching to deaf ears.

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Tantrums, Tantrums, More Tantrums

Tantrums are just a natural piece of the territory that comes with being a parent, but that doesn't mean the worst of them don't grind our gears.

My least favorite tantrum is probably the one where the diaper is full of poop, and you know changing it is going to be a veritable wrestling match. Staying calm in this situation can be so difficult, it really takes you to the limit of your patience, and when you accidentally let your grip ease up and the poop gets all over the place.... Ugh, and then the continued screaming and crying while you clean the poop off of the ground and yourself just serves to throw salt on the wound.

Coming in at a close second would have to be the tantrum with no real solution; you know, that tantrum that comes just before nap time and can last for over an hour. You go out of your way to offer juice, snacks, milk, toys, and anything else you can find just hoping that the screaming will stop, until finally you look at the clock and remember what time they usually go down for their nap. Though it hurts, the only solution I've found to this tantrum is to let them cry it out.

Stay strong, keep being patient, the tantrums always pass and there is no need to get upset!

On a scale of 1-10, how difficult would you rate parenting to be?

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Let It Be!

If your child is happy, you are doing your job right! That is the only aspect of parenting that really matters, their happiness!

Keep Moving Forward

Despite how irritating being a parent can be, especially when you have no family for help and support, it is our job to keep moving forward right alongside our children. Luckily, seeing them progress in skill and intelligence, hitting those milestones earlier than others, makes it more than worth it. To be honest, I struggled to find a single thing to complain about that I wasn't exaggerating just to write this article (except the snobby parents portion, that is under-exaggerated).

Really the only reason I wrote this, the inspiration, is to see if I felt the same as other parents with bigger support systems and more privilege than myself that are always complaining; I've come to the conclusion that I actually love the struggles of being a parent and if it were any easier I don't think it'd be as much fun! Being a parent is probably my favorite job that I have ever had, it is definitely more rewarding than any other job at the very least.

My small family and I are going to keep moving forward, because with every new milestone parenting is only getting easier and more fun. I type this laughing as my son walks around with a MEGA BLOKS bag over his head, and can't help but feel I only wrote this to humor the parents who can't handle being parents.

Nonetheless, good luck out there parents! Keep pushing for a brighter future for your kids!

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    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      7 weeks ago from South Africa

      Ahhh, I see what you mean, and can then imagine the frustration...

      Good to hear things are looking up...

      All the best to you and your family too!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      7 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Trust me, Mitara, even after eight years my girlfriend and I still have the flames of interest and passion burning bright. A date night for us is an adventure for anyone else, lol!

      The hardest part is our living situation preventing us from really utilizing any free time we have. Pretty much we are confined to the bedroom, and when we are not we have to go for a walk to get away from the house. The people we live with are not really the type we want to be sharing space with, let alone having our kid around. With all this COVID-19 crap we haven't been able to move, but the second it is over I think we will have that situation solved.

      Things are looking up. Thanks for reading and I wish all the best to you and your family!

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      7 weeks ago from South Africa

      Well when it comes to this topic, and cannot say that since our family has expanded there was a date night.

      Honestly if there was one after years, you won't know what to do for most of the time, but end up speaking about the kids I assume, lol. I don't feel like I can entrust someone else to manage my children on the level that they would their own.

      When I did consider close family members while they were at toddler stage, picked up some characteristics of short temperedness, when I am around they can't social on a kids level so that lead me to cancel the thought and never think of it again.

      I am glad that my 2 are out of diaper stage and self managed. There are activities that I have accumulated throughout my reads including your ideas, so have filled their day after schoolwork.

      Hang in there, the years go by so quickly, maybe create some time while little one is asleep and have a party just the two of you.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      7 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Your wish of luck and suggestions are much appreciated, Pamela, and I think our future is looking quite bright! Hopefully that bright future comes sooner rather than later.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      Being a parent is a lot of work but the years pass quickly and there will come a time where you wonder where the years went. I read appropriate books and sand songs.

