February's Honest Parent: Brian Murphy
My great parenting strength is: I like to joke around and be as goofy as my kids are. I'm not sure if that's a strength but, cracking them up makes all of us happy and that can't be bad.
My greatest parenting weakness is: My lack of patience. I hate losing my temper but, it's just un avoidable sometimes. They have the energy to go full steam all day and by 7 pm, I'm exhausted. And although I've never said "shut the f-ck up!" out loud - I've thought it pretty damn hard.
What have you learned about yourself specifically because you became a parent?
That I had the capacity to BE a parent. Going in, nobody knows what having children really involves, and you get tested every minute, every day. You pretty much make it up as you go along and you've got one chance to get it right. All you do is second-guess yourself and go from a proud poppa with a heart so full of love you want to have a dozen more babies to unfathomable depths of misery and self loathing because you're an utter failure as a parent and husband. All of that usually happens before dinner.
What do you wish someone had told you before you became a parent?
Get more sleep. Take naps. Oh, and realize your life is over. That part of it before kids anyway. Leave it behind and move on.
How often do you compare yourself to what you think other parents are doing--or what you "should" be doing?
More often than I care to admit. Although I'm judging them too.."Can you believe what XXX is letting them stay up till eleven?!?"
Describe your worst moment as a parent.
One time I ran into the house while they were in the car (NOT running, btw.) and they crawled into the backseat thinking they were being funny. I didn't realize what sheer terror was until I was convinced my child was missing.
Is there one thing you give yourself a pass on?
Letting them watch tv. And the computer. I had such grand plans about not letting them watch more than 15 minutes a day... then I realized how niave that was. Sometimes you just need to go to the bathroom ...alone.
How has having kid/s affected your sex life?
Morning sex is the new normal.
How have you grown as a person since becoming a parent?
Without a doubt. [I’m] much more patient with my mom. The first time I had to clean my first born’s diaper at 3 am on a February morning, having him pee on me for the trouble....I called my mom the next day and apologized for everything I had ever done.
Do you really feel like you are doing the best you can? Could you do better? How? What keeps you from doing better?
I think being the best parent has to involve taking care of yourself. Quit smoking, cut back on drinking, eat healthier and get plenty of rest and you'll be a nicer, more focused person. Kids demand your full attention and they're brutally honest about your shortcomings, so you have to be at the top of your game.
What quality in yourself do you fear is most likely to lead to failure as a parent?
Laziness. Losing my temper. Those two things will make for an unhappy house.
If you could do it over again what would you do differently?
Have them earlier. And have more.
What would you have done last year if you didn’t have children?
Wasted more money. I'd have a playstation 4 and maybe a new car. Basically, I'd just be deeper in debt.
How do you think you're doing in comparison to your parents?
My parents divorced when I was nine, so, much better. Not that they were bad parents, they were great individually just, not so great together.
What’s your most brutally honest parenting advice?
If you don't want them, don't have them. Don't let a partner sway you one way or the other.
Would you want to be raised by you?
Sometimes. But if I could pick my parents, I'd pick Julia Child and Mr. Rogers.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for sites like Pop Matters and
afterellen.com Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," was called “poetic and heartrending” by ALA Booklist. Sarah is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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