Over the last few years hating on your kids via the internet has become the cool thing to do. Maybe if my kids were younger, I would have jumped on the bandwagon by now. Now that they are of an age where they could potentially read what I write about them on social media, however, I can’t imagine talking badly about them. Especially not in the extremely negative ways I continuously see some moms talking about their own children online.
My kids bicker and refuse to eat what I cook and take three hours to put on a sock, like every other elementary school-age child does. And it’s true — I’m not the picture of patience and goodwill during their most trying times. However, I don’t plan on hating on them or replacing their names with swear words in order to gain a few laughs or a comment from a friend offering me a bottle of wine.
Venting about motherhood and sharing frustrations between friends is all part of parenthood and maybe social media has just made it too easy, too convenient to make things public and increase the shock value of our complaints in order to entertain others. I just wish that we all thought about how our kids would feel if they read our words before we type and then publish them for the world to see.
One of my children died as an infant and that has forever changed my parenting perspective. There are many things about those crazy baby years that can make us feel like we’re losing our minds but I’ve been left with the reality of what it’s like to not have those years at all. For every bottle of glue massaged onto our television (yes this happened) and every battle over completely seasonally inappropriate clothing choices I always reach a point where I’m reminded that this chaos is much better than no chaos at all.
I love my kids and I have no doubt that the moms who’ve chosen to so publicly complain about their children do as well. I’ve just found it strangely isolating over the last few years to not engage in conversations about how much I don’t really like my kids because I do. The bulk of social media conversations have morphed from, “I can’t believe how quickly they’re growing up,” to “I can’t stand the sight of them” quickly over the past few years. I find myself unable to contribute a thing to these types of threads.
I like my kids — however unpopular that sentiment has become — and I like having them home. I miss them when they are gone and I’m very aware just how lucky I am that they are here at all. I’m sure someone out there is rolling their eyes at this and accusing me of being a “sanctimommy” or whatever the latest term has become. Let them. I’m confident enough in my own parenting at this point to choose my own path; I won’t do or say something just because it’s popular. Hating on my kids is not the way I’m going to navigate this crazy ride through parenthood. If it keeps other moms going and provides them an outlet to stay sane each day then I can look the other way and find support in moms who cope the same why I do.
That’s the key to this parenthood thing anyway, I think. Respecting the ways we’ve all chosen to communicate our journey and lifting each other up until liking our kids comes just as easily as loving them.