Being a parent isn’t always glamorous.
Sometimes parenting means painfully crouching in a stinky porta potty, cursing, face inches from the filthy bowl, and attempting to work loose the five knots a 7-year-old tied in his soccer shorts, the boy dancing a jig, attempting not to crap his pants, and thinking, "I'm in hell right now".
Sometimes parenting means crawling around on all fours, a pillow on your back like a saddle, a homemade harness around your neck, a five-year-old riding you like a horse, saying “Giddyup, daddy,” and thinking, “I must really love this kid.”
Sometimes parenting means scrubbing poo, boogers, and French fries out of your car seats while gagging.
Sometimes parenting means kissing your partner with the lights down low, bed pulled down, romantic music playing, and having the mood crushed by a five-year-old demanding a glass of water.
Sometimes parenting means waking up five times in the night to the tune of a screaming baby, and near sunrise, when you are beyond exhaustion, a small hand grips your index finger, and you feel warmth in your heart. This is what it means to unconditionally love another person.
Sometimes parenting means doing load after load of dishes, only to look at a full sink right before bed, and wonder if you’d made any difference.
Sometimes parenting means telling your son to put on shoes, and telling your son to put on shoes, and telling your son to put on shoes, only to make it all the way to soccer practice without his shoes, and feeling like a pathetic parent who can’t do something as simple as get your child to put on his f-ing shoes.
Sometimes being a parent means walking in on your seven-year-old and five-year-old laughing and looking at their buttholes and thinking, “I have no idea how to handle this situation.”
Sometimes parenting means reading the same poorly written Frozen children’s book every night for three months and then finding yourself singing, “Let It Go” while alone in the car.
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Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress, and an angry baby girl. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His work has been featured in Good Morning America,The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, Fast Company, and elsewhere. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.