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Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Wish Someone Had Told Me ....

This may become a sort of ongoing series, but there are a number of things that I wish someone had told me before I embarked on this journey called parenting.

One is that no one ever told me that your labor pain wasn't over just because the baby was out ... (Moms will understand).

Another is that sometimes,

your little bebes that you've nurtured and cared for and love more than anything in the world ...

are going to hate you.

I mean really hate you.

I mean the "I wish you were dead" kind of hatred (although, hopefully, they won't say that aloud where you can hear it).

They will look like this:

and you will feel like this:




They may only hate you for five minutes (sometimes less).  They may hate you for a while and simmer with resentment the entire time that they are grounded for some transgression.  But it WILL happen.  

It doesn't matter if you're the most understanding, patient, loving parent in the world.  Believe me, the first few times it happens, you're going to FEEL like the WORST parent in the world. 

Take it from me, you're not.

Why do I bring this up now?  

Well, TWO times this week I have been hated by my children.  As Not-So-Bebe Girl Autumn walked away after a reprimand, I could hear (under her breath, of course), "I can't wait ...."  I finished the statement in my head, "until I'm 18 so I can get OUT of here!"

Bebe Boy James has limited gaming time, as all of my children have had.  When his hour was up, of course, he didn't want to stop playing.  Being the stern disciplinarian that I am (not really), I said, "No, dude!  You have to get off now!"  (The reasoning is that I'd LIKE my children to actually INTERACT with the rest of the fam - you don't get that while you're staring at a screen and racing cars/skateboarding/beating up aliens).

As he walked out of the room and through the kitchen, he said (and THIS was NOT under his breath), "I wish I lived in a different family!  I don't LIKE this family!!".  In my earlier parenting years, I probably would have said, "Well, right now, I don't like you either, buddy!" (SO not the right answer!!!)

Now that I'm a bit more mellow, I've changed my tactics.  So what I ACTUALLY said was, "That's OK.  We love you anyway".  Did that work?  Well, not right away, since he repeated what he had already said.  

And I repeated what I had said.  

And he walked out of the back door to sit on the steps and stew.  

After a while, I heard him crying.  A little while later, he came in and hugged me and said, "I'm sorry that I was mean to you".

Which just goes to show that sometimes a little parental guilt trip works.

So, now, let me lay a lil' wisdom on ya.  I don't claim to know EVERYthing about parenting.  Believe me, I've been doing it for 26 years and still have a lot to learn.  But one thing I DO know is this:

If your kids never hate you, then you're not doing something right.  

I've raised two daughters to adulthood already.  Many was the time that they hated me.  Other parents were cooler: they did more for their kids, they allowed them to go wherever whenever - the list goes on.

Now that they are grown up, they have both come to me and apologized for what they put me through when they were teenagers.  They have also told me how much they appreciated that I gave them the limits that I did and made them earn their stripes a bit, because it's taught them to work hard and they understand that, even now, they can't just do what they want when they want to do it if they're going to consider themselves responsible adults.

So I must have done SOMEthing right. 

Rinse and repeat ...

If your kids never hate you, then you're not doing something right.

10 comments:

  1. My 3 year old already told me he wanted a new Mommy, and that I didn't do enough for him. This was all on MY birtday mind you!

    When I started to stop the car and drop him off so some other mommy could bring him home he changed his mind real fast. I know he is going through those terible 3s since he didn't when he was 2, but he is just to smart for his own good!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The custody battle ended this past winter, our final court date was in January. My son has been through alot the past two years, and I give him so much pride because he's been so good and pure throughout all of it.

    Sometimes, he does this. Says things, I don't want to live with you anyone. I don't like you. I hate you. It's hard, really really hard. Especially after everything we've been through to get the nice place that we do, what I go through to keep my job and what I do for him. It's hard not to be appreciated after something so trivial like losing a game or not getting the cookie. I myself hope that he doesn't truly think it and it's just his emotions going haywire like all kids. Sometimes I really really hope, he won't hate me forever.

    It's hard, I know, but we get through it. We're mothers just like we hated our mothers when we were kids, we'll love them no less after the fact.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Katie: I know where you are. I went through H E double toothpicks with my oldest .. I cried a lot and worried and thought that all of the effort I put into raising her right was coming to nothing. It was pretty bad ... actually, it was awful. Now that I'm on the other side, and she's realized how absolutely wonderful I REALLY am, I 'guess' it was worth it .. but it's hard when it's happening. Just repeat to yourself what my friends kept telling ME, "You gave a good foundation; she'll come back to it". Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow - that is so true! My 14 year old son and I are going through the "love-hate" part of our relationship now. I know, deep down, he'll thank me someday but today isn't that day and tomorrow isn't looking too good either! Glad to know that you've seen some light at the end of the tunnel -- it gives me hope! Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Loved this post, and it's so true. I remember telling a friend how mean my kids are to me, and she said "Well, are they good around other people?" and I said "Yeh, everyone loves them and thinks they're so well behaved!" and she answered "Then you're doing your job right."

    Thanks for the follow, following you back.

    Jacki (I'm a Mom)

    What's a Mom to Do?
    http://whatdoesamomdo.blogspot.com/

    Diary of a Fat Chick
    http://blog4fatchicks.blogspot.com/

    My Health Quest
    http://jhhealthquest.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post! I remember being a teenager & telling my mom I hated her because she didnt let me do what I wanted. I also remember going to my room & crying because I didnt really mean it, lol. I've apologized to her, like your daughter have to you. And you're right if your child doesnt 'hate' you at some point then you're not doing it right :)

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  7. Hi there.
    Enjoyed your post.

    Stopping by from Saturday SITS fest to say hello.
    Have a great weekend!
    http://harrietandfriends.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. A new follower from MBC - I'm not ready for those "hate you days"! I have a soon to be 4 year old that now crosses her arms and sighs with the roll her eyes when she doesn't like what I told her. Really - rolling her eyes at almost 4! I'm in trouble! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  9. Although my 8yo still hasn't had a real I Hate You Day (unless she did a superb job hiding it) I looooved this post. I think I'm better prepared for my first time, now! Thank you-I'll try to remember "That's okay. We still love you." genious. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. For the moment I live in Cairo, Egypt so it's Sunday when Saturday Sharefest is ending. And I like to go to the last one in the list so they get a visitor to their blog too. (I logged in shortly after Friday turned to Saturday.) So, Happy Saturday Sharefest to you!
    This is a great post. I too raised four kids (I think that's how many you raised based on my calculations...2 adult girls plus another girl and boy). My oldest is 35 now and the youngest will be 28 this August. And you are ABSOLUTELY right...if you don't have moments when the tension can be cut with a knife and you and your kids are on opposite ends of that tension...well, you're not parenting the way you should. I do have to say that my younger two boys were jewels. They NEVER once mouthed off or acted out. I think part of it was their father and I were going through a divorce during their teen years. And although you'd think that would push them into really BAD acting out---it didn't. But it didn't mean we always agreed or that mom didn't have to be hated for a bit. But isn't it worth it to see such wonderful adults they turn into?
    Drop in on my post if you get a chance. I love the visitors and the comments even more.
    dianeswords.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete

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