Sunday, July 21, 2013

why does talking about kids & negativity go hand in hand?

Since becoming a mom, there is one thing that I CANNOT stand.  Negative comments.  Yes, I would consider myself to be a fairly glass half full kind of girl, but I'm talking about the things people say about their kids that blows me away, and should for everyone, even if you aren't the most positive person. With that being said, being a parent is hard.  And everyone needs to vent about how hard it can be sometimes.  And I'm not saying that things are always sunshine and daisies around here.  And there are those times when I tell Mike - hold her, now, I need a minute. What I'm talking about are the ridiculous comments that make people appear to really hate their children, or parenting, or both.  Or the comments that make you feel like you need to be in some type of "I can't stand my kids, so neither should you" club.

For some reason, when many people talk about their kids with other people, the phrase, "well, you just wait," seems to come up more than I would like to believe. Whether they had their kids a few years ago, or a few decades ago, it seems to be the same.  When Everly was first born, it was, "well you just wait until you never sleep, can't take a shower, and forget what makeup is,".  That just wasn't my experience, and when we had a baby that slept, and slept well [thank you co-sleeping], it was, "well, you just wait until she starts moving around.  Your life will be hell,".  She started crawling, and early at that, and guess what?  We survived.  Yes, we are one our toes much more, and she taught us how to baby proof the house, but come on people, I've got one baby, and she's fast, but it is SO manageable. Now we get, "well, you just wait until she starts walking, then you are really going to be in trouble,". Ok folks, do you get where I'm going with this?  It seems like people like harping on the challenges with parenting, and not the good parts.  If you really hated parenting that much, maybe you shouldn't have had so many kids.  If you resent your offspring, you don't need to bring me down, just because I don't.  Or there is always the old saying, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Kids are not for everyone.  I get it.  If every person on the planet was meant to have ten, we would have a problem.  I was meant for one.  And one is what I have.  The Mr. and I are the first to have kids in our close group of friends, and I hope I would never say some of the things to my friends that people have said to us.  I hope when it comes time for them to have kids, I have awesome parenting tricks and tips to share, not a list of how their life is forever going to suck.

So, my point to this rant would be, why are so many parent conversations filled with negativity?  Why do we have to one up each other on the challenges, or tell people their life is going to suck once they get to where they are currently in the parenting cycle?  I never feel the need to say back, "well, you just wait until I'm busting your kid in the sixth grade for getting high at lunch," because, really, what good does that do?  I hope that in my small circle of friends we can change how we view our role as parents.  It is about being honest with our lives with kids, and sure, there will be some comments here and there, but for people on the outside, let's not be so snarky.  I love getting to compare mommy stories with my friends, and even when we talk about the unforeseen challenges, we talk in a way of support, and not negativity.  Kids should not ruin your life.  And if you are afraid in the slightest that they are going to, don't have them.  And with that being said, here's some of my favorite new photos of Everly, who for the record has not ruined my life!  I have learned now that she's mobile, we need a distracting prop to keep her still, and half way photogenic.  So, from now on, expect her to be holding something in all photos!
 

 Everly may or may not have eaten a flower petal at the end of this mini-shoot.
oops, mom fail

13 comments:

  1. Sorry that you have run into so much negativity, there are always folks that relish in the negative. Keep doing what you are doing and be an example to others.

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    1. Thanks - sadly the negativity is everywhere, and yes, I'm trying to make baby steps towards change!

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  2. Hi Everly! I so agree with you. I just don't know why there are some people who just enjoy pulling everyone down. I don't really get affected most of the time but there are still times when it just gets under your skin. I hope we can deal with them better someday. Anyway, it was a very good read and I love the photos! Thank you so much for sharing this!

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    1. thanks for reading - yes, some days it is easier to brush off than others!

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  3. Love this post! My parents were always careful to never complain about us and told us growing up when other adults complained that it was grossly inappropriate and unkind to their children. I hope to carry on the positive tradition and love that you're starting a revolution in your circle of friends ;)

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    1. thanks Olivia, sounds like you have great examples as parents! It is amazing the damage negativity can do on little ones!

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  4. Well said! I remember being pregnant with Noah and hearing a coworker just swear like crazy about her kids. I had the same thoughts, (along with some others...like, well, YOU raised them, didn't you?). :-) If you really feel that way, why did you have them? Sure, there are REALLY hard days (and sometimes nights), but life with my little boys is so, SO good. We just feel so blessed. Thanks for writing what I've been thinking for YEARS!

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    1. You are welcome Dianna - I was a little nervous about the responses I might get to this post, but I'm glad that people are feeling what I am too! Life is good with these little ones!!!

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  5. I'm not trying to stir the pot, but, sometimes parenting does suck. Because it's not all rainbows and butterflies 100% of the time. You got lucky with a baby who slept through the night, but not every child is like that. There are babies who get colicky and moms/dads who hardly get any sleep for months and months on end. I think it is a bit high browed to talk about situations you have never experienced.
    I understand the people you are talking about or were trying to, the parent's who call their kids all sorts of names but the one they gave them, and some who seem to have nothing good to say about them ever and their lives seem like unending bad dreams.
    Kids bring such a joy to your life but they also bring so much stress. People handle it in different ways, and I am so glad I have a group of mommies that I when I feel I cannot handle it anymore, I can go and vent and move on. Because sometimes you feel beat up and sometimes you feel like you can't go on, but having friends who will listen to you gripe about it, who can commiserate and then try to make you feel better is perfectly normal in my book. I don't think just because I do this I feel that my daughter has ruined my life. And I don't think when people tell me, "Just you wait until..." that they are trying to scare me. They are in their own way trying to prepare you for what's to come based on their own experience.
    Please don't take my response as attacking you. I just thought I would share a different side.

