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Ep 63 – I Suck At Parenting

I’m glad that you’re putting your headphones on your hair now. Whereas in previous episodes, you didn’t wear him because you didn’t want to mess up

your hair. Yeah, cuz it was awesome. Are you talking about the episode that we already recorded, but it got deleted?

That didn’t record?

Yeah, it was awesome.

So now it’s like midnight. It’s pitch black. We’re at the top of a funeral home.

He’s not lying.

Nope, it’s all true.

This is 100% true. Look out the window over that step

that is not really midnight.

It’s not but feels like we’re burning the midnight oil.

It’s after nine. That’s midnight for me. And that the new midnight for nine is the night. Yeah,

look out the window, these people? Well, you can’t see the people you can see the light on. And if they were to look out the window at us, they would be like,

what’s going on?

Are those guys on ham radios?

Our audience would be wider if we were on ham radio. Maybe that’s what we should do is what we should do. That tickle. So the fact that we’re here late means we’re not doing something else that’s really important and like parenting. That’s pretty much it.

That’s fine. I just put a doggie gate up when my kids go to bed and then Megan and I go out on the town overnight. I’m not gonna joke about that, because I actually know of someone who served our country in the military. Thank you, who’s no longer married to this individual? Come to find out why they were serving overseas, they would go out and put a doggie gate up for like for their humans.

I heard a story Oh no, of someone that I know. Whose children adult children went to Louisville and took a baby monitor and left their child in a hotel room and walked down outside across the street and into a popular entertainment district in Louisville called Fourth Street Live with the baby monitor in hand just in case their infant needed them they could you know, do the 10 mile walk back to the hotel. Awful.

There’s a new Netflix series that came out of our series. That wasn’t me. That definitely was not you. There’s a four part series that came out about Madeline can’t recall her last name. Who was abducted as their parents were literally outside on their on vacation.

This is scary. I don’t think this is dark in here.

I know I’m in the dark of the you know, like they were literally at the pool. 60 feet 100 feet away. They’re like we’re gonna go and they did rotations on what? who checked on him every 30 minutes. 20 minutes. It’s just sad stuff. Hey, I think this is a great segue into podcasts about parenting. What do you think? Okay,

go with it. First of all, I think we should take a break. And let’s just let’s have a sing along. Okay, ready?

Go Dr. Ma I don’t like what just happened.

Let’s talk about parenting. This is awful. I don’t like it. So,

how are your kids? They’re asleep. Sid Knight had to be one of the worst in recent history.

Nathan’s text can’t tell them about the text. Yeah, I don’t care awful text of one of his children. We won’t say since he’s a minor his first initial as he middle name is for it. Anyway, and the little text video was of some some misbehavior. And Nathan was like, would you say Tell Dr. Kara what what you’re refusing to do or something like his he was like assaulting you?

He kind of was so he’s his iPad was literally probably from me to my drink right here. He’s a good move food because it is so I literally was like no, so I just sat there with my hands in my lap. And I said I’m gonna show Dr. Kara how you’re acting.

You have to tell him that showed all of our daughters that

he will not be happy. So no, I just think you should paint the picture as to what type of vibe you have just set in the you’ll die trying Well,

we’re literally sitting in the dark. The room is illumined only by the The ambient light of the flood lights that are lighting up the funeral home, which looks like a scary building. It’s a beautiful building. It’s beautiful. What is it that you wish? Well, let me ask you this. What have you learned about yourself? Since becoming a parent? Hmm.

Well, I’m not a terrible one. Okay, I thought I’d be an absolutely horrible parent. Not kidding. Like, didn’t you want kids? Because I’m going to be terrible. Kind of horrible, right? Yeah, but I’m not that bad. Uh, that’s all I’ve learned.

Well, that’s a positive, that is a positive. I have learned that. setting boundaries is easier said than done. I have learned that if you do it for them, they will expect you to do it for them every time and for the rest of their lives.

So I didn’t give him his cell phone, his phone, his iPad, right? See.

I’ve also learned that my children are separate from me. We are different people. So that when they are doing something that they ought not to do, that doesn’t mean I am doing something I ought not to do. When they are being disciplined. I don’t have to feel bad about it. And that’s very liberating. That is liberating. Not not to say that you would ever feel bad for disciplining your children?

I don’t. I’ll struggle with feeling bad for disciplining them.

Yeah, I used to I don’t anymore. Well, I used to be really bad at disciplining them.