      My parenting was a long time ago, but I remember how the boys like to play with legos and anything they could build. I tried to teach them a lot of things as they got old enought to understand. When he gets a bit older he might like to color and then paint. Age appropriate toys is so important. I didn't have anyone to watch my 2 boys either. I did find a babysitter that let us get out for a very few hours on a couple of occassions. Good luck, Kyler.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      7 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      We don't do daycare because we can't see a reason to pay for it. There is no balance between a "productive" daycare like pre-preschool, and a "non-productive" daycare where only two children are allowed. Pre-preschool costs an arm and a leg, and the price of the other is so low I question whether or not it would be a good option. If my son's safety has such a low price, or his socialization would be preyed upon with a price equaling hundreds per month, he's better off with me.

      You know me Eric, especially if you've been following my articles, I talk to everyone regardless. There are a great many struggling way worse than me, but a great many more who whine incessantly with all the resources they could ever want for help. These individuals are of a certain demographic, and it seems to be the culture of the area that makes them bitch and moan over spilled milk. Nonetheless, when I associate with those people I offer to take their kids off their hands for a while.

      I'm the most loving person you'll ever meet, I just have extremely strong opinions! Regardless of my opinions, everyone is welcome to express theirs so long as they don't preach them to me as truth, and their opinions can't be totally ridiculous like "I haven't been able to drink on the weekends because I am stuck with the kids." Boo-frickety-hoo.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We have days off, we just don't take them at the same time. I would say that 3&4 were the most draining years. Being a stay at home dad, I have never lost a moment of rest. Now at ten, I bug him not the other way around.

      Hey a cool thing about day care is that they always need a hand. You give them a breather and they give you one. Doesn't need to be family. If you share the love baby there ain't no time for unhappy tears. Think of it as sharing the wonder that is your child.

      Chat up one of those "different" kind of people. I suggest that you find you have it damned well compared to them and so love and not anger is called for. As for clothes, we are half Vietnamese -- It is pajamas for us ;-)

      And here is the great bottom line, you take the time to learn and to care. Many many children do not get that at home.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      7 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      I bet having four boys was absolutely killer, Paula, but you powered through it like a boss!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      7 weeks ago from UpstateWestern,New York

      Did I find raising 4 sons (pretty much single-handedly) a teeney bit CHALLENGING??! Awwww.....those precious, sweet, neat & clean, fun-time boys of mine??? Never (cough.cough) not for a.....er, um, single moment.

      After they were all grown, in their own homes & in the care of other lovely women, I immediately had an elective lobotomy. I'm sorry, I'm afraid I don't remember a thing. I can't offer suggestions. In fact, I can barely form a complete sentence...........Good luck, honey!! I am sure you're doing a perfect job.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      7 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Things like that are some of Erin's favorite habits that Lucien has. Although he did pick up our habit of "bad" language and loves to hang out the window and yell it for all to hear. So far he has the "F-word" which he says "Fuh!", and shit which is "Sheh!"

      To be honest we encouraged him to say it just to make us laugh, and it really is quite humorous and cute to us, but we worry how stuck-up parents are going to perceive him when he gets knocked down by their kid and yells "Fuuuhhhh!" hahahaha!

      Kids and hats are really cute, I think they know it too. We actually got a great picture of him in my outback hat on Saturday. Perhaps I'll upload it when relevant.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Kyler, Christopher used to wear buckets and the wash cloth I kept on hand (he was a spitter upper) on his head. He loved wearing "hats".

      I have to tell you a funny. I'd read to Christopher every day since the day he was born. One day, we were sitting on his bedroom floor, with him in my lap) and I had just finished reading "What Makes Fred Say Yabba-Dabba-Do". It was an interactive book that had a button in the middle. Every time I read the words, "yabba-dabbo-do", Christopher was to mash the button and Fred (Flintstone) would say his famous words. After reading the book, I asked Christopher what made Fred say "yabba-dabba-doo" (things like a brontosaurus burger, Dino greeting him at the door, etc.) and his response was, "the button!". I laughed my ass off! What a smart kid!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      7 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      @Gypsy: We have and take part in most of those things already, I think I've sang Frosty the Snowman at least six times today as we flipped through the book, among the others he hands to me at least ten times per day. Doesn't like legos much, in his case mega bloks, but he loves wearing the bag on his head. Loves to sword fight, and race his trucks around with me. We are quite limited on the messy things we can do like paints and play-doh, as he will eat them and lose interest quickly while outside, though we do have all sorts of sketch pads we let him doodle on with those magic crayola markers that only show up on the special pads.