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    1. I agree with you, and I stated above that we all need to vent, and that parenting is hard. This conversation has nothing to do with how "hard" a child is or not, it is how we talk about it with others. Letting it all out with your friends is one thing, and SO important, but the comments made in the line at the grocery store, or while checking out at the library, those are the comments that are not ok. I've had several friends who wanted to have children for years, and then after experiencing so much negativity around parenting, are still questioning if it is right for them. If all you hear about from your co-workers is their griping about their children, would you want them? I am valid to my opinion, no matter how lucky I have been with my daughter. If you read my blog regularly, you will note that I talk often with how amazingly blessed we are with our daughter, how lucky we feel every day, and understand that she is the exception to the rule. With that said, I stand by my opinion that negativity when talking about our children is everywhere, and yes, these comments do scare many parents, or soon to be parents. Of course there are always exceptions, and I'm glad that the "you just wait" comment doesn't bother you, but I find the tone of these comments, and the fact that I hear it multiple times a day, really out of line.

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  6. I must say I find this whole thing incredibly judgemental and it comes across as very sanctimommy. From your title to the statement that you never had a problem getting your kid to sleep through the night, it's clear you have what most would consider an "easy baby." I, however, have had a different experience. There is no question that I love being a mother and I love my son. I am a good mom, but until you have a 15 month old who still doesn't STTN, was colicky and refluxy for more than six months, barely eats, etc I really don't think it's your place to judge. And having a child that is more "diffinult" or as I like to call it "determined" isnt a reflection on your parenting just like having one who is a more easy baby isnt. We all deal with our parenting frustrations differently. I also dont think that saying "just you waint" is always a negative thing. Like the above poster mentioned, I look at it as trying to prepare me for whats about to come. It doesnt mean they hate their kids or being a parent. Being a parent is hard and it is harder for some more than others. Its time parents climb off their high horses and let other parents just be. I wouldnt wish what I went through the first year of my sons life on anybody, and that is not a condemnaton of my son. I love him more than life itself, but if you havent been through it, you cannot imagine. If you havent gotten more than 3 hours of sleep for over a year you cannot even begin to fathom what it is like. I dont know if you will have more, but if you do have one who isnt the perfect angel your first one is just *you* wait. You may be singing a different tune. You wait for the utter exhaustion to fill you deep in your bones.

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    1. I'm sorry that you feel the need to anonymously name call. I have the right to my opinion, and you are not forced to read these thoughts. No where in this post did I say that my amazing parenting abilities have given me an easy child, or have I said this in any other post on this blog. This is not a post on the challenges of parenting, this is a post on how we talk about our children. I have a close friend who has two small children, and they are amazing, but they have had many of the situations you comment on above. Everything from severe food allergies to waking up every hour through the night, this mom has had it all. And guess what, she does not feel the need to go through life making negative comments about her children to acquaintances and strangers. Do we talk about the challenges, yes, of course, and within our friendship, that is exactly the time and place. I'm sorry that you decided to skim this post for the content you wanted to pick out, and did not read it carefully. I did state above that we are just having one child, so you did not need to end your comment with that threat, again, please read before berating me. And as soon as I start having strangers tell me, "just wait until they start to give you kisses" or "just wait until they say they love you for the first time", then I will change my opinion on this statement. If the way we talk about our kids is bad enough to discourage people from having children [I know several of these people in real life], then we have an issue with how we talk about our children. If our experiences with children make us realize they are not for us, then great, but if people are that scared from constant negative comments from grown adults, then again, I state we have an area of concern. I stand by my opinion, and sorry if this makes me a "sanctimommy" in your eyes. Again, if you do not care for my style of writing or opinions, then you may read other mom blogs.

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  7. As someone who has been on the receiving end of a "kids ruin your life, you may not want to have them" comment, I just have to say thank you for this post. I don't have kids yet and I understand that I can't comprehend how difficult it can be until I do but I am sick of the awful things people say about their kids. My husband constantly comes home from work terrified because his coworkers (male and female) literally tell him that their kids have ruined their lives. To Anonymous above: of course you need to be able to vent and tell your friends about all the bad stuff and how it makes you feel but there is a time and a place and if you think that this post is judgmental then consider yourself lucky that you have not experienced the awful attitude some parents have. I am not talking about the "my god this is so hard sometimes I just need a bottle of wine...and a long vacation...and a massage by a male model to forget my worries BUT..." I am talking about the people who have no concept of the positive aspect and then proceed to force that negativity on people at work or a party or the grocery store. It seems to come from the idea that they aren't happy so they don't want to see anyone else happy in their parenting and it just makes me sad that I am seeing so much of it lately.

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