Everyone thinks they love their kids more than anyone’s ever loved another soul in the history of forever. Hopefully you have the common sense to know that’s not true. Hopefully you have the decency not to make judgments on other people based on a comparison. Unfortunately, I’ve had plenty of the “judgey eyes” and more than one sanctimommy tell me how they clearly loved their child more for one reason or another.
Reasons you may think you do:
I’m crass and blunt about them.
I call my children bitches. My middle child is absolutely the sweetest little asshole in the world. I tell them when they’re being terrible. I tell my friends I have favorites (it changes depending on that kid’s mood.) I do not hide how I feel.
Reason You’re Wrong:
I understand my kids and accept them, flaws and all. Do you love something more if you don’t really see it? No. My kids can be little bitches. So can yours. If you don’t see it, you’re blind to your REAL children. You’re NOT loving them for who they really are if you can’t even SEE them. And they know I see them. So when I tell them they’re being rock stars, (which I do all the time, too. Because they’re freakin’ awesome kids), they know I’m not just saying it.
I had smooth, easy pregnancies
I got pregnant easily, exactly when I wanted. I had smooth (ish) pregnancies with no risks to my babies lives. I’ve never had a miscarriage. I didn’t have to wait for these treasures I have.
Reason your wrong:
Before I had tried Taco Bell, others would tell me how awesome their tacos were. I even saw them enjoy them occasionally. And I wanted to enjoy the yummy goodness, too. But I just couldn’t. I kept trying but I just couldn’t enjoy it. Once I got a chili and cheese burrito with a side of sour cream, though, I found what was right for me. And I finally felt that same joy others had been experiencing for years. I didn’t appreciate Taco Bell more because I hadn’t had it for as long as my friend or because I had to work harder to get that joy. I appreciated it because my individual burrito, completely different from their shitty taco, was awesome.
(Yes, I’m saying kids are like shitty tacos.)
I rush them to grow up.
I take the bottle or boob away at 1. No more cutesy bubble rompers at 18 months. I take the pacifier at 2. I have them potty trained by 3. No more sippy cups at 4. No more sleeping in our bed, even for nightmares, at 5. No more ruffles by 6. No exceptions.
Reason you’re wrong:
Look, I don’t want my kids to grow up. I want them to snuggle on my chest, sleeping peacefully forever. But dude, that’s selfish. I don’t put them in bubbles and let them keep their pacifiers for longer than is ok because it does them no good. Yeah, I hear you scream your mantra at me: Let them be little!
Now do you hear me? You’re not stopping time by treating them like babies, you’re delaying them. If you treat them like babies, they will BE babies. And a lot of what we do with them as children effects them for the rest of their lives. You delay them starting kindergarten for anything except a large issue, you may set them at a disadvantage. I’m not risking stunting their development by letting them use a bottle another 6 months. I’d much rather give them snuggles to comfort them every time something doesn’t go their way. But they have to learn to self soothe. I’m trying to raise independent, strong individuals. I’m not trying to hold on to babies. You want forever snuggles with a tiny little cutie? Get a Yorkie.
I have no problem giving them to a sitter.
I straight-up cut and run. I let them cry after me if they still don’t want me to leave after a reasonable goodbye time. I have, on more than one occasion, pried their adorable little hands off my legs and handed them, crying to a sitter/teacher and ran out of there. No regrets.
Reason You’re Wrong:
I don’t like to leave my kids when they’re uncomfortable with the situation I’m leaving them in. But they have to learn to adjust to being with more than just mommy and daddy. I’d rather do it in a controlled environment like leaving them with a sitter, an hour at a time, until everyone’s used to it. I have the sitter come 20 minutes early so they can get to know each other with me around. But I will NOT spend any time on drawn out, emotional goodbyes. I WILL leave my kid crying after me.
And then I will cry in the car and text the sitter every ten minutes until I know my kid’s ok. I don’t WANT them to feel abandoned. But I want them to know when I say they’ll be ok, they will. I want them to know I have a life outside of them. Because that will help them accept they will need a life outside of ME. (Dude, I’m weepy just writing that. I hate that this is a fact of life. But that doesn’t change that it is.) That’s what I think is best for THEM. They will learn to adapt, be flexible and cope WITHOUT me.
My favorite time of day is after they’re asleep.
I absolutely love time without my kids. I’m not shy about it, even with them. I’ve actually said the words to them “Mommy needs you to go to bed so she can watch her grown-up shows and not think about anyone or anything for a bit.”
Reason You’re Wrong:
Mommy is a better mommy when mommy is not emotionally exhausted. So mommy needs time without mommying. Because mommying is the most emotionally exhausting job there is. (Or you’re doing it wrong.) I’m currently fantasizing about a small girls weekend without my kids or husband. Who knows if I’ll get that, but it’s keeping me going right now. I love spending time with my kids. But you definitely can have too much of a good thing. Staying at home with them is sometimes suffocating. The emotional blackmail of tears when they don’t get their way; harsh words when you make them mad; the pressure when you have someone constantly needing you for something.
If you let yourself, you can drown in mommying. Everyone has a breaking point. The goal is to never find yours.
I don’t always go the extra mile.
My kid has nothing green to wear for St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t volunteer at the school like I’m supposed to do. Sometimes I just give the kid a tablet and lay down with my phone. They watch TV so much that they have their own favorite programs. I gave up trying to teach my three year old to blow her nose again this morning.
Reason You’re Wrong:
Oh, this is just the summary of all the above. I want them to know my world, and others’ don’t revolve around them. They need to see the world for what it is, not what you want it to be. And it’s just too much pressure. So I sometimes do some Pinterest-mom stuff. But I do it soooo rarely that when I do, they kinda go “Woah! Must be a good day for mom!”
And we’re all happier for it.
If, at the end of the day, we’re all still breathing and overall happy… I’m putting the day in the win column. End of story.