I would think that being a parent to a daughter would be I don’t want to say harder. I just feel far different. I just feel

differently different. Not harder. Not easier. I have no idea. I don’t have any son. Well,

I just think it’s like as Dell if there’s an added sense of delicacy. I’m not saying women are this like these little tea pots that are so delicate, they’re going to break if you blow on them. But yeah. Now you’re saying that if you have a girl sitting in the chair across from the couch, and you’re disciplining them, there’s going to be a more mindful? No. Okay, I’m wrong. I’m just my girls.

Are they are mighty and we want them to be right. Yeah. But if they are, I mean, it is, I think I’m guessing girls are harder at the front end. And boys are harder in the back end. Because age boys are. You know, that’s a tough age for boys was tough for girls too. What do I know? I really don’t We

literally don’t know anything. What

do you want to leave? For your children? I don’t mean when you die. But I mean, like as you age and your children age, and you’re kind of you’re you’re, you know, progressing through life. And so are they what would you like to bequeath to them?

I bequeath to them, I would like to hard work, a work ethic of, you know, just this, don’t stop until it’s done right exceptionally well love it. That’s something that’s important. And I think faith kind of goes with that. I think faith goes with anything you apply faith with all those things, and that we could continue to talk about. But I think work ethic is very admirable, and something that I was taught at a young age as an early age. So I’d like to pass that on. Because I think that I’ve become successful. And relatively, I think I’m a good human being a decent human because of, you know, work ethic, hard work, working to be better at everything. Myself and the things I do. You are a hard worker. Thanks, man. Yeah, I do try. I’m really good at working hard. Some people aren’t. Some people really, they know. No different. Right? They just know that they punch in at this time, they kind of skate around and just kind of like, oh, yeah, I guess I’ll do that. And I’m not trying to mock but that’s literally their mindset. And then, you know, at 258 They’re like, Oh, I’m gonna go home now. And it’s like, well, but you, the clock isn’t three. I mean, that’s how

I think yes, I am with you. So hard work, hard work, faith, faith,

intertwined with that, that hard work, that sense of hard work and kindness or at labora prayer and work. Yeah, just just being kind to people. I think, like walking around the block with the kids. You know, good afternoon. How are you? It’s really fulfilling when my four year old and five year old are saying hi, how are you today, Mrs. Do? That’s awesome. That’s nice. That makes me feel good. And she’s sweet. And she’s a very sweet lady and a great neighbor. Yeah, she’s good. She is what about you?

Yeah, I’m a decent neighbor. No, no, I

mean, like, what do you want to bequeath I bequeath

to you, I want to bequeath the I want to speak with empathy. I want my children to be able to recognize who they are and who others are, and be able to be comfortable in the ambiguity of those differences. sensitive in the struggles that other people experience. I want them to learn how to really listen. To put themselves aside while maintaining self. Think about the good of others. Think first of all, like thinking would be great, doing good listen, process what you’re hearing, think about what that means. And then speak very carefully and very thoughtfully. And of course, compassion. That’s,

that’s good stuff, man.

So what did you inherit from your parents that you’re most grateful for?

Dad was work ethic? For sure. And then Mom was the kindness. Okay. That’s interesting that I want to pass those on. Yeah, that talked about that before. And I didn’t put those two together. But now who we are talking about that and it’s Mom was always kind to people. And a servant. You know, a dad just everything was pristine, like mowing of the yard. Talking about that, like, that’s when I first learned how to do exceptionally well like mowing, straight lines and grass clippings off of the sidewalks and the curbs. And just like, there’s something admirable about that, that sticks out to you, and you drive down the street and you see the curb appeal of other yards. Like, oh, my gosh, well, that’s what I learned at an early age. And that’s for my dad. My dad was, you know, balls to the wall. Yeah. And that’s what I think I’ve learned from both of them.

So I had a great question. I just lost it.

Let me just flip the switch. What about you? What did you learn from mom? My dad?

I know what I was gonna ask you. Okay. What did your parents work outside the home? Yes. What did each of them do?

Mother worked for an attorney. And she could she used to be she started as like a court reporter. So, Chick could sit there and type, like a stenographer, insane amount, um, and then she would listen to the deposition. Yes, yes. I got it. Right. Because remember, like the last couple podcasts ago, she would and she would type them out. And then she worked for school system. And then now she works for natural gas pipeline company. Okay. Dad was always has been in cells, his ability to develop relationships is second and just so impressive worked for a janitorial supply company would go around with this suitcase briefcase looking thing that was a book and it was just like, anything janitorial supplies related? Wow. He would sell it from chemicals for cleaning of toilets to driving vacuum cleaners for huge. Oh,

isn’t that amazing? Yeah. Oh, nice. Yeah, we

used to play in the warehouse. Barrett Fisher, the labor Fisher I think still around. Is that

for him? He worked. Okay. Yeah. Yep.

