Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hating Your Kids

A couple weeks ago, my internet (and thisclose to meeting in real life) friend and notable Ramona Fan Cory wrote a post where she talked about how she hated her kid that night because he was being a pain. I shared a story about how just the night before she posted it, I had a serious hating moment with Ramona when she was not sleeping for millionth time. Now, obviously, we don't hate our kids, but I think everyone has those moments where they are so irritated they are about to go crazy. I base this on "my mom" evidence. My mom is pretty much the best mom ever, so whenever I do something and I think I might be being a bad mom, I think about whether my mom would do it. (WWMMD bracelets?) In reality I don't think I'm ever even close to being a bad mom, but I want to be a really good mom. So I strive for the best. But we all have our faults, and our bad mom days.

My mom is usually calm and has been described as the "nicest person I've ever met" by several of my friends. But there are a few times I remember her being really pissed off when we were kids. The most notable in my mind was one time my brother and I were in the car and were just being obnoxious kids and poking each other and whining about how the other person was on our side of the car, blah blah, stupid annoying kid stuff. It definitely wasn't the only time we'd ever acted like that, but for some reason my mom was really mad about it that particular day. She gave us a bunch of warnings to cut it out that we ignored and she finally pulled over the car and gave us both a smack on the cheek. I should point out that my parents were in no way abusive. We did get little smacks or spankings occasionally, but they were the kind that didn't hurt and were more to get our attention than to actually hurt us. When they did, they were usually very calm about it. This is the only time I can remember my mom actually being mad when she did it, which is why I think it sticks out in my memory. Anyway, we obviously shut up then, and my mom chilled out and everything was fine. But, I think that was probably one of my own mother's "I hate my kids" moments. If she had 'em, I feel okay having them.

What is most notable to me between my moment, Cory's moment, and my mom's moment is that our children's behavior was not really any worse than usual. James and I were pretty obnoxious on a regular basis as children. We would fight until Mom would separate us and then we'd spend the entire time we were separated trying to secretly play together. It was an every day event. Ramona has never been a great sleeper and I get up with her every night. Cory's son (just guessing) has probably been that annoying or more so another day and she probably didn't get upset about it. But in all those cases, us, as moms, were in a bad mood outside of anything to do with our children, which made it difficult to deal with the problems they presented. I don't remember why my mom was in a bad mood, but she had definitely run out of patience before we even got in the car that day. I was completely exhausted when Ramona wouldn't sleep. Cory had just gotten off of an extra long crappy day of work.

The hating is not about them, it's about us. Those are the hardest times to be a parent. Those days when, before kids were in the picture, you would have just taken a nap, or vegged out and relaxed, or had some beers and been back to yourself in an hour are so rough. Because it's not as simple as it used to be to take a break and get over yourself. Those times when we hate them are the times that we show our love for them the most. Because if we didn't love them, we would just toss them in a dumpster and head to the bar. Instead, we just think about it. What a wonderful way to show we really love them.

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