On this blog I talk a lot about parenting and being a single parent. But, I have to wonder if I’m really a parent or if I’m just pretending to be a parent so I’ll have something to say on this blog.
Sometimes, when I start writing about being a parent, it’s difficult to determine if the parenting behavior I am describing is really the parent I am or the parent I think I am or the parent I would like to be!
Am I really a parent, a dad (or maybe a mom), or just a wannabe parent?
Then, I find myself in the checkout line at the grocery store with the kids and the nosy clerk remarks how I seem to have my hands full. Or I take the children to the park and a rude parent inquires if my kids have ADHD.
My standard response to these questions and comments is, “They are spirited, aren’t they?” which I bemusedly utter with a perplexed smile to hide my outrage and indignation!
So, I suppose it’s just a matter of perspective as to whether the children are a “handful” or “ADHD” or merely “spirited.” But, my perspective often seems to be that of an accepting grandparent rather than a disapproving parent.
Now, it’s a parent’s job to tell their kids “No” and a grandparent’s job to tell their grandkids “Yes.” So, if I am a real parent, wouldn’t I be casting more non-approving glances towards the children? Wouldn’t my body language scream “Stop it?” Wouldn’t the word “No” fly constantly out of my mouth?
I fear that much too often I am indulging the children by giving them a look of approval to remind them how cute they are when a real parent would disapprove of their craftiness! And, I’m thinking their behavior is “spirited” when a real parent would realize it’s obnoxious!
It seems to me like I’m suffering from a false sense of parenting. I’m pretending to be a real parent when I’m really just a grandparent…
And then I have to wonder, “Can a grandparent ever really be a parent?”
I suppose I’m just a grandparent trying to impersonate a parent, a role-playing dad (or mom). And, all my parenting talk on this blog is probably just theatrics!
But, maybe allowing the children to be their spirited, sometimes obnoxious, and crafty selves won’t harm their little psyches too much. And maybe it’s possible, in spite of my overindulgent, grandparenting ways, that the children will grow up into well-adjusted, loving, and productive human beings.
Meanwhile, and for your Internet entertainment, I’ll just keep playing like I’m a real parent!