10 Things I Hate about Parenting
From car seats to Sponge Bob, these are some things I could do without
-Julie Ryan Evans
I love my children more than anything on earth, but that doesn’t mean I love everything about parenting. In fact, there are some things about it that I flat out hate. A strong word, yes, and one I don’t allow my children to use. But I’m the mommy, so here goes:
1. I hate disciplining my child in front of others. In the privacy of my own home I am strong and confident in my decisions, but when other eyes are watching, I start second guessing my every move. I just gave him two warnings, I’m sure they think I’m too lenient. Am I raising my voice too much? Do they think he’s a spoiled bratt? Are they going to call child welfare? Face it, everyone loves to judge a mom, and it’s hard not to let it get to you.
2. I hate potty training. There are plenty of parenting challenges that I embrace whole heartedly. I relish teaching my children new things, seeing how they learn, how they progress. And I thought potty training would be another that we’d conquer together, victorious in the end. Instead it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I nearly had a nervous breakdown potty training my son, and my daughter … well, I’m thinking of outsourcing that lesson when the time comes.
3. I hate Eczema. Both my children battle this frustrating and sometimes unsightly skin condition. The treatments that work contain steroids, the side effects of which scare me; and the rest of it, well, doesn’t work so good. I’m continually slathering lotion on someone, and the eczema is still constantly there.
4. I hate car seats. Don’t worry, I use them and always will. But strapping children in and out of these things in the freezing cold or sweltering heat over and over and over again, especially when they’re fighting you, is just plain exhausting. And though my son is now in a booster seat and pretty self-sufficient at getting himself in and out of it, about every 10th time the seatbelt locks … which he usually tells me right as we’re pulling out of our driveway or a parking lot – usually when we’re running late. So the car goes back in park, and out I get to wrestle with the seatbelt once again. Don’t even get my started on traveling with these contraptions.
5. I hate junk toys from birthday party goody bags and all the other little crap toys my son collects along the way. There is no place for this plastic paraphernalia that litters our life and is probably made with toxic chemicals polluting our home, car and yard as well – little bouncy balls, miniature games that break within minutes of playing, tiny kazoos, microscopic playing cards. But it’s my son’s treasure that he loves for about 10 minutes and wouldn’t dream of parting with. Ever.
6. I hate baby clothes with words like “cutie” “sweetheart” and “little princess” ALL OVER THEM. Don’t need it, don’t want it, just want plain little solid colors or prints without a store logo, word or cartoon character anywhere in sight. Try finding them – it’s a serious challenge to do so outside of pricey boutiques. Even the Gap, the mecca of staples, has to emblazon each piece with GAP somewhere on it.
7. I hate Sponge Bob Square Pants. It’s just creepy, and while I couldn’t really articulate the reasons I won’t let me 6-year-old son watch it, I won’t. It’s just weird and without any value at all in my opinion. While violent, at least Spider Man is virtuous.
8. I hate that kids are mean. Watching my son’s heart break because some kid says something to him, hurts me worse than I knew I could be hurt. I know we’ll be on both sides of this aisle, and that he has been and will be the mean kid sometimes – I hate both scenarios.
9. I hate the fear. I hate that everything scares me from the food coloring in the frosting on birthday cake to the threat of childhood cancer to possibility of them being abducted. I hate how much time and energy it takes to deal with the fear.
10. Most of all I hate that there isn’t enough time – not enough hours in the day, weeks in the year, years in my life – to spend with these amazing little beings who I have the privilege of parenting. I love to watch them grow, but I hate how quickly the time passes and how these incredible days of their youth are going to be gone before I know it. Because for all the frustrations, the thing I hate the most is that there will never be enough time to love them.