Frustrated mom

Maybe it's a result of trying to do it all or maybe it's just a symptom of being a mother — or maybe we're just flat out exhausted — but doesn't it seem like the default reaction from moms these days is one of annoyance?

Has exposing the
reality gone too far?

From moms who are writing entire books about how they hate play dates (okay, I kind of do too... ) to motherhood seeming to be the latest excuse for women who need to vent, I can't help but wonder if exposing the reality of being a mom has gone too far.

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


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Comments on "Is hating your kids cool now?"

Veronica August 07, 2013 | 3:22 PM

I think that its important to be honest with both the positive and negative aspects of parenting, its really the only way that we can "keep it real". I think where we go wrong, is that we rarely talk about what to do when things are really trying/difficult. Rather than just pointlessly venting to offload emotions, or to pretend things are fine by not talking about the issues at all, we need a way as a society and as a mummy/parent sub-group to support each other to move forward in spite of these real challenges. I don't think it is about parents hating their children, I think its about how as a society we have limited knowledge and experience of what its REALLY like as a parent until we are one. Its like a shock to the system when we suddenly transition from our relatively self-focused pre-kids life to our now necessary largely selfless focused life as a parent.

sarah July 29, 2013 | 9:19 AM

while i definitely don't think it's cool to hate your children, or to say or act as if you do, i think venting, talking, blogging and sharing are a much better way than some 25-50 years ago when complaining about family life was not done at all. women have embraced expressing themselves and their struggles and i think that's a good thing. sure, some people might take it too far but that's the same with anything in life. for most of us, it's a healthy discourse and i'm glad to have it.

Ann July 28, 2013 | 10:23 PM

It does seem to be cool and so totally acceptable but, as a someone with fertility issues, it's the absolute worst to hear all. the. time. I will gladly trade you my last 35 months of pain for all of your sleepless nights and disgusting messes. I want to be pregnant so badly and these mom's don't seem to appreciate what they have.

Regina July 27, 2013 | 12:23 PM

Although I think it's important that people aren't trying to compare themselves to June Cleaver (for you younger moms out there you probably have no idea who that is), I don't think the "line" is so fine. Within your family, everyone should feel safe and loved and not everything should be shared with the world. The social websites have gotten out of control and the things some people post I just can't believe they wanted to share with the world. Is writing something terrible about your children to share with the entire internet community any different than bullying? How would your children feel if they knew what you wrote, much less who you shared it with? Yes, sometimes children can be frustrating, that's why you have family or a few close friends that you talk to about it if you need to vent or need advice. Do you want your children writing about you to their "friends", spilling everything that should be family matters? Shouldn't we teach them "Do unto others"? Or maybe this is why our society is in decline -- there are no boundaries, no rules, nothing "off limits".

Stephanie July 25, 2013 | 11:38 AM

I actually like this new trend! It makes me feel better about losing my patience with my daughter -- I'm not alone!! I think we all know it's in good humor to write about how frustrating kids can be. And there's a reason all those blogs go viral... because it's all true!

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