Raising Richmond: Parenting confessions

Sometimes we forget that parents are also people, each with their own hang-ups, quirks, and big, stinking flaws. We’re sharing ours with you. Feel free to air your dirty laundry as well…

Editor’s note: Today’s feature is the newest installment of our parenting column written by two sets of Richmonders: Jorge and Patience Salgado (veteran parents of four gorgeous children), and Ross and Valerie Catrow (parenting rookies who have only been doing this “raising a child thing” for a little while). Check back fortnightly to watch them discuss/agree/disagree/throw down over all kinds of parenting issues, Richmond-related and beyond.

Today’s question: What are your top five parenting confessions?

These are coming from the mamas. We hope the dads will weigh-in as well.

Patience Salgado

1. Using the “S-word” and other four letter gems.

When I was growing up the “s-word” was shut up, not the true expletive that rhymes with mitt. My mother is much more dignified than I am, I guess. I must admit I am finally more aware of my sailor status now that the kids are older and after about 1,000 Judgey Joanna looks from Jorge.

2. Bedtime, what’s bedtime?

For years, years people, bedtime barely existed in our house. Jorge worked long hours so we spent much of our family time with the night owls. It was a good thing our preschool was very laid back and didn’t mind if we strolled in at 10am. I used feel like I was living in some kind of toddler frat house. It was awesome.

3. I’m a candy stealer.

I love to steal Halloween and goodie bag candy from my children. I don’t even mind that it isn’t dark chocolate; I’ll eat the Nerds, too. What can I say? I love candy. I would have been one of those greedy kids in Willy Wonka I’m sure.

4. I hate homework.

I have a really hard time getting all into school. Before all the teachers start throwing apples at me, I completely value their contribution and I absolutely do my part. Well, usually. I just have a hard time drumming up the intensity for projects, grades and the like. I want to know they are being kind, working together and get an A+++ super star in people skills I guess.

5. We ignore them.

Jorge and I were accused by our children of spending too much time together. “You guys are ALWAYS alone, talking and stuff, being together, blah, blah, blah…” Josiah said. Granted, all of us are in the same room 90% of the time, and I would challenge that we have a significant amount of real family interactions. This being said, I know what he meant, we have been known to ignore them in order to be friends. This parenting confession is quite alright with me, if we do it right, he’ll be “ignoring” his kids one day too.

Valerie Catrow

1. I hide in the bathroom. A lot.

Not when I’m taking care of my son alone – in that situation he usually just toddles right on in with me. But when my husband and I are both home, I probably visit the facilities a little more than I actually need to. Here’s why: when I realize I need a break, I need it right then, or else I get frustrated and just kind of mean. When you say to someone, “I need to go to the bathroom,” it’s not like they’re going to argue with you or suggest that you take your child along. It’s brilliant! And I fully realize that I’ve sabotaged myself by even admitting this (The things I do for this website).

2. I compare myself to other mothers.

I’m always looking at other mothers to see if their diaper bags are neater than mine, if their children are cleaner, if they are just more put together than I am in general (which they usually are). Why do I do this? I have no clue. I would be mortified if someone were doing the same to me.

3. I laugh at him when he cries.

I am 100% convinced that this a biological reaction engineered by Mother Nature to keep mothers from abandoning their screaming, squawking children. When JR squeezes out those big, fat tears while wailing over some toddler-perceived catastrophe (like not being allowed to consume a roll of toilet paper — never over an injury or anything serious) I usually laugh in his face. It’s HILARIOUS. Most of the time.

4. Germs? Meh.

Sure, we wash our hands, but I don’t really care about germs. I tried really hard to care, but I just don’t. I’m not going to freak out if he shares a little drool with another kid or has a quick makeout sesh with the table at Joe’s Inn. He’s a kid! Kids are gross and dirty. And I’ll have you know that he’s had maybe two colds in his life; all of that exposure has created an immune system of steel. (But before you bring out your pitchforks, I am diligent about cleaning up any aftermath he leaves, as I realize other people might not share my “It’s fiiiiiiine” mentality.)

5. Having another child terrifies me.

It’s not because my son is bad or challenging. Quite the opposite, actually. He’s a great eater, he started sleeping through the night at around six weeks old, and he’s a generally happy and fun little guy. We lucked out and I sometimes feel like we’d be tempting fate to have another go. Not only that, I’m floored by my love for this kid on a daily basis. I fear I would be rendered paralyzed if that love were multiplied by two.

Now it’s your turn

We know you’re not perfect. Spill it…

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Patience Salgado

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