So he’s up there. He’s been in sales mom’s been in some sort of administrative and now she’s one of the most liked people in her office because she’s had a payroll. So

Oh, okay. Yeah. Well, to thank you to answer your question. I, my dad, and my mom. Well, my dad was always in, like, storage and distribution work. Oh, warehouse management. I

think we’re like the same people. Yeah.

Because my mom was always in kind of admin accounts payable, payroll. But they worked for the same company for 25 years of their married life. So they would get up drive to work, which is about a 15 minute drive together and drive home together. Yeah. So that was pretty cool. But they worked in separate places. My dad was in the back in the warehouse managing literally wearing a blue shirt, blue collar with his name Johnny on the name tag. And he would oversee other forklift operators, and oversee distribution schedules and storage schedules and things like tires. And, you know, but the biggest client was Honda, on the motorcycles, Honda power equipment. And which is how I got into riding motorcycles when I was a kid because my dad would bid for damaged crates once a year at the damage sale at the company. And he bought my first dirt bike that way, which is pretty cool. I didn’t know about this. So anyway, my dad and my so my mom was in the front office and my dad was in the back and my dad taught me about the the listening, the compassion, the empathy part. And I didn’t know really because I died. He died when I was 15. And I didn’t know until after he died with this three, four or five hours of non stop people coming to visit at the funeral home, how he meant to people and how many lives he had touched and you think he worked in a warehouse and he came home and then tomorrow He worked at the warehouse, and then he came home. But he was a deacon at church. He was a Gideon, he played on the company softball team, you know, and he’s just such a sweet, sweet guy. And whenever I go home, people like to tell me that which is really, really nice. So, listening to people and being kind and showing compassion and making sure everybody knows that they have space, and they’re heard and honored as they are. And that’s all that’s all from my dad. My mom has taught me meticulousness, paying attention to detail, making sure that you, you know, start something and finish it. And my mom taught me how to care for people, because she cared for my father, up until the end, and his illness was very brief. But you know, obviously, her love for him wasn’t an end, it was very painful to watch, and I but I did get to see what loving someone up until the end of their days means and looks like. And then she did that with her mother to who died ultimately, of complications after severe stroke strokes. She taught me the how to stand beside someone until the end of their days, which was, which is pretty beautiful. So those are the things that I think I picked up from my parents and I certainly want to like you bequeath those to my kids to

John told me, my brother told me something that, you know, we think our parents are perfect growing up, but then we realize, as adults that they’re just as human as we are.

Yeah, I’m sure that’s true. I don’t remember thinking that way about my parents. But I know I had to have because all children do all cheer,

but children do. Yeah, they’re my kids. Don’t. They don’t think you’re perfect.

They know not. So but I do think that kids that are that way until a certain age. Yeah. Well, you know,

sorry, Mom, I don’t think you’re perfect. are down. They don’t listen. They don’t know how to turn their phones on. My dad was my dad. Bless his heart. He has a Samsung Galaxy. 10. Wow. That’s

a relatively new phone. Yes. Why? Well, it’s like one step down from the fold.

Yeah, the fold, by the way. Oh, my gosh, Samsung. Great job. I’m a huge fan of that. Are you? Yes, I’m

not I don’t care. Well, I

don’t care about your opinion. I don’t care. Well, I didn’t mean,

folding tablets. Incredible. It’s already too much. I swear it’s going too much.

It’s where it’s going. But that hasn’t a galaxy 10. And it clips it to the side of his pants like a like an old man. Well,

like you construction worker. Well, I think he has the screen out. Yes, he definitely does. I saw it this morning, as opposed to the back out. But that could have been joining her

story about my dad. So he needed we have this this system at the funeral homes, you know, cloud based system, and it’s a scanning system. And you have to access the camera in order to end the app to scan. Well, he accesses the the app. And he’s like, son, my camera’s broken, what the heck is going on? My camera is broken and he is going on and on about it. So I said hand me the phone. I slid it out of the case. Exposing the lens scan to this this QR code and walked away. And I heard him I saw walking as I walk away saying I’m so stupid.

Getting older is not

easy. I cannot imagine because like we grew up playing Oregon Trail and I grew up on computers and like yeah, SD by playing you know keys and typing class and

C colon forward slash he literally did you ever use dos?

