As parents, we love our kids unconditionally. Through their ups and downs, during and after every hissy fit and temper tantrum and even when they push us to our absolute limits, we never stop loving them. It’s parenthood and, while stressful and challenging at times, it’s the most rewarding job on the planet.
There are things, however, that our children do that gnaw away at us like someone dragging their nails on a chalkboard; little annoyances and irritations that question our sanity. I’m sure the triggers differ from parent to parent, but we can all relate to those things we wish our kids didn’t do.
Here are five things that top my list (and other parents I spoke to):
Going for a sleepover and talking all about the argument you had with your spouse earlier that day or the “bad” thing happening at home right now.
How this one kills me. I want to choke my kid out when I’ve discovered they’ve “gossiped” about private home happenings while at a friend’s house. It’s like the telephone game. When things are repeated, they have a way of getting twisted, exaggerated or completely taken out of context. Kids, here is a rule of thumb: if I don’t blog about it, it’s off limits.
Call me a bad mother or tell me that I’m squashing their independence, but I’m not a fan of kids picking out their own clothes, especially for school and important events. People judge. Other kids judge. And I know I shouldn’t let this affect me, but I do. Growing up, I was constantly reminded that I should never leave the house without clean underwear and socks, because, hey, you just never know when you might get into an accident and have to go to the hospital. That did it for me. I worry what others think about my appearance. I want people to know that I take good care of my children and care about their appearances. When a child puts on a striped shirt with stains all over the front coupled with a pair of torn camouflaged printed jeans and is asked to change, it does more of a disservice than simply helping them to get dressed in the first place.
Participating in every damn sport or afterschool activity.
I don’t have a lot of free time, nor do I expect much, if any, me time. I do, however, expect to live according to the Gregorian calendar, not the laws of Venus. Whether overachievers or they just like being social and out of the house, some kids find it necessary to participate in countless extracurricular activities throughout the school year. They are also the ones who often whine and complain when dinner is late or there are no clean clothes to be found anywhere in the house. Oh, I did indeed just say that.
Comparing me to Joey’s mom.
I’m not Joey’s mom. I’m me, take it or leave it kiddo.
Looking at me like I’m suddenly speaking a foreign language.
At the epicenter of my parental aggravation level, is the infamous “Duhhhhhh” look that my kids have and continue to give me at precisely the “right” moments. It might be in the middle of a discussion about needing to take care of something important or during the early morning rush when a million things have to happen and all hands are needed on deck. I have yet to figure out if these are some type of growing pains related to the brain or simply Homer Simpson moments. Doh! The mommy in me tends to think the latter.
I’d love to hear your list. What things do wish your kids wouldn’t do?