Sometimes I don’t like my children. And I’m learning that it’s okay.
I’m not sure if I’m writing this to get some affirmation, or to hand some out. Either way, I’m being honest. It’s not that I don’t love them. Of course I do. It’s not even that I don’t usually like them. It’s just sometimes.
I am the mother of two sweet, silly boys. I love who they are. I love their personalities. I love how I can picture each of their mannerisms in my head, and if I think about it, I can hear how they each call my name, “Mama.”
But I don’t always like them.
The other day, I had to leave the grocery store with my screaming toddler… and no groceries. He threw a tantrum of epic proportions in the little “get your cart” area of the store – the make people stop and stare kind of tantrum. He’d been on the ledge all morning, but I was hoping I could talk him down long enough for some lunch supplies. I was wrong. After two more text book tantrums during the day, and a failed afternoon nap, I really just did. not. like. him. I spent more time that day being frustrated and annoyed than enamored. That night though, putting him to bed, I cuddled him just a little longer and took an extra breath of that freshly washed baby hair. Tomorrow will be better.
My boys both have these smiles and dimples. Smiles and dimples that (almost) make it impossible to be unhappy. Their giggles! If I could bottle those giggles up, and pull them out on hard days, I would. I love their snuggles. I love how my one-year-old gives the best hugs and is starting to say “I love you.” I love how my four-year-old is so insightful and thoughtful.
But some days are hard. Some days my four-year-old makes me feel like I would rather sit on a chair covered in pinecones than have to sit at the dinner table with him. In our house, we ask that you take as many bites as you are old. Four bites is not a lot of food, and somehow, the time and effort it takes this little four-year-old human to put down those few ounces of food… there are no words. Much like this great nation, we do not negotiate with terrorists, and that is what dinner sometimes becomes. Those nights? He is not my favorite. But after bathtime is done, and he is all PJd up, my heart melts a little with his goodnight hugs that show just how big he has actually gotten in these fast four (almost five) years.
Those days and nights that leave me not liking my children are so very VERY hard. I always feel so drained and guilty. Like I’ve failed as a mother because I don’t currently like my children. It’s a bad feeling to not like those little people you love so much. I’m learning that it’s normal though, and it’s okay. Some days are a little harder than the others. Some days you’re not a rock star. And some days you don’t like your children.
But you always love them.