Mostly you learn that you wish you didn’t learn so much.
Playing a small role in raising hundreds of students is a challenge. But it doesn’t hold a candle to raising your own child.
That is a challenge of almost indescribable proportions.
Being a school administrator makes you think twice about reproducing. Isn’t it about time the government steps in and helps decide who gets to have children and how many?
Oh yeah, the government has its hands full messing everything else up. Never mind.
As an educator it makes you mull over how many evil spawns you should bring into the world (and please don’t think my concerns were with my wife… it was my half of the baby that worried me…)
As an added bonus, when you have kids it is terribly difficult to choose a name that hasn’t been ruined by kids you had in school.
There are several guidelines to this process.
If you have given a detention to a student, that name is out. If you have ever yelled down the hallway at a student, the name is out. If have stuck your name in a bathroom and screamed a name, you can’t use it.
Also, if a name you are particularly fond of has been involved in a fight, arrest, or expulsion… you cannot use it for your child.
Since the first 6 years of my teaching career involved junior high lunch duty, about 84% of names were already on the NO List (this list should not be confused with my wife’s list… the Hell No list).
Plus, as a teacher/coach you get very good at knowing what nickname your child will be burdened with if you make an unwise choice.
You have to stay away from any name than rhymes with anything that is funny to a 7th grade boy. And sadly, everything is funny to a 7th grade boy.
Mulva and Delores just weren’t options for our baby girl (Seinfeld reference… if you don’t get this you need to watch more TV).
My wife and I are now proud owners of a 7 year old. Sounds fun, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
She is a good girl, but when we picked her up at the hospital we quickly figured out that she came with baggage (and I am not just talking about her endless supply of clothes, stuffed animals, and blankets).
She thinks she is 37.
She also thinks her parents are walking banks, housekeepers, cooks, and chauffeurs.
This can be very demanding as we try to raise her and hold down full-time jobs.
As her father, I feel extra pressure.
Since she is an only child (and loves it), I am not only her dad, but coach, brother, and when she is a teenager… her bodyguard.
These are roles that I try to perform successfully, but I am not going to lie… it’s a big job for a middle-aged man who would kill for a nap.
I have learned something during my 7 years as a parent. I have truly come to appreciate how challenging it is to raise a child.
Or 3. Or 5. Or a liter. (I am not even going to mention the horrific scientific experiment know as the Octomom)
I honestly don’t know how people do it.
The discipline. The homework. The jam packed schedules. The endless eye rolling, sighing, slamming of stuff, and the stomping off.
Raising a child (or worse, children) is stressful and time consuming. Some days I am happy to be able to get back to work (at least we have a discipline handbook at school).
Don’t get me wrong, most people would consider my daughter low maintenance. But that is because they don’t live with her.
Even the best kids need some redirection and discipline from time to time.
If you visited our house in the last couple of months you would hear “You’re a CHILD!” screamed loudly… a lot.
It happens at least 3 times a day. More when behavior is an issue.
And the worst part?
It’s what my daughter yells at me.
She is evidently counting the days until I grow up.
I hate to tell her, but once you take on the responsibility of having a father… he is yours forever.