There’s a video circulating around my Facebook feed. Apparently, it’s something “every mom needs to watch on repeat until she gets it.”
I avoided this video as long as I could. I’m not a mother. It has no relevance to me. But, it’s appeared in my timeline over and over, so I finally decided to give it a look. Someone said when posting it to their wall, “you’ll totally need tissues for this.” They were right–I did need tissues, but that’s because I have a cold and my nose was running.
All these women were asked to describe themselves as a mother. Here are their replies.
“I am a perfectionist. That’s hard with kids.”
“There are definitely days where I have my doubts about my abilities.”
“I struggle with how I react with situations.”
“I struggle with my temper.”
“I wish I knew how to just…calm myself before speaking to them.”
“I wish I was better at taking time to sit down and just listen more to my child.”
“I wish I was more confident in being a mom.”
“I’m not the most patient person in the world.” “Patience.” “Patience is far and away the biggest struggle.”
That was a big one with these women–patience.
Then the kids of these women were asked to talk about their mommies and they watched what they had to say about them. It was cute seeing these kids tell what they liked about their moms. She’s pretty and beautiful; she cares about me and feeds me; she’s the best; we color together; she loves me. D’awww. Kids say the darnedest things!
Maybe it’s the fact I’m a cynical, childless hag and I don’t have “what it takes” to be a mother, but this video elicited the wrong reaction from me. I didn’t cry or was moved in any sort of positive direction. The things these women were saying made me actually say out loud at one point, “then why the hell did you become a mom in the first place if it’s so difficult for you to listen to your kid?”
One woman pretty much ratted herself out at the end, after she watched her little boy swoon over her. She said, “I always think about kids mostly on the negative, and I guess I can walk out of here and say that I’m doin’ something great, and that my child views me totally differently than I view myself. So, that’s inspiring.”
I’m sorry, I’m sorry. What? You think of kids negatively? And you own one? You are responsible for a child and you have bad thoughts about him? Please, ma’am, tell me you only have one child because it would be a tragedy if you found more than one as annoying as the one you already have. That’s disgusting.
In fact, all of what was said is disturbing on some level. Again, I don’t have kids, but have not been devoid of dealing with children in my life. My brother dated a woman many, many years ago who, at the time, had an adorable little year-and-a-half-old to whom we kind of took into our house and raised for a few months. It’s just me and my older brother and I had always wanted my parents to have another kid so I had a little brother or sister, but that never happened, so having this little boy live with us was great. That’s when I figured out I was maternal. I was 16 when this kid lived with us, and when my parents weren’t around, it was just me and him and I got a taste of what it was like caring for a toddler. The relationship between my brother and this woman ended and honestly, each one of us in my family–my dad, mom, brother, and myself were more torn up about losing the little guy than we were the gal to whom he belonged.
I’m not saying my few months cohabitation with a little boy when I was 16 gives me the wisdom and knowledge and the right to say what I’m saying at the moment. It doesn’t. I realize that as much as it annoys me to have people with children tell me things like I’m being selfish, and that I don’t know what true love is unless I’ve had a baby, and on and on, it’s as annoying to these parents when non-parents talk about having kids like we hold a secret they don’t know about and offer them advice. How about we meet in the middle and just keep our yaps shut about all of it? You parents do what you do, and us childless will do the same…just as soon as I’m done writing this post, though.
This video touched a nerve. Several, actually, but the biggest one is why have kids if you view them as tiny burdens to your life? Why ignore a child, why lose your temper and patience on a child, why demand perfection from a child…why in general?
Drum roll: societal pressures, that’s why!
You are a female in your child-bearing years and by golly, you need to capitalize on that ASAP before your eggs shrivel up and your uterus gets dusty and no man will want to impregnate you with his seed. Some people genuinely want children and have them. Some people are careless with contraception and have them. Some people are dealt a shitty hand in life and want children and can’t have them but make peace with that despite having written several blog entries about this same topic but that is beside the point.
The point is, just think for one lousy second before you have kids. Just think about it. Hearing the responses in the video made me sick to my stomach, kind of. Again, I don’t have kids so I don’t fully understand how difficult it is to be responsible for another human. I don’t fully get the heft of what’s being asked of you to do, to fully provide to something that depends so heavily on you for the rest of your life. But, inversely, maybe you should have taken that into consideration, as well. Having kids isn’t just dressing them up in cute clothes and stupid Halloween costumes (we call her our little lady bug, so she’s a lady bug for Halloween this year! LOL!) or posting constantly on Facebook about how little Emery Jane or Tucker John went poopies in the potties or, my personal favorite since I have so many gun-loving acquaintances, posing Jr with your hunting rifle because hey, that’s good parenting right there, bub. With any luck, the thing is loaded and Timmy blows your testicles off to spare us further procreation of your ignorant seed, but I could only be so lucky.
Parenting is brutal. I know that because I’m not easy on my parents. You’re allowed to have moments of doubt and frustration and feeling like you made a mistake and oh god, am I doing this right? and the pressure to raise healthy, normal, well-adjusted, kind, compassionate, caring people is staggering, and I cheer you on because I understand how often parents struggle.
But do me a favor and never let your kids see you struggle. Never, ever make them feel they are a burden upon you, especially since you are the one who knowingly or not chose to have these children in your life.
Never let them think for one instant that they aren’t the joy and light of your life and you are so happy you had them, even when you are not because no child needs to have that thought in their heads. It isn’t their fault they’re here on this planet.
I leave you with the video.
As always, take care.