Passionate About Genesee County
and the Moms Who Live Here

I love my child. But sometimes I do not like him.

I love my child. But sometimes I do not like him. I don’t think there is a parent out there that has not had the same thought. Yes, it’s a harsh statement, but it’s a raw and honest parenting truth.

Sometimes our children push our buttons. Sometimes our patience is shredded so incredibly thin. Sometimes the frustration has mounted to a boiling point, and we are only able to see red. The love is always there. The love does not waver. But the like? The like part can sometimes be really hard.

Love this kid, even when he’s a challenge!

What about Mom?!
My birthday was last month. Typically, I don’t make a huge deal out of it, especially as the numbers keep increasing and each passing year seems to bring on another wrinkle with her grey-haired friend in tow. But I’ll be vain enough to admit that I do appreciate a little fanfare. A nice dinner with friends, the chance to sleep in, or homemade treasures from my kids are always loved and appreciated. Being the main caregiver, it’s nice to be taken care of every once in a while, isn’t it? And I’m nothing if not a fabulous birthday-party-thrower for all of my family members! I love making my husband and kiddos feel special when celebrating the day of their birth. It’s a wonderful feeling when that sentiment is reciprocated.

The Incident
This year I only wanted one thing for my special day: a closet organization system. Not very exciting, I know. But I’m a big nerd and organization makes my mom-life happier. We made a family plan to go pick out my gift, and have dinner together.

Maybe it was the fact that my boys played hockey games that morning, or that they had woken up particularly early. Perhaps I can blame it on the beautiful sunshine, begging my kids to come outside and enjoy our backyard with their friends. It could have just been an “off” day. Whatever the reason, when it came time for our family evening, my son had a full-scale meltdown. We’re talking a screaming, crying, whining, “threenager” tantrum. From a seven-year-old! Why? Because my plans didn’t fit into his agenda. Literally. When we asked him why he was crying he absolutely wailed, and I quote, “There won’t be any time left for me to do what I want to do!” He proceeded to cry and scream like that, for over an hour. An hour!

Ouch. That one stung, and not just a little. My son’s words and actions were a major blow. I did not like them. Frankly, I didn’t like my child throughout that incredibly tense episode and its aftermath. Not only were my feelings completely hurt, but I wasn’t aware until that moment that I’d been raising such a spoiled, selfish child!

The Frustration!
Honest but true, that was my first thought: what a spoiled, selfish brat my child was being. My child! The one I’ve taught to say “please” and “thank you” since day one; the one I’ve taught to have a sense of care and awareness for others, even if it’s just a simple “are you ok?” to a friend; the one I’ve been tirelessly teaching the concept and practice of empathy. Apparently, none of my parenting has sunk in. If my son can’t look beyond himself to celebrate someone else {and that someone certainly doesn’t have to be me!} then my lessons have fallen incredibly short of the mark.

My God, parenting is so hard! It’s such a delicate balance between raising good humans, and not wanting to completely screw them up in the process!

The Reflection
My son has never been an easy one to manage. He’s sensitive, emotional, and incredibly strong-willed. We’ve worked so hard to help him balance those big emotions with his actions, to channel that strong-willed behavior. I don’t want to be the yelling parent or the spirit-crusher. I really don’t! I want to be the mom who hears what her child has to say. I would like to respect my child’s voice, even if I don’t necessarily understand or agree with it. Wow, that’s definitely easier said than done – especially when the source of my son’s angst was the celebration of my birthday!

I didn’t like my child in that moment. That threenager meltdown? Nope, I wasn’t having it. I wasn’t interested in hearing anything that my son had to say. But despite his ridiculous display of behavior, he’s my baby boy. My first born. The one who made me a mom. Even if I feel like I’m failing at it sometimes, I’m still his mom. I’m the one he saves the extra snuggles for, the one he comes to first when he’s sad or hurt. I’m his person. And I love him deeply.

Advice Welcome!
I wish I had some great piece of advice here, or some witty repartee to wrap this post up in a pretty little bow. It would be amazing if I had a nice and neat resolution. I don’t. I’m just a mom sharing her raw and honest parenting struggles: sometimes I do not like my child. But I will always love him. Fervently. I will never stop loving, leading and teaching my child to be the best possible human that he can be….even when the like part is really hard.

What are your greatest parenting challenges? Share them with us!




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