Let me be the first to confess...
I can be as guilty of falling into this trap as any other mom. There are times when my kids are driving me bonkers — well, times that they are driving me more bonkers than usual — and it feels good to vent about it. But I can't help but notice that in the past few years, hating your kids has become the cool thing to do. It's in our blogs, it's in the memoirs that we're publishing, it's in our Instagram photos and Facebook posts, it's in our humor — hating our kids is cool, and if you aren't on board that must mean you actually like your children? No, that can't be right!
Do we actually hate our kids?
I don't think we do, right? After all, for the most part, we chose to have them — we love them and they bring joy to our lives. At least, that's how I feel. So, if we all agree that we really don't hate our kids, why do we pretend as if we do?
"We forgot to take the exit off of the mommy reality highway and kept on driving into a desolate place of mommy bitterness."
Finding the root of this mommy phenomenon feels tricky. From my perspective, as a mom of three children under the age of 10, a blogger who uses her kids as content and a writer who is knee-deep in the land of online content for parents, it seemed that there was a push to "expose" the truth behind being a mom. A push to reveal that motherhood wasn't all adorable babies who fell asleep before you ended your first rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and toddlers who said please and thank you without being asked. I truly believe that it was a movement that needed to happen, for the sake of moms everywhere — especially as more and more moms started to speak out about their true struggles with motherhood and, particularly, postpartum depression.
However, somehow along the way we forgot to take the exit off of the mommy reality highway and kept on driving into a desolate place of mommy bitterness. To a place where our kids are the enemy and always dragging us down, getting in the way of our formerly fabulous lives. A place where we expect our kids to be angels and if they aren't, we're posting all of the gory details on our Facebook page. A place that really makes us look like we hate being moms and, in turn, we hate our kids — and that other moms praise us for saying as much.
That fine, sometimes invisible, line
One of the worst offenders when it comes to slandering our kids is good old Facebook. It's so easy to jump online and post a quick, "My kids are driving me insane and here's exactly why" status update for the entire world — or at least for your 638 Facebook friends — to see. On the other hand, we all are well aware of the other type of Facebook parent poster — the over-bragger. This is the parent who posts incessantly, about every little thing that their child does... all of which happens to make them look like a superstar kid and, by default, like they have superstar parents. Posting just the good, all of the time, does just as much of a disservice to the Land of Parenting, doesn't it?
More on parenting books
Book review: No Regrets Parenting
Stop wasting your time on parenting books
For the Love of Children: A parenting guidebook