Friday, February 28, 2014

To the Kid Haters (Me Included)

Kids.

They need food and water constantly.

They get sick and poo their pants.

They decide spray paint is PERFECT for decorating neighbors’ houses.

They think the words “pet” and “insect” are one-in-the-same.

They love spaghetti on Monday and hate it on Tuesday.

They get a kick out of breaking every single nice thing, ever.

They decide a nice, swift smack in the face is a great way to say “Love you, Mama!”

They require new clothes and new shoes constantly.

They think clean teeth are wet teeth.

They play piano on your computer keyboard like deranged little Beethovens.

They take a strong interest in anything that comes out of the body.

They enjoy listening to the same song nine billion times in 24 hours.

They are incredibly loud and often obnoxious.

And until I had my own children…..my mental list of child characteristics stopped right here. All bad things. All irritating things. Some funny things, but mostly irritating things.

I still find myself collaborating with the new cultural norm of hatin on kids....those e-cards about bottomless bottles of wine for moms everywhere...."this is what I think I do/this is what I really do"..... memes of kids acting like total jerks....I've pinned this stuff. I think it's funny. But recently, it's started to depress me a little. When did we get so negative about parenting?

More and more people are choosing not to have kids - which is absolutely ok! ...but I've never seen so much "ha-ha, I win, you lose" crap in my life.

Ha-ha, I choose me.

Ha-ha, me and my partner on a beach, with strong drinks, and lotsa money...this is no kids.

Ha-ha, life is better without children #sorryimnotsorry

We've injected so much sarcasm and dark humor into parenting, it's no wonder those without kids think having kids is the equivalent of a living hell (see above list about kids)

…but here’s the hitch – when you witness all the tiny, impossible moments known only by you and your baby, you begin to understand why people are obsessed with their kids.

It’s not about losing yourself in another person. It’s not about giving up your life for motherhood. It’s not about all the bad things.

Parenting is about expanding your life to participate in an absolutely unique, evolutionary, and unexplainable thing…the creation of another person.

My girls are little orbs of potential. I’m blessed with not only the responsibility of teaching them how to succeed in today’s society, but also the joy of watching them grow into actual people….with their own minds, their own gifts, their own contributions to this funky little dance we call life.

Yes, they still poo their pants sometimes.

Yes, I've lost some friends and many of my remaining relationships are altered.

But you know, in a few short years, these kids will be grown. I only get a few years of influence here before they start looking up to morons like Miley Cyrus ***shudder*** or geniuses like Einstein ***applause***

My kids will either be total jerks, totally awesome, or a nice blend of both. I believe both nature and nurture play a role in how someone ends up in life. And slap my grits, if I’m not gunnin' like heck to make my kid less jerk and more awesome.

This means cleaning up the poo and crying randomly sometimes. It means I’m going to say no a lot. It means I’ll have to deal with people saying things like “I’m so sick of these BABY pictures ” and “I am never having kids because I want a life.” (Ouch, by the way. That's not nice.) It means my life will never, ever be the same.

I’ll be tickling chubby toes and pretending to gobble up baby feet.

I’ll be teaching my daughter how to stand up to bullies on the playground.

I’ll be squishing my kids against me at 6AM on a Saturday, an elbow in my ribs, books and blankets everywhere.

I’ll be working, working, working to provide these soon-to-be adults with real-life examples of living the dream.

I’ll be greeted with squeals of laughter and sheer joy just because I walked in the door.

I’ll witness astounding, spectacular things, like my 2nd grader’s art....




....and my toddler saying, “I’m sowwy…big squeeeeze?”

I’ll learn things about myself I would’ve never learned alone....good things. Incredible things. 

These are the simple, understated, unappreciated elements of kids. These are the things that make the poo worthwhile.

I poke fun at my choice to be a mom, and at kids, at at parenting in general, because parenting is hard....but the trials and tribulations never, ever outweigh the insane happiness I get from my lil' ladies. Most parents will tell you the same. 

Do you have anything positive to say about kids? Hint: Try not to think about the hellion you witnessed spewing horrific noises from his mouth at Target. 

And you don't need to be a parent to answer this question ... matter of fact, it would be awesome to hear from those who don't have kids. GET CREATIVE IF YOU HAVE TO.

Word t'ya mutha, lovely readers. 

Jen

20 comments:

  1. I risked everything for my daughter. Honestly everything. I was on watch through my entire pregnancy for internal bleeding and at the end for us both dying. So people who are unable to see past their current idea of perfection and look at the possibilities shock me. My daughter is the most amazing thing which has ever happened to me and she is only 18 months. There is nothing better than feeling something growing inside of you and experience this person show you they were unique from the moment they were conceived.

