Sign Up: Writer | Buyer
Contact Us

Empire State Building
350 Fifth Ave, Suite 7313
New York, NY 10118
phone: (800) 704-6512

Price: $50.00
Minor modifications of this article are permitted to adjust to the available space or to the publication’s editorial style.
Being A Parent Aint So Bad After All
by Francesca Biller-Safran
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

Award-winning Investigative Journalist and Columnist with experience reporting breaking news, longer features and op-eds about race, politics, business, socioeconomics, arts and culture, ethics and parenting issues for newspapers, magazines, radio and websites. Awards include The Edward R. Murrow Award, two Society of Professional First Place Journalism Mark of Excellence Awards and two Golden Mike Awards for Excellence in Hard News and Best Series Reporting.

Even though parenting is the toughest job on my side of the fence, I still would not trade it anything. That is unless you would have asked me last night when I fantasized about selling my children to anyone promising to provide them a decent home, as long as I had visitation rights. Just a joke, no letters please, unless you are willing to make me an offer I can’t refuse.

Every day as any parent can appreciate; there are endless challenges, struggles, fatigue, hard work, poverty, guilt and stress. And those are the really fun days.

Of course there are also proud moments thrown in just to keep you interested in the job I love most. It’s a good thing you can’t see my face.

Every week my husband asks our daughter’s if they behaved well, completed their chores and whether they deserve their allowance. I always raise my hand and let them know that I’ve done my job and ask where my $6 is.

As a parent of three, you would think by now I would be used to the constant stream of messes, arguments and constant fatigue, and that’s only what I get from my husband. Don’t get me started on the kids.

Comedian Rita Rudner once said, “My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We just can’t decide whether to ruin the carpet or ruin our lives.”

I never imagined how overworked I would feel as a parent. And today I feel guilty when I remember my own parents trying to catch moments of peace quiet while I sang along to ‘The Rolling Stones’ and told my father to “Get Out of My Life.” You see, there is karma after all.

Just do me a favor. If you see Karma, please tell her she has done quite enough, and that we all get the point.

The great thing I can say about my own mother is that she never made us feel guilty that she “had” to mother us, or that we were all one big chore or bore. Never once do I remember her making us feel we were burdens, and all without vats of Valium or Xanax. Call me naïve—I don’t mind. Naïve is a friendly place.

This did not mean we did not receive our share of discipline, rules and advice. Even today I came home to her voice on my answering machine warning about the dangers of taking too much Tylenol. She once told me that I could die suddenly after years of barely hitting my head in some sort of combustible seizure-like attack.

In other words, this lifelong sentence of parenting never stops. And this is not a bad thing, especially if you happen to be a glutton for punishment, enjoy decades of work with no pay, weekend shifts, and no vacations ever- except for two-hour furloughs when you might occasionally be released for good behavior.

By the way, I received my furlough the other day in the mail but when I called the 800 number, I was told it had expired, just my Victoria’s Secret credit card. yes, I do have one of those- right next to my Safeway card.

There have been times when I definitely have wanted to throw in the towel, or throw all of my towels at my children, my husband, and anyone he has ever spoken to.

Just the other week, my kids and husband were sick and you know what that means. I had to serve as part-time nursemaid, sexy French maid, psychologist and Jewish Chicken soup-maker all in one, calm essence of a being.

By the end of the week, I felt so overwhelmed that I took a drive and sat in my car for an hour, just to laugh at myself and my situation, something very easy to do, if you happen to be me.

When I returned I felt renewed, hopeful and ready to tackle the battles of home life once again with my bullet-proof vest and earplugs on. Little did I realize that evening would entail 25 books to get my kids to sleep, along with making sure the remote was continually just within reach for my husband—who was sure he was dying. I asked him where he kept his insurance policy.

That night I got a call from a friend who only reminded me how lucky I actually was. She started the conversation with lamenting over what a terrible day she had. I told her I had a bad day too as everyone had been sick.

Without missing a beat, she said she knew exactly how I felt because her cat had been fussy and needed to be held all the time.

Even though I was dying to laugh and even hang up the phone, I realized she considered our jobs to be as equally significant; that of my raising my children and her raising her cat.

Instead, being the gracious friend that I am, I asked her what was wrong with her beloved cat, and how difficult it must be to have someone be so dependent. She said she was so stressed that she had to lie down for an hour and that she had to go.

For just a tiny moment, I felt envy as I could not imagine even lying even in the streets for an hour in quiet, let alone my own bed.
But then again, she doesn’t have anyone to lay with her, not a husband, children, a missing remote, a stained pillow from spilled Trix cereal, or Dr. Suess books jabbing her in her sides. Sometimes, that’s the most excitement I get all night.

She only has a big fluffy demanding cat who can’t talk to her about anything at all, or for that matter argue or whine. The last two I could actually do quite well without; although, I could go for a glass of wine right about now. Make it Merlot. 1988.

Next time any of you parents decide that it’s just all too much and you want to be all alone, think about my friend and her cat. You know, the one with wallet size pictures of it, with no Halloween costumes to sew or buy, no stories about school year after, year, and only cat-scratching and bell-ringing toys to buy at Christmas.

I dare you to be jealous.

And if you are, send the kids over to my house.

It’s the one with the crazy married lady raising three kids.

Published: Sep 15,2008 21:49
Bookmark and Share
You may flag this article with care.


Featured Authors
Andy Cowan
Andy Cowan, an award-winning writer, whose credits include Cheers and Seinfeld, regularly contributes humor pieces to the Los Angeles Times and the CBS Jack FM Radio Network.
Paul M. J. Suchecki
Paul M. J. Suchecki has more than 30 years of experience as an award winning writer, producer, and cameraman. He's written numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Currently he writes, produces and shoots for LA CityView Channel 35 and his more than 250 articles for are approaching half a million readers.
Coby Kindles
Coby Kindles is a freelance journalist, screenplay writer and essayist. She has been a staff writer at Knight Ridder and a regular contributor to The Associated Press.
Debbie Milam
Debbie Milam is a syndicated columnist for United Press International, an occupational therapist, family success consultant, and motivational speaker with more than 20 years experience. Her work on stress management, spirituality, parenting, and special-needs children has been featured in over 300 media outlets including First for Women, The Miami Herald, Elle, Ladies Home Journal, The Hallmark Channel, PBS and WebMD.
Dan Rafter
Dan Rafter has covered the residential real estate industry for more than 15 years. He has contributed real estate stories to the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Business 2.0 Magazine, Home Magazine, Smart HomeOwner Magazine and many others.
Jack Nargundkar
Jack Nargundkar has been repeatedly published in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He is also an author of "The Bush Diaries" published in July 2005.