It’s true, 100%, cold-hard-fact. As parents it is incredibly easy to feel like you’re living on an island. Sometimes that island is a nightmarish horror-scape of diapers, tantrums, and non-sleep. Nobody cares, nobody helps, it’s just you and your little love-spawn left to the whims of the universe and one of the most dreaded parts of parent life: weekend fucking entertainment. See, sometimes that shit is easy. Sometimes it’s a beautiful Sunday morning full of possibilities, slow cups of coffee, and happy little minions dutifully watching Frozen or playing with cars. The day is your oyster, ready to be shucked by zoo trips, playgrounds, and breezy outdoor lunches. Other times, it fucking rains.
Yes, sometimes it fucking rains. The rain might as well be made of shit cause that’s what it feels like. It feels like the clouds are shitting all over your happiness, and essentially – they are. Wrangling two small children under the age of 5 can be sternly challenging enough, but add in the inability to use the outdoors to your advantage and it can feel like chemical fucking warfare. And there you are, scrambling to find a place you can take your little ones to expel all that evil energy, and sometimes- those shit clouds just keep on shittin’.
The rainy Sunday in question was just yesterday actually, so the wound is fresh. It was going to be a rainy day, we already knew that. We had decided to take the kiddos to one of those indoor trampoline places, it was one we hadn’t been to as a family yet but my wife had taken our daughter there once for a friends birthday. We knew it was a nice place and our kids love that shit so off we went! We got there a few minutes early, hung out in the car a bit, and then hopped out at 10:00 AM which was opening time at this joint. This is the point where shit got off the rails.
It was gloomy, rainy, and wet all over and the doors to the place were locked. 10:05 AM and still nothing. 10:10 AM and the parking lot is starting to fill up. 10:17 and we’re on the phone, no answer. We can hear it ringing inside in fact, and nobody is there to pick up. More cars are pouring in. Cars with one kid, SUVs with three kids, a van with four- all of us with one singular objective. To get our kids the fuck out of the house, have a bit of fun, and let them get their energy out so as to avoid meltdown city in the afternoon. All of us were the same in that moment. We had different cars, different jobs, different lives, but we were together in that moment as one. One united front, parents all of us. A few other families got out of their cars, they’d been calling to and gotten nothing either. One resourceful parent called a different location and they said they look into it. A couple of employees showed up too, but they said “there ain’t no manager so we can’t let y’all in.” and were visibly annoyed at our presence. So, rewind that tape a second- we’re all standing outside in the cold wet wonder of Sunday morning waiting for the place to open and YOU’RE getting attitude with US?
Surprisingly, I didn’t go off like a landmine on these hapless teenage mouth breathers. Their hapless teenage mouth breathing manager was obviously out til the wee hours of the night and decided not to show up for work on this dreary Sunday, and it left a whole shit-ton of parents in a real big fucking bind. Not these two’s fault, and I’ll excuse the attitude since I didn’t feel like going to jail for accosting two teenage trampoline park employeesas fun as it might have been. We heard a few other parents talking about the slightly less-nice but definitely open inflatable bouncy place down the street so we got back in the car and headed that way.
We got there, the kids had a ton of fun, and we went home in time for a quick lunch, and then nap time. A little bit of peace, crisis averted, living to fight another day. See, and we’ve talked about this before- without a lot of friends around, and a “dysfunctional to put it nicely” family situation, you can feel very much alone as parents. Everything time you go out, people stare at you like you’re naked aliens covered in dildos cause you have children with you, and one tantrum can tailspin a whole day into chaos of the highest order. You’re just out on a fucking limb trying to get through it, and sometimes the limb cracks and you fall on your fucking face. You never know what you’re gonna get, I guess Forrest Gump’s mom was fuckin’ right on the nose with that box of chocolates shit. Nobody gives a FUCK about us parents, cause they assume we have enough money to handle everything, and that we’re well adjusted enough to weather the storm. The problem is, parenting multiple children makes you poor AND fucking crazy, so they’re wrong on both counts. You have no money, no sleep, and no friends to vent about the shit to- and all you want to do on a rainy Sunday is NOT have a screaming contest for 6 hours straight.
That day though, just yesterday, I saw it. I saw a group of parents on the same mission, with the same motivations, stuck in the same shitty situation. I wasn’t even really mad anymore, I was damn near overjoyed. No matter how tough it gets, we have the common thread of being parents. No matter WHAT the rainy Sundays bring there are millions of us working through it at the same time. Some of us are neighbors, some are across the world, but we are all one in the same. It is always there, kind of like an ever-present metaphorical safety blanket. No matter what we’re dealing with as parents someone else is dealing with it too. I have proof cause I saw it in action, and they did too. It’s a situational unity that isn’t recognized very often but it gave me a sense of not being so alone out there and it was nice. You don’t get a lot of NICE these days, so I wanted to make sure I shared it with you. You might be reading this feeling just as alone as we do sometimes. You might be reading this and laughing at our shitty wet Sunday cause you have “a village” helping you out and you’re drinking on a patio with your J. Crew model friends. Who the fuck knows? Not me, but I do know that regardless of what you might be doing NOW- if you’re a are a parent, you have lived through this very situation on multiple occasions and you might not have recognized it in the moment. I wouldn’t have either, but we’re still in that “feeling alone” place a lot of the time so maybe I was more receptive to the message. That message was a loud and clear “you are SO not alone” and I appreciate being able to see it.
Parenting is NO fucking joke, and when you’re facing down a day of tantrums and tears it might not seem like much to the non-parent world, but it can feel like Misery Mount Everest to us breeders out there so even just the knowledge (and evidence) that we’re not alone can be empowering, uplifting, and strengthening. We’re not alone, you’re not alone, and it is now a sunny Monday and we lived to tell the tale. Feel free to tell YOUR tales in the comments, and maybe we can keep growing that “parent unity” shit for everyone. And if you’re out there having your “rainy Sunday” right now just know it’ll be OK, cause there’s bound to be somebody doing EXACTLY what you’re doing right now.