I don’t know what that is. Okay. So now

ladies and gentlemen, we’re tad that’s that’s Nathan showing his age right there. And his lack of computer language skills. What’s dos? It’s a digital operating system. He was. So tell me what it’s like for you being the middle of three boys as you are the father of three boys. I love it. What embraced it? What bet did you lose? Yeah,

I didn’t lose a bet. Well,

we talked about having three boys now being the middle in the middle child. I

don’t know. I don’t know. My brother Aaron is so laid back and has kind of been the fatherly figure for you know, mom and dad split up when I was graduated. John was in middle school. So the age differences three and a half years between Aaron and myself and then from John and myself three and a half years. And Aaron was always the brother, the fatherly figure and John was he’s marches to the beat of his own drum. He’s just a unique bird, but he’s brilliant. Both of them are brilliant. They really are and we’re very close. We’ve been through as most families and probably siblings, which by the way, a lot of siblings aren’t close. Oh, sure, sure. I have a I have a friend who, who has a twin sister and I was like, Yeah, so you’re like, really close? He’s like, No, not really not at all. And you would think that I bring that up because twins are just, you know, stereotypical, you know, attached, you send it in, he’s not with them. And anyway, my brothers and I are very close. And I love. I always love standing out. And I think that’s opposite of what a lot of middle children want to do. And they want to kind of slip under the, you know,

do you think your identical twin, you’d be competitive with him?

I’d probably have killed him. The story of Cain and Abel. Yeah. Yeah, I would. I can

he saw, I

would have been very competitive with him. Yeah.

What about you, you have like a sister, sister, sister.

I have a sister. She is eight years older. Now sociologists will argue with merit, that siblings born five years apart or more are essentially only children. Because they are raised by different parents. Wow, same parents, but different parents. Right. So my sister was, I think the princess of the castle. Modest Ranch, Castle, three bedrooms, one and a half bath in Chesapeake, Virginia. Until I was born. And I think my birth was an earth quaking event for her. And I think she would say if she were here, that she’s never quite gotten over

it. Like curse you ik about crane.

So you know, she had the had the whole family to herself. She was the she’s the only girl to this day have cousins and of whom there are not many. We’re very small family. My dad was one of four, two of whom had children. He and his brother, and all boys, except for my dad had a girl. So she is the in my NL, my mom’s side. She had one brother who had one son. So my sister is the only girl on both sides. So it was not lore, but truth and fact that my sister was the preferred grandchild on both sides of the family. That was just something you knew. Like, you know, in your essay t test, it was all these factual questions. And then, you know, your sister was a preferred be not preferred, and it was always everybody knew that she was preferred, which was fine. That’s just how it was. And but it as a result, I think it was probably hard for her to kind of have me around and then both my parents worked as I said, so we were kind of latchkey kids, we would go to school and come back. Our parents were were gone when we left and they were gone. We came back until around dinnertime and then my mom would come home and slaved over a stove to prepare for us. And then my sister learned to drive and she would take me everywhere and forced me to watch grease too every day and you know, make her just the normal stuff fried bologna. And yeah, stadiums. So the normal stuff we aren’t my family isn’t close. I think they would probably say that we’re close but because I don’t live there. I’m for 12 to 14 hours away from my home in Tidewater, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Virginia area. So we’re not close geographically. That doesn’t prohibit us from being close, emotionally. But we also aren’t that either. And I think that’s part of because the age difference. And also because just lives like going to school living in a bunch of different places living and studying overseas. My jobs have taken me elsewhere, whereas the entire rest of the family is kind of right there within a few miles of one another. So just by nature, you know, the closeness isn’t, isn’t there? No, bad blood just and you’re happy to hear from and talk to one another just doesn’t happen very often. So I just think that’s the make that’s the natural makeup of, of my family.

We’re kind of like the Little House on the Prairie. A lot of families are where they stay in close proximity, like grandma and a lot of her children and she has eight are in close proximity.

Literally your entire family really is here.

Huh? Yep. Minus two. Two uncles.

Yeah. Wow. And are they in the state? Nope. Okay, so that

one’s in Georgia and ones in Texas. Okay. So there’s some old ways you’re successful and and eight, eight kids. And Grandma loved it. I just just saw her recently over Easter and she was like, I love the app. loved it was just so much fun. And I’m like, what? She has two sets of of Irish twins. Yeah. So one set was born 11 months and one was like 1010 and a half like Anderson and ever and I’ll tell you, that was the hardest time of my life. And she’s over here talking about how was like incredible. Crazy. Good job, grandma.

Yeah. Like some people are just there seem to be built for it. That’s true. Yeah, that really

is true. So so graceful about being a parent, you know? Like, I’m just Oh, yes, shoveled mess just trying

to just, yeah, just try to get through the day goes on. And yeah, kill somebody. Yes. Well, I I’m glad for you that your family is relatively close. And I know that your family like my family, like all families, is dysfunctional in its own beautiful way. Because really, they all are, but me. And dysfunction just simply means that sometimes we missed the mark. We don’t We can’t always be spot on. Sometimes I will talk with someone and they believe, really, that their family is not without error, that there’s no real room for growth or, or, or better understanding or any kind of improvement. And that always has struck me as a little bit frustrating, because I think everybody is, is up for improvement and growth.

