I feel like there are 4 types of parents; 1) some people are "born" to be parents, great intuition, patience, and communication skills with kids, 2) some people are just awesome people who are amazing parents because they are so awesome, 3) some people work to figure this parenting thing out, and 4) some people should never be allowed around kids, ever, no matter what. While for Gunner's sake, I wish I was more like #1 or #2 (my wife is annoyingly some hybrid of #1 and #2, that is why I can't stand her sideways glances when Gunner and I are not meeting eye to eye on an issue), but in truth, myself and most adults on this planet are #3s. (Thank God I can safely admit I can proudly remove myself from any consideration of being a #4. I ain't that bad.)
But being a #3, one very key component is to "find" the joys of being a parent. #1s innately just know where it is. #2s are masters of finding the joy in everything in life so with kids, it's no different. #4s are clueless donkeys who can't figure it out. But for most of us, parenting can very easily become a grind when the kid isn't all giggles and high fives.
In these moments, it is time to "find" the joy and here are a few examples from my experiences.
1) Gunner is aggravatingly whining and clingy for no real reason for hours. His only comfort is being held or being swung through the air for amusement. Gunner is also massively heavy and chubby and this is takes its toll on my arms and back. The joy: make a gym routine workout, creating reps and sets, varying angles such as lifting from low right to high left to work the core also. He is now a 32 lb medicine ball. Thank you Gunner, it's beach season.
2) Gunner is obsessed with being outside. July in New Orleans is as hot as Hansel from Zoolander. He aggravatingly whines when we don't go when he wants to. The joy: two scenarios, a) our neighbor's feral cat army is sleeping in our carport and we do a blitzkrieg rush to chase them off, or b) I leave outdoor chores for myself. Now our solar panels are clean, our decorative outside lights are fixed and hung, our palm trees are trimmed, etc. Thank you Gunner for helping spruce up the patio and scaring the freeloading cats away.
3) While Gunner eats a ton of food, the variety of what he is eating has been shrinking. The joy: In efforts to boost the creativity of his intake, I am able to convince my wife to allow us to eat less than healthier but oh so delicious things. Cinnamon rolls, chips and queso, various pizzas....it is awesome. We even started doing cinnamon toast, CINNAMON TOAST! I haven't made myself cinnamon toast since I was 12 and now I have had a slice almost every day this month. Thank you Gunner.
And there other scenarios. I juggle a soccer ball in the house because "I am teaching Gunner". I take the remote because "I don't want Gunner watching too much tv or watching my wife's bad reality shows and learning how to act like Ramona". Find the joy so it doesn't feel like a chore. I mean, every kid needs to whip and then Nene, so get over it and enjoy.
Sign of the tough times....for child AND parent....