    As for wonderful stories I have so many. But everyday is incredible. Every time she runs to the door when I came home to hug and kiss me. Every time she says Mama. Every time she only looks to me for comfort. I would go so far as to say even the bad times can be so precious. Watching her learn and grow. Even painting herself in poop is crazily funny.

    I have chosen thing as less important than her. Yes. I have lost friends because of those choices. Those were my choices. Very deliberate choices so my daughter could be given the time she needs to become the most amazing person she be. And it is just such a short time. I would not trade anything for her smile, her giggles, her kisses or the cute little way she says Melmo.

    She is my little Munchkin and I always wanted a child and was amazed still at how insanely incredible being a mama is.

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    1. I love it, Sarah! HAHA I love the Melmo too :) Thank you so, so much for reading and sharing your beautiful perspective, as well :)

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  2. Very well written and could on come from a place of understanding and love. I have 3 boys who I can hardly believe are young men now. It happens in the blink of an eye! By the way you 2nd graders art work is spectacular and should be hanging in a museum!

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    1. Awww thank you so much!! I will tell my big girl what you said about her painting.....she will be so happy :) I do hear all the time that these moments fly by.....it's so hard to stay focused on that when you're just wishing they could wipe their own butts!! Thanks for the reminder and also for reading :) Happy to have you here!

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  3. This is very true - it's all about perception; my son is great and while he can be overwhelming its usually because I'm tired. I take steps back and take a nap, usually in his room while he talks about video games. Either way it's quality time and by the time I am fully alert I'm well rested and more sane. We don't have to be "on" 24/7" - they're the greatest reward and will provide great comfort as we age, it's leaving behind something greater than ourselves. He's 6 and one day he'll be 16 and so forth time flies so enjoy the poo indeed! Have a great one Jennifer! -Iva

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    1. HAHA thank you Iva :) "Enjoy the poo indeed" is my new favorite phrase!! :) So glad you stopped by!

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  4. Hi Jennifer,
    This is a very thought-provoking post. I agree that it seems to have become en vogue to sarcastically bash motherhood and well, kids too. I've often thought that if people wrote/said the same of their jobs, they'd probably get fired.
    I lived without children for 40 years. I enjoyed my freedom to do as I pleased, when I pleased. But now, I have a 2-year-old and my life has changed dramatically. I still miss certain things about being childless, of course. But, I certainly don't want my son to feel bad because Mama would rather watch HBO than KidTV. He deserves to have the most engaged, most loving mother possible. I had that kind of mom and I want the same for my son no matter how many tv shows I miss or purses I don't buy or hours of sleep I don't get. He's my baby and nothing trumps that. :)

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    1. I've never thought about it that way and think you are so absolutely on-point...if we talked about our jobs the way we joke about motherhood we would absolutely be fired!! And I love your outlook on parenting, I also believe our kiddos deserve the best parents we can possibly be. They didn't ask to be born....we decided to make that happen, so taking responsibility is all about putting them first. LOVE your perspective and am so glad you stopped by!!

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  5. What a great post! I think that a lot of the dark sarcasm came - unwittingly - from mothers themselves who just needed an outlet. I can tell you that there were plenty of times with my homebound little ones yesterday that I needed an outlet. BUT...those special moments when the little one gives you a great big hug saying "Mooommmyyyyy" or the 4 year old says "I adore you"...those are simply the best moments.

    There will come a time again when I will be able to lounge around and relax with my husband on snow days or vacation. There will be times later when we'll be able to take amazing vacations together...anywhere in the world! But for now, we've chosen to have a family, and even though it brings tighter budgets for the next two or three decades, it's worth all of it for those thrilling moments.

    And as for the idea that people who don't have children have a life? I completely disagree. Parents have a life, it's just a different kind of life than the childless life. It's full of a different kind of unexpected. A different kind of humor. A different kind of love. But it is a full life, nonetheless.

    Thanks for providing a place to share the POSITIVE!

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    1. I love it - thank you so much Leslie for commenting. I agree 100% - much of my venting revolves around sarcasm and dark humor. I need to laugh and joke about the things that cause me stress or else I go nuts! I find myself needing to control it, though, because it tends to take over my mind sometimes and is reflected in how I speak about parenting or view my life. It's so important to reflect on the good things because you are completely right - they are kids for only a few, fleeting years. I try to remember this when I am at my breaking point!

      Thank you so much for reading and I am overjoyed you stopped by :)

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  6. UGH!!!! Wrote a long a** comment and it all erased! Wah. stupid 'puter.

    Anyway, what I was trying to say is that I've had this post opened on my desktop ever since you wrote it and I was trying to come up with just the right words (which, well, I'm not sure that has happened, but I will try).

