July 11, 2018 at 11:58 am #762213
“Maybe for this visit, instead of backing off and sitting in judgement, why don’t you engage your sister? Ask her how you can help her out, ask her about her son’s routine at home and if there is anything you can do to make him feel more comfortable, ask about things he likes, his favorite activities. Try sympathizing with your poor nephew who is, after all, only 3, and in a strange place with people who don’t seem to like him very much. A little compassion goes a long way with most people, including kids.”
I find that most times my kids are being crazy they are extremely tired, over stimulated, or they need one on one attention.
Google around and find out some cool playgrounds to take him to. Check some books out of the library to read to him. Teach him a game. Buy some water balloons and sidewalk chalk and get absolutely filthy with him. And do this all while letting your sister take a nap or a walk.July 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm #762227
OP, I don’t think you’re going to be a terrible mother just because you find screaming and whining toddlers annoying. I think most people find it annoying. Frankly, I suspect most parents find it annoying, too, even when it’s their kids. But it is part of having a child. What matters is how you deal with the fact that babies, toddlers, children, teens and even young adult children can be annoying as fuck sometimes.
Do you verbally (or god forbid, physically) lash out at the kid or freeze him out or make it plain that you cannot stand him? Or do you take a deep breath, gather your self-control and rally your adult skills and deal with the situation while still loving the admittedly difficult child despite your extreme irritation and annoyance? Shitty people who shouldn’t be parents lash out at their kid for being, well, a kid. Good parents grit their teeth, suck it up during the crap parts and keep it together until such time as they can find another outlet to blow off tension.
You do sound very young and like you have some time to figure all of this out, so I wouldn’t be stressing out about it right now. My advice for this visit is that when you find Lane to be extraordinarily taxing, you appreciate the fact that you aren’t a parent yet and go enjoy being young and child free. Go hang out with friends, go to a movie, sit by yourself and read a book, do whatever.July 11, 2018 at 1:15 pm #762230
Of course tantrums, meltdowns, your child using your name 5,000 times a day, never getting a full night of sleep, etc etc etc are annoying, trying, exhausting…but it’s just part of parenting. Toddlers gonna toddle, right? And those are the best of circumstances when there are no major health concerns, or financial hurdles, or marital problems.
The good parts generally far outweigh the hard parts, if you truly want and love your children. Real children, not idealized, coveted ideas of what children are and what being a mother is like.July 11, 2018 at 2:03 pm #762242
“Toddlers gonna toddle” – Thank you for this gem! That is going to be our new motto.July 11, 2018 at 2:19 pm #762246
I mean, I echo what everyone else said, but I ESPECIALLY echo the people who have said “It’s different when it’s yours.” I mean, it just is. It’s chemical bonding, it’s the emotional experience of the child being of YOUR genetics . . . it’s everything. And, again, you not being ready to be a good mom right this second doesn’t mean you’ll NEVER be one. It just means you’re not ready now. But, then, you’re not a mom right now (I hope), so you don’t have to worry about it.
Also, one thing I’ve noticed about kids is that they notice things you don’t even realize they notice. Two of my best friends in law school got married and had a son right after we graduated, and the first couple of years with him . . man, it was rough for them. He was everything you described and worse. And, sure, it’s par for the course, but it didn’t make it any easier in the short-term for them! But now he’s 8, and he’s this really great kid who is polite and responsible and funny, and the worst thing I can say about him is that he insists on being my first call if I need someone to dog sit even though my dog stays up later than he does 🙂
So, seriously, cut yourself some slack. You sound like you love your nephew even if you can’t always handle being around him when he tantrums, and if the worst thing about you is that you don’t have the patience of a saint . . . well, welcome to the rest of the world!July 11, 2018 at 4:12 pm #762267
+1 for toddlers gonna toddle!July 11, 2018 at 4:33 pm #762274
Don’t have kids then. Really. It’s tgat fucking simple. Not everybody should have kids…July 11, 2018 at 4:35 pm #762275
Amen. Don’t have kids. I am so glad I didn’t.July 11, 2018 at 4:50 pm #762283
I think seeing yourself as the “worst” whatever ever is excessive. I hope you’re just being hyperbolic, because otherwise, that’s sort of an overreaction.
Some people who dislike other people’s kids aren’t cut out to be parents and some people are. It’s hard to say. I don’t like other kids screaming, and I don’t think I’d enjoy having a kid of my own screaming. But I have other friends who never were around kids and never cared and they love their kid a ton. When I see parents around town, I see them and their kids and imagine myself in that situation. I do not like that, so I know kids aren’t right for me. That said, I don’t think I dislike misbehaving kids quite as much as you do. I mean, it’s not fun, but it’s sort of just what kids do.
I guess my question is … why do you WANT to be a mom? Again, your feelings for your nephew don’t necessarily mean you don’t want them, but you describe tons of totally normal child behavior and how much you hate it. So, I guess I’m not sure what part you do want? And why soon?
If it’s something like you think you should and it feels like the next step or whatever, then maybe you should wait. If you actually can envision yourself with a kid day to day and think it would be fun, then that’s different.
ETA: I think the “it’s different when it’s yours” works to a certain extent, but not in all situations. For most people, they will *love* their own child no matter what. But it doesn’t mean everyone will enjoy or like everything about parenthood if it’s their kid and not another kid. You’d love a mischievous loud kid if it were yours, but that doesn’t mean you’d enjoy parenting it.
July 11, 2018 at 4:59 pm #762287
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by dinoceros.
Yes dinoceros, I agree that the “its different when its yours” is not the whole story. Yes, most people love their kids to a whole other level that cannot be described. But not everyone.
And you know some other things that are different when its yours… you get the sleep deprivation. You don’t get to to give it back when it cries. You don’t get to be off duty* at the end of a long day of tantrums. You are stuck with it, good and bad, tantrums and snuggles, day in and day out.
So its different when its yours that you love it more and that gets you through the hard times, but the hard times are harder and uninterrupted.
*I mean yes you can– and should– occasionally get a babysitter or have a mom’s night out or whatever, but that’s the exception not the ruleJuly 11, 2018 at 5:10 pm #762291
I’m sorry for taking so long to respond back to you all, but I appreciate everyone. I really wish I’d have clarified some things a little better in my first letter. No, I’m not single, I’m engaged to a man named John. He and I were talking recently about when we might have children. We also are in the process of buying a house, so no, we wouldn’t live with my mom, but that is what I made it sound like. I’m sorry for that, but I do live in the same town as my mom. My new house is just a short distance from hers, which is why I have to spend so much time with Lane when he comes to town.
I agree that I’m not ready for kids yet, but does anyone have any advice for how I might help myself get ready? Is there like a class I can take or some books I can read or something? Or is it just something that happens with time or what?
Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it.July 11, 2018 at 5:17 pm #762294
What? Just chill out and wait to feel like you really want kids. No class or whatever is going to make you ready.