Can We Stop Joking About Not Liking Our Kids?

Can we stop joking about not liking our kids_

I have to tell you, Huffpost Parents’ Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week is my guilty pleasure. Parenting is hard and most days you just have to laugh, so I love laughing with other parents who GET IT.

See? Funny.

I’ve even been known to share this gem:

There have been many a day that my husband has come home and I have sprinted out the door just like Melissa McCarthy in this picture. I will admit, though, that it doesn’t make me proud to say that.

Over the last several weeks as kids across the country have gone back to school, my news feeds have been absolutely inundated with pics, videos, and snarky comments from mamas thankful that summer is over so that they can send their kids on their merry way. There was a video of a mama saying she would buy teachers anything they wanted just to get her kids out of her face. There have been several pics of parents celebrating back-to-school while sad faced kids with backpacks stand in the background. Even the local Christian radio station in my hometown used to play a commercial referencing how thrilled moms are to send their kids back to school so they can get a break.

I can’t help but wonder how we would feel if the tables were turned?

Imagine for a moment that you’re the one going off to school (or work) and your loved ones were throwing a party because they were so excited to be rid of you.

Imagine your husband races out the door every morning to get away from your loud mouth. Or your mess. Or you being in his face all day.

What if your kids posted online videos talking about how they’re thankful that your boss will deal with you every day so they don’t have to?

Allow me to be the one to say it: this isn’t funny. It is hurtful and mean and encourages the notion that children are a burden. I can’t imagine any of us would want our children to think they aren’t worth the work.

Can we stop joking about not liking our kids?

Is parenting hard? Absolutely. Do I need a break sometimes? Of course. More than anything in this world, though, I want my children to feel cherished. I want them to know that they are always welcome. I want them to understand that even when it’s hard, even when I’m tired, I always want them with me. My boys’ messes and noise and constant chaos will never ever make me want to send them away. I want to be their soft place to land. I never want them to have to wonder if mama wants them here. The answer is always YES.

I am 100% certain we all love our kids. Sharing this stuff on social media is meant to be a funny way to deal with the tough moments of taking care of little people. Whether it’s wanting just a few hours to complete a task without interruption, returning to a routine, or being able to shower on the regular, I understand. Truly I do.

I come off as loud and confident most of the time. Put me in a room full of people and I will make a friend. The fact is, though, that I am as tender as the day is long. The reason I’m loud and confident and determined to make a friend everywhere I go is because I am terrified of people not liking me. What if they don’t want me around? What if they dread seeing me walk in the door? I would be brokenhearted.

So when I look in the eyes of these kiddos whose mamas are cheering the start of school, it makes me sad. I am so thankful that my mom at least pretended to like having me around because I don’t think my tender heart could have handled her shoving me out the door with glee — even if it was just a joke.

We can commiserate. We can laugh about the sleepless nights, constant interruptions, messes, chaos, fighting, and absolutely obscene grocery bills. We just can’t stop there. We need to encourage each other to see the good in our children. We should shine light on the joy they bring into our homes. As moms, we should come together to find strength to serve our families with grace instead of seeking out the next break we think we deserve. 

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One Response to Can We Stop Joking About Not Liking Our Kids?

  1. Beth Stone September 26, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

    I love this – you’ve perfectly summed up what I feel when I see those “can’t wait to get rid of my kids” memes and posts…. I hope my kids always know that they are my sunshine, even when I’m tired. Thanks for sharing this.

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