Thanks, Guys! — An Open Letter To All The Parents Helping Parents
By Yasmine Abbasakoor
PHOTO © Noriko Cooper/123RF
Dec 4, 2018
I’ve got another open letter and this time it’s a big ol’ thanks to all the supportive brilliant parents reading this site and helping each other through every day!
You know how I get through the boring bits of parenting? By scheduling afternoons with you and your family! And do you know what makes that loud, screamy parenting self-doubt quiet down? You!
Thank you for all the times you lent me an extra towel and shared your snacks....
I know some people find unsolicited advice unhelpful. But I love it — I need it! I have no idea what I’m doing and make up my passionate-for-the-moment parenting plans as I go along. Stop me! Interrupt me! Make a suggestion! Thank you for the advice you give and the advice you listen to. Sometimes I just need an excuse to talk about a success, and you let me.
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Thank you for the time you risked pissing me off and told me my kid was being a shit. And also, thank you for all the times you didn’t tell me. You understand that kids have bad days and they’re not bad kids. Knowing my kids have support like that from you makes each day easier.
Thank you for all the times you lent me an extra towel and shared your snacks (even the chocolate ones, even though your kid didn’t want to). Packing everything they need is tedious and knowing that if I forget something there’s a backpack with extras nearby is so helpful.
Thank you for doing the most ridiculous things and opening my eyes to all the different types of parenting (and kids).
Thank you for not sharing the exact moment your child was reading chapter books. I am so impressed by your children on a daily basis and also sometimes less info is more. You understood I wasn’t ready and now I get to borrow all the books you guys are done with — thank you!
Thanks for agreeing that I’m totally laid back and my house is definitely clean and for saying that I put out a well-appointed cheeseboard. I know I can be supremely uptight (bedtime anyone?) and totally messy (I don’t see Lego until you step on it). And I always put out that same cheese (it is good, though). Thanks for the Sunday dinners when we all needed to decompress after a weekend of child-loving.
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Thank you for doing the most ridiculous things and opening my eyes to all the different types of parenting (and kids). I’m a bipartisan parent because I saw you do something I would never consider — and realized, that move is the perfect choice! And thank you for calling me out, so subtly, with just the right eye twitch, when I made stupid or judgmental statements. Of course our kids are different and how could I know what everyone needs? Sorry in advance for doing it again.
Thanks for not charging me every time I’ve called you for design/medical/legal/financial/career/cooking or travel advice — seriously, what is your time worth? All I’ve got to offer is this thank you note and some free babysitting.
Thank you for pushing me with your INCREDIBLE parenting. Each of these moments has added up to a life full of support and survival, and has made it easier for me to weather my parenting failures and accept that most of the successes were just good luck. I’ll take it all.