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Parents, Stop Complaining!

Photograph by Twenty20

The new year's-a-coming, so let's get corny people! We all have our lists of what we hope to change about ourselves. But I have a wish for all the parents out there. Yes, I wish to cast a resolution on you and you and you. Oh and me, too:

Stop. Complaining.

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If you stop and take an honest inventory of how we digest parenthood, you'll notice we spend a good amount of time complaining about it—to our partners, friends, kids, even ourselves. Sometimes I find my world is more filled with the whines of adults than kids. We complain about every single aspect of parenting. Constantly. And I am 100 percent guilty as charged.

While I don't subscribe to New Year's resolutions, you might. If you do, this year, my wish for you is to check in on all the complaining. Being a parent is quite literally the hardest job on the planet. We all know this by now, first-hand. There is not a moment when it is easy. I mean, literally. Every second is basically terrifyingly difficult. The moments you're not with your kids can be the most excruciating, simply due to the fact that something bad could happen to them when you are not there.

Complaining just breeds more complaints and more contempt for my own beautiful babies.

Loving something this hard hurts. When you have a child, you are forever a prisoner of fate. And it sucks.

But it's also the most amazing thing in the world. So why do we have to complain and whine all the time? Doesn't it sort of just make it all worse? It may feel good to unload in that moment, but for me, complaining just breeds more complaints and more contempt for my own beautiful babies, who did not ask to be here.

When babies are born they should come with a note: "This is kinda gonna suck, a lot, so just suck it up and please, don't be a cry baby; that's my job."

With this is mind, I am going to make a vow not to complain. And I'm not going to wait until January 1. I am going to start now. Not only am I not going to whine, bitch, complain and moan to my friends or any other adults about anything parenting related, but I am also not going to complain to my kids, about them being ... kids.

Hold on, it gets better. Every time I feel the need to whine, bitch and moan, I am going to consciously turn it around 100 percent, find a positive and celebrate the moment.

I know, did someone spike my coffee? Are the anti-depressants kicking in? No, it's just something that occurred to me. It came to my attention recently, the notion that words, self-talk and inner and outer talk are powerful. Our words have weight and can affect our reality. In other words, if all we do is complain to our kids about how miserable they are making us when they don't clean up their room, then we will always be miserable when their rooms are a mess.

I am going to try a new spin on this and I think you should too: The kid's room is a mess, so let's have such a fun clean up party that next time they will want to clean it up on their own. Now a messy room means fun party.

If my kids are alive, then there really is nothing shitty.

In case you haven't guessed, I'm not a brain scientist. Or a psychologist. And I mostly have no idea what I'm talking about. But I have an instinct, and when I sense something is getting me nowhere, I am proactive about change.

And I am sensing this—my perception of the shitty stuff—is the area that needs the most change. If my kids are alive, then there really is nothing shitty. It's all good. It's amazing.

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We should be grateful simply to be breathing the same air as these freaking creatures. The rest is icing on the cake. All the hard stuff, the meltdowns, the tantrums, the acting out, the defiance? They're all pretty cool when you think we are raising tiny humans, whether they were pulled out of your vagina or someone else's. We are the lucky ones.

So embrace the kids for who and what they are, celebrate the shitty parts of parenthood as part of the ride, and for the love of God, stop complaining about it.

I'll check back in in 30 days and let you know how my 30 Days With No Complaining went. Wish me luck.

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