Now
Available
NOLA Family August 2022 Issue
Family Life, Parenting

The ‘Default Parent’ thing really annoys me

by Ann Herren Sept. 5th, 2018

I’m here to call someone out. It may be you. 

I guess I’ll find out by how much kick-back I get. But I recently saw an article called ‘The Default Parent’. And I hear moms blog about it constantly. Working moms have it so hard. Stay-at-home moms have a job that doesn’t end at 5pm. We got it. 

Advertisement

Now, I understand the need to be recognized for all that we do. Some more than others. Social media has allowed a never-ending tribute to motherhood. But trust me- you’re not doing anything moms haven’t done for centuries. 

And yes, I’ve been there- all these little endless lists for everything you do – I’ve made them in my head. What’s kept me from writing them down and sharing them is this- everybody is in the same boat. And somebody always has it far worse. Nobody needs to hear you bitch about how your job never ends. How when the other parent helps you out it called ‘helping’, not doing. Honestly. Trust me- I started bitching about the ‘help’ word before I was born. But this mommy can tell you, complaining like that is not necessary for things so trivial. 

And if none of this sinks in, let me tell you what’s worse than being the the default parent. Not being the default parent.

How am I so infinitely wise, you ask? Because I am the default parent and I remember clearly that one time when my daughter, my daily burden of joy, the girl for whom I play sherpa, the muse of my curse word creativity, ran past me when she hurt herself. Ran past me- into her daddy’s arms. Daddy, daddy!

That’s all it took to break my default heart. I was crushed. I felt like I had lost my daughter and I instantly started reminiscing about the smell of her hair and thanking god most of my clothes are black because my mourning starts now. 

Advertisement

And then she immediately came and snuggled with me on the couch, I sniffed her head deeply, and for a fact I’ve never complained again about being the default parent. 

So how ’bout we stop the competition right there- this comparison- this need to be acknowledged as most-put-upon. Because without doubt somebody you know or go to church with just lost a spouse, just got divorced, just something tragic. the list goes on. 

Parenting is what it is. It is what we make it.

Make it the best thing you have, not the cross you hold up to others for the sake of admiration.

Newsletter Signup

Your Weekly guide to New Orleans family fun. NOLA Family has a newsletter for every parent. Sign Up