    At 34, I'm not yet a mommy but most of my friends are. And I wouldn't want anything else but the best for them and their beautiful families. I don't like that there's any shaming involved and I have a hard time understanding why anyone would make anyone else feel bad for decisions they made in life that make them happy?? So you choose NOT to have kids. GOOD ON YOU! Why do you have to put down someone who made different decisions in life?

    Anyway, I know you asked your child-less readers to weigh in too so I wanted to shout out :) And also said that… I really love your writing. It does give me so much to look forward to when that does finally come. Until then, I'll continue to celebrate with my mom friends and be the cool aunt.

    XOXO

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    1. Thank you so so much for commenting!!! I love getting a variety of perspectives on the comment board and am so glad you decided to post, even if it took you two times!! HA :)

      I agree, the shaming hurts only because I would think those who really loved me would really love my kids - as they are extensions of, well, me. It sounds like your friends and family are so lucky to have you - understanding, loving, and accepting relationships make the world go 'round.

      Thank you SO MUCH for the compliment and for taking the time to shoutout :) I am so grateful to have you here!!

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  7. I like this post a lot!
    Growing up, I always said I was never having kids! Well, look at me now!
    Although, I still hate kids. Other people's kids mostly. Not all of them. Just some. *shifty eyes*

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    1. HAHAHAHA This comment made me spit out my water. I am completely on board. Yesterday was the first nice day we've had in months and I saw all these kids outside. I definitely gave them my look.

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  8. I'm literally crying. This is so awesome! I'm a total weirdo in today's day and age, I'm was an engaged mommy before I was even 22, and most of my "old" friends are still single, partying, blacking out, "doing me", and in college! It seems that from every end these days I hear people saying they don't want to have kids and have to "give up on themselves". This was such a beautiful post and a great way of putting it. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog so that I could discover yours. You're amazing!
    {PS thank you and your husband for y'alls service!}
    Caitlin

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    1. Awwwww!! Thank you so much!! You have me completely giddy over here!! :) I am so glad you came over and I am so appreciative for the comment love :) :) :) THANK YOU!

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  9. A little late to the party here, just wanted to put in my .02 :) As a 34 year old childfree woman (I have known for what feels like forever that kids aren't in my future, one of those ‘early articulators’), I really like this post. I love my little nephew. He is an awesome, funny, bizarre little human that can make me laugh just by giving me that naughty, eye scrunching grin. He has wonderful, engaged, informed parents, and I love them for that (and that’s how it should be!)! It still doesn’t change my decision. What I have figured out is simple – people are going to judge. No matter what you do, when you do it, how you do it – it will always be wrong to somebody. Have kids – they will judge how you raise them, what you feed them, how you discipline, how many you have, (how far they are apart.. read your post on pregnancy and lol, sis & I are 7 yrs apart, we have almost those same pics! ) and on and on. Don’t have them – they will say you’re selfish, less of a woman, you must hate kids, you need to grow up, you will never be fulfilled, etc. I’m not a party girl, nor a workaholic, am happily married, just living life. Ultimately all you can do is make the right decision for you – and it comes back to the ‘golden rule’. Treat others as you would want to be treated (including the kiddos, they do tend to pick up on that stuff)!

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    1. Hi Roxie! ~ wow I love this comment! First off....so glad you and your sister are friends because let's face it, that weird lady really threw me off with her crazy kid age comments. Secondly, I love how clear-headed and open-minded you are. It's so refreshing and makes me happy to think there are people out there like you. You are absolutely right....people will always judge, no matter what. Thirdly, the golden rule really does rule. Fourth, thank you for reading my other post!!!! HA! and lastly, thank you for taking time out of your day to stop by and make mine :)

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  10. oh you forgot they insist on watching the same Disney film everyday for 6 months until you know every word and EVERY song and then some 15 years later deny ever having liked that film!
    My kids are the best thing that ever happened to me, my kids drive me bonkers, it's a paradox, that's just how it is! Thankfully they have stopped pooing unexpectedly and sleep through the night (then well into the next day!). Then now and again they offer to make me a cup of tea and actually want to sit down and share something about their day with me so on balance it's all good. Some times we laugh till we are crying, usually about something stupid. My life is richer for the kids being in it, my bank balance is poorer.

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    1. HAHA so true Julia!!! It absolutely is a paradox....so many good things, so many not-as-good things. Kinda that way in all areas of life, I guess. I sometimes can't wait for my kiddos to sleep until noon, but then other times I hear their little feet running around in the morning and I can't help but think "don't push, you're gonna miss this". Thank you for stopping by and commenting, really feeling the love today :) :) :)

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