Guarantees … You Get The Ones You Don’t Want So Stop Hitting The Snooze Button

14 Sep

They said it. I was listening to a lecture and they said it.

They didn’t know me, but it was like they were talking to me.

… to the mom that’s worried about the future of her kids, worried that something might happen, you’re terrified about all these terrible things that might happen to your kids … You know what, it might … This happens to mothers. The worst might just happen. But you have to realize that you have today. You get a shot. You get to raise this kid and you only have the joy of trying it today …

You’re trying to get a guarantee that your kid won’t end up screwed up. But you don’t get guarantees. Our desperate addiction to certainty and guarantee robs you of the joy of this moment, which is you get to try it now… you get a few years to raise this kid, you don’t get any guarantees, but you do get this moment to enjoy that kid, to give your best shot of being their mom and dad and that’s what you get … –Rob Bell

He said it.

And he was right. I do look for guarantees. I work hard, try hard, leave it all out there, and hope for the best, but in truth I am looking for a guarantee that my kids will be all right in the future. Isn’t that why I’m giving it all I’ve got?

But he’s right. I’ve got no assurances. And even though this scared the crap out of me, it was also a reminder. Stop hitting the snooze button. Stop! I needed to continue focusing on the present, on the moments between then and now. In life and in parenting, my proactive nature would be for the best in the long run. Don’t hit the snooze.

You wake up in the morning and realize you’ve got another chance to do it right, and at night you go to sleep and hope to put all the mistakes behind you (that piece of advice I just heard recently from Elizabeth Gilbert).

So no matter how well you walk the line, you don’t get guarantees, not the kind you want anyway, especially when it comes to kids or life. Crappy stuff happens. Sometimes it’s stuff that you’ll be able to find humor in right away, and other times it will be stuff that will take longer to recover from because your heart is broken.

But for parents trying to find the humor, here are the Top Seven Guarantees of Parents with kids 7-under …

  1. Just before you’re about to walk out the door, your kid will take a serious poop in their diaper that probably leaks onto their pants.This will require more than just wipes, in fact it will be a complete hose down and you’ll be late to wherever you’re going and for some reason you’ll still smell poop and realize that it’s on your shirt while you’re driving to wherever you’re going and you’ve got no extra shirt.
  2. No matter how hard you try to keep the peace your kids will argue about who had the red Lego first, about who was the first to open the door, about who didn’t want to play with who, about whose turn it was to watch Nick Jr, about which Superhero has the greatest superpower, and about the motion of the Earth … yup they’ll argue at least once a week, or once a day, and that will raise your blood pressure, give you gray hairs, and drain you of every ounce of energy you’ve got. It’ll make you wish you had a chocolate stash in every room of the house but you can’t because those bastard ants are crawling everywhere.
  3. You’ll have to talk to a pretentious prick of a parent the kind you wouldn’t lend your jumper cables to, all because your kid and their kid hang out at school and they’re trying to arrange a play date.
  4. You’ll always have spilled CapriSun, Goldfish Crackers, Wheat Thins, Craisins, Cheerios,  and remnants of a once crispy In-and-Out french fry in every crack and crevasse of your car and you won’t be made aware of them until your kid throws up in the car, which is also an assurance.
  5. You’ll have to go to Chuck E. Cheese  once during your parenthood existence and you’ll vow never to return again to that craziness, but know full well that it’s a lie.
  6. Bedtime doesn’t go according to schedule, between the bubble baths, teeth cleaning, ironing of clothes, reading of books and multiple attempts of trying to sleep in my bed instead of their own, bedtime happens about thirty minutes after you really wanted.
  7. They’ll hug you or smile at you at least once a day. And their laugh will make you feel good.  (This is the one you aim for everyday).

The teenage years bring about a different set of guarantees … more than seven I imagine … I’ll let you know when I get there.




8 Responses to “Guarantees … You Get The Ones You Don’t Want So Stop Hitting The Snooze Button”

  1. bgddyjim September 15, 2015 at 2:08 AM #

    Ah, but you do get guarantees… if I do the best job I can to be the best dad I can, aim low even, just better than my dad, I am guaranteed that I gave it my best shot… I have done the best with what I can control. Me.

    The rest is a roll of the dice.

    • The Guat September 15, 2015 at 10:52 AM #

      Duuuuuude yes! That’s exactly what he was saying 🙂 you gave it your shot the best one you had, being in the present and realizing that, was a great reminder that the rest is a a roll of the dice. Roll of the dice…I like that 🙂

  2. claywatkins September 15, 2015 at 4:24 AM #

    Thanks I needed this – teach 8th grade and try to raise a senior in high school and 7th grader – both are great kids and challenges all at the same time. Savor the moment! Thanks.

    • The Guat September 15, 2015 at 10:54 AM #

      Teenagers … Yes that’s definitely the time to remember that you’re doing your best, you’re giving it your shot, that’s the moment you’ve got 🙂 the rest … well just as my buddy says it’s the roll of the dice 🙂 glad I was able to help you today 🙂

  3. cravesadventure September 15, 2015 at 6:03 AM #

    I am not a parent, however; I am an Aunt and those 3 boys gave me a run for my money some days – ha! I think they were easier as toddlers than teenagers. They are now 18, 19 and 21 – how did that happen?!? I did my time at Chuck E Cheese and McDonald’s Play Land. #7 is the BEST though and the fact that those 3 boys love me, accept me and think I am pretty cool is an added BONUS 🙂

    Happy Day – Enjoy!

    • The Guat September 15, 2015 at 10:57 AM #

      Duuuuuude 18, 19, and 21? Duuuuuude I definitely hope they love me at that age 🙂 you sound like a great aunt though, a positive force, so it doesn’t surprise me that they accept and love you 🙂 thanks for checking me out 🙂

      • cravesadventure September 15, 2015 at 11:00 AM #

        I have two nieces too – 21 and the other in her mid-20’s with 3 girls of her own all under the age of 5. I really try hard to be their neutral, middle ground and if they need a mediator in talking things out with their parents I am there. Good Kids 🙂

  4. anotherday2paradise September 18, 2015 at 6:59 AM #

    Thanks for the smiles today, TG. It’s a long time ago now, but I still remember. 🙂

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