09/28/2015 11:43 am ET Updated Sep 28, 2016

The Parenting Crux

Vstock LLC via Getty Images

I'm a numbers person. I'm logical. I like methodologies and well executed plans. I enjoy measuring risk versus reward when making major decisions. Also, I'm a quitter. Life is short and there is no way I'm going to spend my time doing something I'm bad at when I can totally be spending my time doing something I'm really good at. I'm all for trying and giving it your all, but realistically speaking, there is no way I'm going to put my time and energy into something that will absolutely have a negative outcome. I'm happy to quit and move on to a challenge that will be successfully completed.

Cue parenting. For real. Parenting. The problem with parenting is that you don't know if you did a good job until they are adults. And by that time, there is no going back to correct or fix the mistakes you may have made along the way. It's a 25 year long game. There are some truly terrible adults in this world. I'm sure their parents had no intentions of raising despicable humans but unfortunately, they did anyway. I don't like doing something without knowing how it's going to turn out. It scares the hell out of me. And maybe, I'm a little bit of a control freak. Maybe.

It's one of those things that you don't really think about when you're newly married and every human you come in contact with is asking when you plan on having a baby. "Oh, someday, but right now we are really just selfishly enjoying each other." Then one day you pee on the stick and it turns out you're pregnant. Your mother cries, and then everyone tells you how great looking your children will be, all the while they aren't the ones responsible for turning it into a contributing member of society. I remember the first few weeks after we brought our first born home. I've never felt so dumb and useless in my life. The "maternal instinct" was something that clearly was not passed onto me. I read enough books where I knew, mechanically, what I was supposed to do, but none of it seemed natural. If this were any other normal challenge thrown my way, I would have thrown in the towel a few months in. But alas, I'm an adult, I know how babies are made, my husband and I knew exactly what we were doing when we were doing it and we were gainfully employed with a house and cable TV. So, you know, we're in it for the 25 year long game.

A few years later our second born came home. All it did was remind me how terrible I am at babies. Luckily, my oldest gave me the greatest gift a child can give his mother a month before his baby brother was born and that was that he potty trained himself. I only had to deal with one size of diapers at the time. But man, there were times when I really just wanted to quit. Nothing I did felt natural. And that's when I began thinking of the moms of the kids who turned into awful adults. I really don't think they planned on raising bad people. And I really don't want to raise a despicable human. I sometimes think that maybe they weren't hugged enough as children, so I hug my boys a lot. I tell them that it's my job as their mother and they just have to deal with it (while they roll their eyes at me). I have no idea if this works. I won't know for a while.

Luckily, to keep me going, there have been a few instances where my sons have shown me that they might turn out OK. For example I overheard the two of them in the next room playing Coast Guard rescue one day last year. The set they have came with a female Coast Guard action figure.

Oldest son: Here let's play -- you can be the Coast Guard girl.

Youngest son: (in his meanest, angriest voice) I'M NOT THE COAST GUARD GIRL!


Youngest son: (in his meanest, angriest voice) I'M THE COAST GUARD WOMAN!




I swear to you, I was in the kitchen holding a dish towel and after I heard him say that he was the Coast Guard woman I pretty much spiked the towel the way Gronk spikes a football after a touchdown and then went in and just kissed both of my kids on the lips and then walked out while they stared at me like I was a crazy person. "Love you boys" I called over my shoulder as I walked back to the kitchen.

But again, I won't know for another 15-17 years if this all worked out.

Fingers crossed!