28 Jul Are You a Default Parent?
Reading that title you might wonder: Is this blog about a parent who goes through the motions of parenting as if they are set on “default” mode but doesn’t put in a lot of effort? It couldn’t be further from the truth. I only learned the term last month. And the minute I heard about it, I thought someone had bugged my house and decided to coin a term to describe my complaints.
A default parent is defined as the parent to which the child (or in my case children) run to no matter what issue comes up. Meaning, even if the other parent is sitting right next to said child/children, they will choose to get up and go searching the home for the other parent—the default parent. Unfortunately, this blog does not teach you how to undo that title. Unlike on my printer, there is no button to un-click that option in the setup preferences.
If you’re that said parent, I bet you feel I’m speaking directly to you. You’re not alone. When I sign my name from now on, I may add ‘Default Parent’ to the endless titles I already hold. On top of it all, we are in a pandemic, which means my family is still at home socially distancing, so my children default to me at all times of the day.
My children will choose to come find me while I am almost anywhere, doing anything:
- While in the bathroom (yes, even on the toilet)
- While showering
- While working out
- While cutting raw meat
- While changing
- While washing dishes
- While cleaning toilets/bathrooms
- While trying to speak to clients
- While recording a podcast
The list is endless, but these are my personal favorites on a daily basis. Since I have my own business and now work from home 99% of the time, I find this is a sad daily reality for me. Let me add, the one place I found the default parent might be least likely to be bothered is folding laundry, because everyone—spouse included—is afraid they will be asked to help.
If you are this parent, this blog is to tell you I see you and hear you. I want you to know you are not walking this path alone as a default parent. And no, you probably didn’t see it coming when you became a parent. It’s a role that is granted to you by the child. Many will tell me that I should feel honored my kids want to be around me so much. For those of you who truly believe that, please walk away from me. It’s best we not converse if that’s your only advice for me. I am forever going to be the default parent in my home and I will admit, I don’t care much for it, especially when my stress level is already at a peak with this damn pandemic. It can feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel for when my kids can be outside without me shuffling around, yelling at them to keep their distance from people and put their masks back on!
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