March's Honest Parent Claudia Pyne
Fill in the blank:
My great parenting strength is: improvisation. One needs to wing it quite often as a parent.
My greatest parenting weakness is: I don’t know how to ask for help… also a personal flaw.
What have you learned about yourself specifically because you became a parent?
It’s really scary to be responsible for another human being. I can’t believe I survived it. I found that I was stronger than I realized.
What do you wish someone had told you before you became a parent?
Get the drugs, right off.
How often do you compare yourself to what you think other parents are doing--or what you "should" be doing? All the time. I have always been a people watcher so when I was pregnant I made a list of do’s & don’ts of parenting. It’s always being updated, even though I am semi-retired.
Describe your worst moment as a parent.
The early days… It was a rough transition into single motherhood. I didn’t realize how much support I would need. When I asked for help from my mom she said she would take Ayana for the summer so I could find a better job in Chicago & sort out the daycare situation. She kept my kid from May-Oct. & was threatening to take Ayana away from me. It was a really rough time & ruined our relationship for 3 years.
Is there one thing you give yourself a pass on? The time I lost when Ayana was with my mom. (My mom died 4 years later. She was able to have that time with Ayana. And I grew up a lot.)
How many hours out of each day do you feel like you’re being a good parent?
That’s a tough one. Some days you don’t feel like a good parent at all. Others it’s a 50/50 split. Other times you are kicking ass & taking names.
How has having a kid affected your sex life?
Dating was far more difficult as a single mom lezzie. I think that was the area that was the most affected.
How have you grown as a person since becoming a parent?
I think that I have learned patience & the ability to be quiet & listen; really hear.
Do you really feel like you are doing the best you can?
Right now I feel like I am still doing some good parenting. Had a rough patch when Ayana was dealing with some gender issues. About 2.5 years ago Ayana came out to me as a transgendered queer male. I had to deal with issues I didn’t realize I had. But f*ck, it’s my spawn! I had to sort my shit out fast cause he is the most important creature to me.
What quality in yourself do you fear is most likely to lead to failure as a parent?
Procrastination and laziness.
If you could do it over again what would you do differently?
I would be more organized. Kids bring a lot of clutter.
Based on what you see in your child right now, what is your worst fear about him/her as an adult?
I fear the world… I worry about the violence that trans people have to deal with. I try to keep my worries at a minimum, as I do not want to lose my mind.
What’s your most brutally honest parenting advice?
If you want to be a good parent, realize you are going to f*ck up and make mistakes. Learn from the hiccups and forgive yourself. Be present, both mentally & physically.
Would you want to be raised by you? Since I have already had a practice round, sure why not? I can’t do any worse.