You Won’t Always Like Them

I will preface this post with one simple statement.

I absolutely love my children. But, I don’t always like them. And, that’s okay. You can probably relate to this for a million different reasons. You love them so much but they won’t stop fighting with each other.

Your love continues to grow despite the fact that they can be shady little jerks from time to time.

You would be willing to die for them but sometimes you want to scream at their faces.

How can this be? Well, it’s simple. You love your children but you don’t always have to like them that much. Is this a flaw on our part? Is it a form of self-preservation? Is it a simple part of the struggle between our desire to grow as a family and our everpresent selfishness?

Yeah, probably to all of these.

However, it exists and, if you have children, you have experienced it. Jess Johnston, over at Faith It, has given us 13 examples of times when despite your love for your children, you simply didn’t enjoy them that much.

I adore my kids. When they are fast asleep, their faces all tranquil and angelic, I instantly forget the day and I think, “What was I so busy with? Why was I stressed? Why didn’t I just ENJOY them more?” It doesn’t help that I am constantly being told to “ENJOY it. It goes so fast.” So for the ‘rest of us’ who obviously didn’t seem to be enjoying it enough in Target today, I want to pat you on the back and remind you why you didn’t.

1. Because your youngest was screaming due to her intense desire to be naked in the TJ Maxx line, which is obviously where your other three kids are thinking maybe they need a coffee mug with a bedazzled kitten on it and a package of Thank You cards.  That is when someone who showered this morning decides to commentate on your life,“You suuuuuuuure have your hands full.” Thanks, clean person.

2. Because the drive-thru doesn’t put straws into the cups. You think this is what you pay them for. But no. They hand you over to the animals with a bunch of papered straws. Your hands cramp up trying to tear faster than your eardrums explode. Your kids will never believe that you already know that they want their water and that you are also aware that you have birthed four children who are thirsty. They are literally all shrieking at you. Thank you drive-thru, you were supposed to be my guilty pleasure.

3. Because you googled “runny nose” and are still trying to recover from the trauma.

4. Because of bedtime. It just doesn’t happen like you thought it would. Your guests arrive and instead of sleeping, they are serenading everyone with prehistoric noises that make you want to weep. You invite your friends to join you in the hallway and to please bring the wine.

5. Because your child who is potty training pooped twice in the toilet and once on the carpet and the result of your efforts seems to be nothing more than a chronic addiction to M&Ms.

6. Because of whining and bickering. And how you were never going to allow “tattling” but the logistics of that are a lot more confusing than you anticipated.

7. Because we are supposed to keep our houses “clean-dirty,” which means not the kind of dirty that makes people want to throw up. All the while, your home is transformed into a toxic-waste zone with no more than 1.5 seconds and a box of graham crackers. 

8. Because of dentists who make you fear cavities and teachers who send home tardy notes to your “student” when it is clear who the guilty party is.

9. Because you used to like to go to church and worship, but now instead you chase your children around and probably flash your nether region to at least 15 pure adolescents, all because you had the nerve to wear a skirt. You end up in the foyer wrestling little lionesses until everyone comes out looking refreshed.

10. Because of your period.

11. Because of the laundry. If you could hire a person to do one thing it would be to take the folded piles from the floor to the drawers. And to find socks.

12. Because your four-year-old announced she wants to change her name to something that rhymes with “Lucy,” but starts with a “P.” You are pretty sure you would not like her to tell anyone else that, and try and guide her towards something like “Sparkle” or “Rainbow Princess.” You’re crossing your fingers on this one.

13. Because, if you haven’t noticed, the perfect modern mom is not possible. The Organic, Grass-Fed, Kambucha making, Private School sending, Best-Teacher-Ever, Cooking, I-love-doing-crafts-and-destroying-my-recently-cleaned-house-doing, Anti-Shots, All Immunization Getting, Attachment Parenting, Love and Logically Guiding, Sex Having, Exercising, Mascara Wearing, Volunteering, Taking-time-for-her, Organized, Relaxed, Scheduled, Free Spirit, Hosting, Never-fast-food-going, Working, Staying at Home, Pinterest Making, Budgeting, Anti TV fanatic Mom…SHE DOESN’T EXIST.

So, my friend, remember why you didn’t enjoy every moment today. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Most of all, give yourself a break. It may not be perfect, but you’re in it, and most likely, like the nostalgic folks around us, you’ll look back and call these the best years of your life, straw-less cups and all.

Life is Strange. Live it Well.

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