Warning, I curse in this one.
Why is it socially acceptable to complain about just about anyone else in the world, including complete strangers (think about what you said to that driver who wouldn’t yield), but if we complain about our kids, we are horrible people, and probably horrible parents, too? Why do we have to preface any negative comment about our children with “I love them, but…”? When I first started writing this post, I even started with that caveat myself. But fuck that. They’re MY kids and I can bitch about them all I want. And you can bitch about yours, too. Seriously, anytime you need to unload about your rugrats, go for it. I’m here for you.
Complaining about them doesn’t mean we’re unhappy, it just means that life is real and messy, and things are not always rainbows and sunshine. And I refuse to be one of those FB-fakers that only talks about the good stuff. There have been numerous articles and blog posts written about how FB makes people depressed because it makes it look like everyone’s life is so fantastic. I like to think that I’m helping others feel like they’re not alone.
I also think it is healthy to vent about our little dictators. You gotta get it out somehow, and goodness knows the Perfect Parent Police (and possibly DHHS/CPS) will be all up in your business if you let it out directly at the little angels. Many of my best mama-friendships were forged by bonding over the things our kiddos did that drove us mad. It’s important to know that your kid is not exceptionally frustrating – we’re all in this together.
And it’s applicable at all ages and stages! Babies that won’t sleep, or who just won’t stop crying for 4 hours every evening no matter what you do. Toddlers that, well… toddlers. Then they start school and start thinking for themselves and all bets are off. We won’t even talk teenagers because I’m not even close to there yet. Heck, I’m sure my parents can still find things about me to complain about.
Long and short, complaining about my darling little jerks actually makes me a better parent. If I’m venting to you, it means I can be more patient with them. It means I can approach their latest irrational drama with genuine sympathy and understanding (ok, not always genuine, but I’m a good actress!). And that’s what I want to do for them, the kind of parent I strive to be.
So thanks for letting me bitch and moan. Hopefully it helps you feel you can do the same.
Oh, and I do love my kids. They are two of my three favorite people on the planet.