“Is it difficult to take care of kids?”

January 7, 2009

in no manual for parenting

My 6-year-old boy asked me this question last night when I was putting him to sleep.  (Actually, I still need to sleep with him every night to get him to fall asleep which has been a subject of heated argument sometimes between me and my DH…  I guess I do tend to take the easier way out.  Sorry, Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken” is simply not for the time-crunched…)

My boy asked, “Mommy, can I ask you a question?  Is it really hard to take care of kids?”

Startled by the innocent yet loaded question, I employed the age-old trick, “What do you think?”  He thought about it and then said, “It must be hard.  But why?” So I tried to explain to him that unlike complicated machines that we have, babies do not come with instruction manuals, and each one is so different, and they behave differently on a day to day basis, so it is very difficult to know what the right things to do are.

I am such a lame parent…

Of course, now I wonder whether I have complained verbally out loud and he has heard me complaining about raising kids.  The natural extension of the complaint is, for a straight-forward thinker not privy to the complexities of parenthood, “I wish I didn’t have kids”. I hope he did not draw that conclusion on his own.

But I do have a confession to make: sometimes I do wish that I have kids that are more easy-going… which is, probably every other kid that is not mine that I have seen.

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