The Entitlement Epidemic 1 - Our Unschooling Journey - Part 5

in #parenting5 years ago (edited)

Adults can be such big babies

There’s no shortage of articles lamenting the “culture of entitlement” afflicting today’s children. There are almost none addressing the same sense of entitlement among parents. In the next few posts I want to address a short and by no means exhaustive list of things I hear parents on a regular basis claim entitlement to.

Alone Time, Date Nights, and Adult-Only Hours

Are there times I want to myself? Yes. Yes, there are. I am a loner by nature. If I hadn’t stumbled into this wonderful and unplanned family life I would have been happy alone but for a cat and an endless supply of books. Instead, I had a baby. Then another. And finally one more.

Luckily I had already gotten my tubes tied before seeing this. Pretty sure it sterilized me entirely

Since I decided to have children - the children did not petition me from heaven to bring them into the world - I feel if anyone in this situation is “entitled” to my time, it’s the child I created with a stomach hungry for food and a soul hungry for love, attention, and affection.

I get that mom and dad want time to themselves and that it doesn’t mean they love little Suzy any less, but little Suzy does not get that. Little Suzy wants to know what is wrong with her that mommy and daddy can only enjoy themselves at a restaurant without her, or in the living room after she’s been sent to bed three hours before she’ll be tired, or why they need time when no one else is around them at all.

Pictured: What your kid sees when you explain sweetly how important it is for the grownups to have some time to themselves

There are plenty of times these days that my 10-year-old daughter wants me to watch, do, or make something when I’m exhausted and I really just want to relax. I choose to watch, do, or make anyway, nearly every time. She’s not always going to be ten. She’s not always going to need me, but right now she does. She may not “need” me to make her bowl of cereal or cup of tea – she’s entirely capable of doing so herself – but she does need me to show her I care by investing the time to do it for her. How do I know this? Because she asks me to do it.

I don’t care that I’m the grown up and I earn the money and I brought them into this world (as if I was doing them a favor); if my children aren’t entitled to me playing their favorite game with them or making nachos at 7 am (I did that today), I’m certainly not entitled to a day getting mani-pedis and lunching alone at a nice eatery.

However, Parenting Experts have found through Science that using the Face Spa pictured here will dramatically reduce your child's desire to be near you

I regret nothing; my children have brought me more joy and wonder than I ever could have imagined existed in the world outside the pages of a book. And since I began to view with extreme skepticism the claims of how adversarial and controlling parenting had to be, I’ve found that I want to do the kid stuff more and more. I miss doing more for my boys who are older and don’t want my help. Someday soon I’ll be missing that with Lily as well, when she discovers how much she enjoys being independent. Until then, I’m not going to waste one more minute insisting on time for “me.” There’ll be plenty of time alone later. Right now, I have children who need my time and I’m going to give of it generously.

I'm out!

Thank you for again making it to the end. If you've got a story to share, I invite you to comment. Would you like to read more of our journey from fear to fun? I would be thrilled if you would follow. Do you think others might find help or hope in our story? I would be honored if you would resteem!


Well said!

Even babies who are worn and children who were attachment patented become adolescents seeking independence at some point. When they start having sleepovers with friends, you start getting adult time. It's not like parenting is 18 solid years of constant interaction with your child...unless you've set it up to be that way. I'd say unschoolers and homeschoolers would run the highest risk of needing date night on account of parenting exhaustion, yet I know lots of people who unschool and none of them feel like dedicated adult time was needed for a healthy family dynamic. Did they enjoy the heck out of their time when the kids spent the day at their grandparents? You'd better believe it.

Kids change phases so fast it is difficult to get perspective unless you have a few separated in age, which I don't. Sometimes I feel like I had more adult time when my daughter was a baby than now when she is 7. It didn't seem so at the time, but I don't think I'm just being nostalgic. One spends two years waiting to stop changing diapers and mixing formula only to realize babies are way more portable that way! I've come to accept things don't get easier or harder exactly. They just change. One chore goes away and another takes it's place, but the same is true of the unique experiences each age brings.

Mine is an only. She just turned 11, and suddenly EVERYONE is cooler than me. And I'm the cool, fun mom according to her friends. I've always been a single mom, so we're exceptionally the point that I've sometimes worried that it would set her up for social failure later in life. But based on the blocks of kid-free time I get when she goes to play at friends' houses, she's going to do just fine.

I know what you mean. If we aren't beating ourselves up about not giving our kids enough attention, we're worried about giving them too much! I was an only parent of an only child for awhile, and I think she actually became more social than many other kids her age! Probably got tired of only seeing Dad's face day after day. My wife and her daughter were definitely in the same boat. The two girls, who are similar in age, are now inseparable. When they are getting along, they inhabit their own world where no adult may enter. And I guess I'm fine with that!

Yeah, that's how our boys are now. They are practically a two-person island.

"Sometimes I feel like I had more adult time when my daughter was a baby than now when she is 7."

My daughter (youngest) is 10. She never slept in my bed once she stopped nursing. Then all of a sudden like three months ago she started wanting to "have sleepover girl's nights" and has practically moved in, lol. Dad has taken to the couch most nights because she's just in this very 'clingy' phase. But it will pass and then I'll likely miss it. The boys are so independent now, I'm overjoyed if one of them LET'S me do something for him let alone ASKS for it.

My step daughter comes in most nights, usually after midnight when she's slept in her own bed for a few hours. Then she has to be pried out with a crow bar when it's time for school :-) I often head to the couch to, but that is more often due to cats than kids. My bio daughter has slept through the night in her own room since 4 months. I found myself missing the quiet times in the middle of the night when I would feed her a bottle and watch star trek reruns. Kid could sleep through nuclear war these days. When she is sick though she asks if I can sleep in her room and I'm like "um... Yes!"

Thank you for these insights!

I think like you on this matter.
I actually like being around my children!

Thank you for this series. Parenting is wierd thing for me because I feel like both an old soldier and a guy who is winging it every day. I became a single dad when my kid was a toddler. I always felt at a bit of a disadvantage, but I learned by hard knocks. It is just wierd to not really have another person to check you. But I am remarried as of last fall so now I have that. I told my wife about these posts and we've had some interesting discussions.

Great Read, I followed you, as you post readable material that is easy to follow. :) there are very few who actually post something I will read in entirety.

Thanks! I felt the same reading yours. There are some new folks with very good content and I want to help them succeed. I'd hate for this to become just memes, spam, and links to other people's work... or really, really unreadable stuff lol.

Yeah, im about to start slimming my follow list, the honeymoon period is over


Great post, @jrhughes. Also, FYI, I read parts 1 and 2 of your "Seed" dystopia story. You paint the picture very well and I look forward to more!

Thanks! Your comedic diaries just make my day lol. I got Part 3 up and I'm hoping to have Part 4 over the weekend. My new job is a little less flexible so I have been short on writing time but I'm hoping to start stockpiling on the weekends to parse out over the week and have steady posts available. This is such a cool platform I hate to get lax about it.

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