You’ve met people who literally think that their families are

absolutely, gosh, in the same way that I’ve asked people how their faith has changed. And they will say that it hasn’t since childhood, and these will be people in their 80s saying I’ve never questioned I’ve never doubted what I believed as a five year old in kindergarten, going to Sunday school is the exact same thing I believe now. And they would say that with some degree of pride. And if there are people out there who are listening who feel that way, I think that’s a particularly, you know, interesting and certainly proud thing to be able to say I guess, but for me, change is indicative of life. And status quo is indicative of stagnancy, which is indicative of death. I’m all about growing and trying to improve and challenging myself and pushing myself and I, I don’t think of anything, really beyond the kind of most fundamental of things that I still think the same as I did when I was a child. And I certainly wouldn’t say that my family is without need for growth and improvement, because it is because I am, and I’m a part of that family. So if I need growth, and my family does too, naturally, since I’m a part of it.

Well, one thing I can tell you is I’m not good at being a parent, but I’m not bad at it. But I’m never going to be great at it. I think, maybe maybe I am but

what do you think it means to be a great parent like beyond just really loving your children and wanting the best for that’s literally

all that that’s great parenthood right there. Yeah. Is loving your children and wanting the absolute best for them and just trying? There’s literally Mater’s. No. There’s no balance sheet. There’s no receivables, payables, this is not something that you can, you know,

can you imagine if your kids woke up every morning and printed off a balance sheet of how well you would parented them?

That would be on a date, it would be awesome, because then I could see what my profits and losses were. Yeah, no. And I could make adjustments like we do within business. But that’s right. There’s no book that there’s a billion books, but there’s no book. That’s right. No. Well, you know what I mean,

there’s a great book called operating instructions by Anne Lamott, who writes about her first year or so with her son, Sam. She’s a brilliant author funny and dry and raw. And, you know, that’s the whole point of the book, which is why it’s called operating instructions is that there’s there’s no manual, you know, for parenting, and we basically just single handedly and very generously pass along all of our neuroses to our offspring. It’s essentially what parenting is here are all the things that make me crazy. Let me give them to you.

I’ll end with this story. went running today. It was awesome. I didn’t die. I hadn’t ran in a few weeks and ever it was begging to go running with me. Okay. And we go we make it about seven houses and dude is about to like he’s on he bout to die like, carry me I get it back. And at the end of our street, we have a basement. That sump pump run the pipe runs to the end of the street. And because of so much rain, we’ve had the geyser of water continuously shoots up and there’s this pool that gathers on the sidewalk ever face plants into the water and starts lapping it up.

Like a dog. Oh, right.

parenthood. When, right? I mean people were walking by it’s like what do you do? And what do you say

I just have the Year Award goes to Nathan Morris. That wasn’t your fault he face planted and decided to drink sewage why?

Yeah, no he intentionally did that. Yeah, when your fault. Yeah. Anyway, that was my story.

Well, let’s hope that he stays free of Diptheria. Scurvy and

typhoid Yeah, exactly amoebic dysentery.

Hey, so So to all you people out there who are parents or who have parents that are who have ever been a part of a family, which hopefully is everyone, I think

that’s I think, yeah, got everyone

we were like you just trying to figure it out. And I think it’s just really important that we be honest about our, our limitations and our failures and celebrate the wins. And you know, try to learn from the losses.

That’s all we can do. Hey, do me a favor, ladies. and gents, be sure and share this podcast with a friend. To do that. You simply go to your listening device, such as Apple podcast, be sharing, click the five star and click share, send it via text message, you could do that iMessage Come on, just drop it over to your friend. Or you can go to Facebook to yeah, go to facebook.com forward slash trying.

And and you know, send us a message. A couple of people have done that recently. My college friend Greg has told us that he has literally quoted our podcast in an essay that he was working for, for work, which I think is so humbling, very humbling shout out to Greg, and also to Charlie, who is an avid listener who commented on the fact that we always thank our first responders. Oh, and you know why we do that? Because we are near a fire station. And we know you’re going to hear the sirens. And so rather than pretend like it’s not happening, we can use it as an opportunity to say thanks to our first responders. Absolutely. Thank you Charlie for that little shout out. I am Nathan Morris.

I’m Dr. Jonathan Carroll.

This is you’ll die try. We’re so thankful for you