When You Love Your Child, But Don’t “Like” Them
Raise your hand if you've ever thoroughly disliked your own offspring.
Can't raise your hand? OK, fine, how about your scrolling finger?
We're all guilty of having moments when we look at our own kids aghast and wonder, is this really my child acting this way?
The truth is, being a parent means sometimes loving our kids to the moon and back–but not always loving their behavior. And I think (I hope so anyway?) that that's normal. Sometimes, I think we love our kids but may not like them. At that particular moment, anyway.
Personally, I've found that the times I've clashed the most with my kids are actually the times that they are acting most like me. It's a tough realization, but really think about it: what are your triggers with your child? Is it a stubborn streak? Extreme grumpiness when over-tired? All traits from me, unfortunately.
I know that it can be hard to deal with those moments when your kiddos are driving you absolutely bonkers and in those moments, it can feel like the smallest triggers can get you. My personal struggles include running noses and kids chewing with their mouths open. Why? It's in the moments when all I can do is try to tune out the sound of my kid chewing that I really feel like the worst person to walk this planet. What kind of mother gets annoyed by the sound of her child chewing?
This one. This mother does.
But then I start thinking about all of the grace my kids give me. I mean, think of how many times you have lost your temper or huffed and puffed and sighed when the kids “interrupted” you, or you let impatience creep into your voice or scolded the toddler for something silly.
And those same kids that were just getting on your nerves?
Well, they forgive you instantly, don't they?
Sometimes I want to cry at how quickly and swiftly I feel the generous grace and love my kids show me. Honestly, in a lot of ways, I'm learning from them. But the fact that my five-year-old can go from me scolding her, to her throwing her arms around me in a big hug shows me that when it comes to those impatient moments when our kids are just driving us nuts–well all I need to do is wait a minute, give myself grace, and remember that loving them is a choice I can gladly make over and over, all day long.
And all night long, of course. Because it's probably those middle of the night awakenings when we like our kids least, right?
How do you deal with the tough moments as a parent?