Dirty Little Secret

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What I’m about to share with you is something I used to not tell anyone. What I’m about to share with you is something I considered shameful for a long time. What I’m about to share with you may lead you to believe I’m a bad mother that must not love her children. What I’m about to share with you may cause you to think less of me. I understand not everyone will agree with me and some of you won’t understand and I’ve decided that’s ok.

Here it is:

I don’t like taking my kids to the park.

Whew. A weight has been lifted.

I’m sure some of you are looking up the number for Child Services so they can come take my kids away from their wretched mother. Many of you are praying for my soul because what I’ve just told you is right up there with hating puppies. Others of you may be staring at your computer screen, blinking, because you don’t understand how anyone could not like the park. It’s ok I do the same thing to the people that tell me they spend hours at the park with their kids and love every minute of it. Blank stares and blinking. Since my kids are older now they don’t request to go to the park very much but when they were little they loved it. Notice I said “they” loved it.

Here are a few reasons I don’t like the park/playground:

  1. It’s hot.
  2. There’s a chance I’m going to have to go down one of those tunnel slides that I can only imagine has a heavy coating of other kids’ urine all over it.
  3. Pushing my kid on the swing will only increase my chances of having to push someone else’s kid on the swing. His mom is nowhere to be found, likely posting about what a fun day she and her son are having at the park.
  4. Being on a seesaw with a kid is basically like doing squats over and over again. Not to mention I feel like an elephant when my kid gets on and nothing happens…I’m still on the ground.
  5. The water fountain never ever works.
  6. Trying to keep a toddler from falling or hurting himself raises my blood pressure to stroke level. (“Honey, no, you can’t go down that way. No, buddy. Budddyyyy. NOOOOOO!!!”)
  7. It’s hot.
  8. Learning to do the monkey bars is hard. After the 27th try, my kids’ legs might as well be tree trunks.
  9. When my kid asks me to watch him go down the slide for the 369th time, I kinda don’t want to.
  10. Never bringing enough water for my kids and now they’re “soooo thirsty”. Refer back to #5.
  11. Trying not to be awkward around other people’s kids so I don’t look like a creeper.
  12. Did I mention it’s hot?

Now, before we get all Judy Judgerson, I feel like it must be said there are things I like to do with my kids. I like to play catch with them, I like to watch movies with them, I like to bake with them (mostly), and I like taking them to Sonic for slushies. I think all of us are wired differently so we’re going to like different things, obviously. Generally speaking I like to let my kids help me bake. Now, if they ask me to play a board game that they don’t really know how to play, I want to go cry in the bathroom. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and preferences for that matter.

And guess what? Recently, I have come to find out I’m not the only one that doesn’t love the blessed park. It was like coming out of the proverbial closet. “You don’t like the park? Me too!” The power of the “me too” is real guys. There’s less shame when we have a “me too.”

I don’t know which book it’s in but Jon Acuff said something I love:

“Your willingness to be vulnerable gives others the gift of going second.”

So here it is guys. Feel free to go second. Feel free to leave a comment and say that thing that you don’t love to do with your kids. It’s ok. We know you do other awesome things as a mom or a dad. Here’s your chance to say that thing that you feel bad about not liking. And you know what just might happen? You’ll give someone else the opportunity to say “Me too!”


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