I'm no expert on parenting. In fact, when I meet people, I usually throw it right out there - I parent unconventionally. I don't always do everything right when it comes to being a parent, but no one does.
I have a hard time when I see or hear parents complain about spending time with their kids. (A quick side note: Addison and I are no doubt co-dependent. Spending so much one-on-one time for the past 12 years is my excuse, along with the fact we have each other to lean on during deployments.) I LOVE school vacations, days off, and weekends. I miss him when he leaves for school. He has pointedly asked me to NOT be home when he gets home from school, but I can't bring myself to do it. This is starting to sound creepy.
What I'm saying is, I enjoy his company. Not all of the time, because I am human. Addison is a talker; I'm usually pretty quiet. There have been times when I have said, "Please, for the love of God, just stop talking for five minutes."
I understand the need to vent, the need for alone time, and the wish that my family lived in the same town so I could actually drop him off there for a weekend. If Carol Brady had been a real person, no doubt she would have told Alice to watch her kids because she was meeting Mike for Happy Hour down at the local bar. If those damn happy kids got unruly, they could always go out back for some potato sack races.
I had one child by choice. I knew what I could handle and one was it. I have a lot of respect for anyone who chooses to have children, period. I also have respect for people who choose not to have kids, for any reason. That's their choice. I grew up saying I was going to have six kids. Then I realized what having six kids would actually be like. If I had just kept going, and had my own spawntourage, I would probably have my own show on TLC right now.
I see so many moms on Facebook wishing their child a happy birthday, and they always ask, "Where did the time go?" Addison is at that age where he would rather spend time with his friends than his parents. He's slowly slipping through our fingers, on his way to adulthood. Don't let those years you want to rip your hair out and wish Play-Doh was never invented go by too fast. Some day you might look back and realize those were the years you want back - when they let you kiss them without being embarrassed, when you're the prettiest woman in the world to them, when they want to marry you, not Katy Perry.
Get down on the floor and make a robot out of Legos. Put on the tiara and drink the pretend tea. Go to the zoo, the park, Chuck E. Cheese (they have beer there for a reason), go outside and catch fireflies, a snowflake on your tongue, or whatever you want to do.
The next time you're having a bad day, when you are wishing they are 18 and out of the house, go listen to "Teach Your Children" by Crosby, Stills & Nash. I guarantee you'll cry.