      I think I've thought about almost everything we could possibly do, and we do them every day if we can. Thanks for reading and the suggestions!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      7 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      @Shauna: He gets hours of freedom each and every day, he chooses to do everything we have available for him and never sticks to one thing. He'd be out the window over choosing any of what we have indoors, if I would let him, however. He has been quite independent since the day he could walk, and we only continue to encourage his further independence. Wish this stupid "mandatory" mask-on situation would end so I wouldn't have to worry about a fine for going for a walk, makes it hard to enjoy being out. Thanks for reading!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      7 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      @Farah: I appreciate your kind words and compliments, thank you for reading!

      @Fran: Luckily I have no expectations as far as my son and his development, so love, respect, and acceptance come quite easy to me in those regards. Thanks for reading!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Due to circumstance I would up having no children. However, I relate to kids when I have to. He is a growing boy and being only two you have to imagine his world. Let him started on easier Legos, find board games for kids from 2 years old. Interest him in pop-up picture books. And when all else fails to close your eyes and think if I was 2 what would I want to do? Oh, yes and finger paints and Play-Doh as you see I can go on and on.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Hey, Kyler! Yeah, parenting can be tough, but, as you know, it has its rewards, too. One thing I always told my son, who's an only child, is he's the only one in the entire world who can call me Mom. Not sure how that relates to your story, but I threw it out there, anyway.

      I stayed home with Christopher until he was two. I'd planned on being an at-home mom until he was three, but for financial reasons I had to return to the work force a year early. I didn't want to put him in conventional daycare, so I found a home care situation that worked for a while.

      Then, when my son was six, I divorced his dad and found myself a single mom who worked full time. It was pretty rough. He was diagnosed with ADHD in third grade, coupled with Conduct Disorder. Needless to say, child-rearing was challenging to say the least.

      I know what you mean about needing a break. Although my family is very loving, my mom, dad, sister and brother all live three hours away from me. Having one-on-one family help wasn't an option, although they were very supportive. Sad to say, the only breaks I got were after the divorce when Christopher spent every other weekend with his dad.

      I know. That's not a choice for you and your girl. Neither is daycare were you to choose that option, given today's environment and daycare centers having closed.

      It sounds like you're doing everything right by Lucien as far as coming up with activities that stimulate his mind, spacial skills, etc. The only think I can suggest to you is to give him some free time. Let him learn to entertain himself. Pay attention to what activities he reaches for when he's by himself. Give him a bit of independence and space. Let his creativity develop. Hopefully, this will allow you to catch your breath as well.

      Let his mind go to work and see which directions he takes. This will also let him learn to rely on himself somewhat and not depend on you for entertainment. I know he's only two, but he might get off on making some decisions for himself. With his level of intelligence, I don't think he's too young to start learning what it takes to make good decisions, reach for and attain dreams.

      Just a thought....

    • powers41 profile image

      fran rooks 

      7 weeks ago from Toledo, Ohio

      Interesting article. I've raised four kids, and each dances to their own tune. I had to work, single parent, and there were times I don't know how I did it. Just always show love and respect. I was lucky, but things don't always turn out like you think they should. Acceptance is vital for relationships growing and surviving. Something like the AA Creed.

    • Farah N Huq profile image

      Farah N Huq 

      7 weeks ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      You are a wonderful dad, Kyler! In my part of the world, it's taken for granted that the mother will take care of the child, no matter how hard it gets on her. I remember exchanging my day shifts with nights, so that I could spend the daytime with my son. That's how I got my sleep cycle messed up. I think you can tell that from my poems. Most of them are about sleepless nights.But I was blessed to have my parents to take care of him while I went off to the hospital. Never kept a nanny and here we don't have good day care facilities yet. So, I think you are doing a fantastic job taking care of your son. Children grow up anyways, but it's the bonding that remains, and the lessons that help to mould a baby into a better human being. Bless you both!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      7 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Ruby, I cannot believe I left that out, and I tank you so much for reminding me. That is actually the philosophy I want and try to live by! "If they're happy, what does it matter?"

      Of course within reason, because some people are happy destroying their lives.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      The only thing I might add is, if your child is happy, you are a winner! and from your writing I get the feeling that you are a happy camper because you're a proud Dad.

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