Facebook is the second biggest waste of time. What’s the first? Quizzes found on Facebook.
And I should know. I take every one of them.
In the past week, I have learned that if I were a dog, I would be a French bulldog. If I were food, I would be cheese. I should live in Rio. And I’m an “Overwhelmed Parent.”
Ouch! Wait. That last one really hurt because I’m not a dog or food and I don’t live in Rio, but I am a parent and I certainly don’t like to be described as “overwhelmed.”
For starters, I don’t like the word “overwhelmed.” Period. People use it when they don’t have another word to describe a situation, a person, or an emotion. Over-using it is a sign of a very limited vocabulary—and I know–because I use it when I can’t come up with the right word. I feel ashamed when I resort to using it because I like to think I have a better handle on language, but I don’t always.
I’m also a bit pissy because all of my friends are “Effortlessly Cool” parents according to the quiz. And that makes me think that the quiz is pretty accurate—because in real life, I hang with an effortlessly cool crowd. Cool–especially effortless coolness–is desirable trait in a person. Overwhelmed is not.
And then, I HATE the description: “You never imagined parenting could be this hard before you had kids, and now talk about showers the way most people talk about vacations.” Yep, those words next to this picture of a very tired-looking, pregnant teenager with a baby on her hip. I look nothing like the chick in the picture. I probably look like her mom.
I’m not going to deny it. I DO talk about showers the way most people talk about vacations. That much is true. But that’s because I don’t get to go on vacations, unless of course, you count spending the morning sitting in a mechanic’s waiting room while my oil is changed.
Vacations and showers aside, I don’t find parenting my children to be overwhelming. In fact, I have never, ever, ever said anything remotely like, “Being a mommy is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” Before my mother-in-law moved in with us, that’s the kind of comment I would respond to with, “Well, then, you’ve never supervised adults because managing grown-ups who act like children is so much harder than managing actual children.” Now, I’m inclined to say, “Well, then, let’s hope your parents die young ‘cuz elder-care is going to kick your scrawny ass! Trust me, you can’t handle it. Children are a cakewalk compared to old people.”
Okay, I’m probably too polite to have ever said either of those things aloud, but I have thought them—but it’s because I find parenting my children to be one of the least overwhelming aspects of my life.
So, my proverbial panties are in a proverbial wad over a quiz I found on Facebook. Please, go ahead and laugh. It’s a very silly thing for a grown woman to groan over. I know this. When I step back and look at myself, I find me pathetic and amusing, too.
What’s behind all this ire and defensiveness, however, is the fear that it is true—at least to some degree. I know I have allowed myself to become overwhelmed by other things in life, and that overwhelmed-ness interferes with my ability to parent my children in an effortlessly cool manner. And I need to work on not letting those other things rattle me.
And of course, I really need to work on not taking Facebook quizzes seriously.
(And if you just read this post and you are thinking, “What is so ‘overwhelming’ about this chick’s life?” you are new here. Please go back and read the first 96 blog entries. Thank you.)