I Don’t Like Most Kids
There, I said it. Another one of my secretes is out.
It’s not like I wish ill on any child (in fact, I only have the best wishes and hopes for all children). I don’t mean I hate them or anything like that. Just that, I’m not a real big fan of most kids. My much young step-siblings drove me crazy as a teenager and I have never really spent a lot of time with babies. Really, kids just have never been a big part of my life and I’ve never gravitated towards them.
Throughout my entire life, I have never really liked kids. On the rare occasion that I was asked to babysit as teenager (only after my older sister was unavailable – she was always asked first), I never wanted to. No child was ever seriously hurt under my watch, but I just didn’t really enjoy my time with the kids. I worried about breaking them and I was equally annoyed by their constant need for attention.
And, more specifically, I have never really liked spending a lot of time with babies.
Most people seem to oooo and ahhh when babies giggle or squeeze your hand. But not me. Honestly, these things have never really impressed me. Rather, they just seem normal. This is what they are supposed to do, so sure it’s good that they are doing it, but I’ve never understood the adult celebration involved. I’ve never been one for baby talk and one to turn to mush at the sight of a baby. And I’ve never been one to be overly empathetic or sympathetic (until miscarriage/RPL, that sorta of started to change me into a slightly more empathetic person).
Rather, I just see babies as pooing machines. Oh and crying machines too. Really, babies in my mind are kind of boring. They cry. They poo. They cry again and then they poo again. And sometimes they do both at the same time.
Yes, there are some kids in my life now, like our nephews and our friend’s kids that I love deeply and enjoy spending time with. But, would I offer to babysit their children? Probably not unless it was an emergency in which case I would in a heartbeat.
And yet, I’m doing everything in my power to have one and maybe two….
Something about this picture doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense to me. In fact, this makes me think I’m crazy and also makes me worry greatly for my families future. For my future. For Mr. MPB’s future. And most of all, for our child’s future.
I honestly don’t have a maternalistic bone in my body. In fact, if such a thing exists, I’m pretty sure mine has been broken since birth. And now that we are actively waiting for a match, I seem to have too much time on my hands to contemplate what this means for myself and our family.
Does this mean that I will help mold a child who isn’t compassionate or in touch with their emotions? Or maybe that our child will be closed off to some of the deeper human emotions (you know, the ones that result in the creation of My Perfect Breakdown). Or maybe it means that our child will grow up feeling immense pressure to do better and only celebrate the big successes in life? Or maybe it means I am going to put so much pressure on our child that they will nearly cry at the sight of a 90% for fear that they didn’t do well enough (they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree).
Thankfully, Mr. MPB is meant to have children. More so then me. He has that natural ability to nurture and to care, it comes to him without being forced. He’ll be good at 4 am feedings and great at diaper changes, he’ll master the swaddle in 2 seconds flat and he’ll love baby cuddles. That said, I’m still not sure that he’s the type of person to celebrate the fact that a baby can hold their head up or to engage in endless hours of baby talk.
Really, I just don’t know how we are going to do it.
He’ll be good at this stuff, of that I’m sure. Yet, I’m equally sure that I’ll be miserable at it. I’m pretty convinced that my broken maternal bone means that our kid is screwed. Really, what chance do they have?
Part of me hopes that when we do have a child, my mothering skills magically appear. Yet, part of me realizes that I am who I am and that just might not happen.
I think I’ll be a somewhat competent parent once our child reaches the age of 2. Or maybe 6. I’ve just never related to babies that well. Heck, kids don’t tend to like me much either, usually they hide from me or run to their parents or Mr. MPB or really any other human being within a 30 km radius. Maybe, I’ll be a decent parent when our kid is about 12 years old, but by then they’ll be broken enough (or maybe smart enough) to keep their distance.
I guess if nothing else, I will continue to hope that somehow our child will take after their father and somehow turn out alright in spite of all the mistakes I will make, likely on a daily basis!
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You and I are so much alike! I’m not a kid person either. My husband is the one who is so much better with them. I really didn’t like babysitting in high school. My brother is 14 years younger than me. My freshman year of high school wasn’t much fun with a new baby in the house.
Truth is, I’m still not a kid person. Most people’s kids annoy the crap out of me. Being a mother hasn’t changed that for me.
I can honestly say though that I love my daughter more than I ever thought possible. She’s my #1 priority and I know that will never change. I’m almost 9 months postpartum and I’m already thinking about #2.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. I know you will be a wonderful mom. It’s ok if you don’t like most other kids. I find myself more tolerant of them, but that’s about it. As I listen to my daughter chattering away in the living room with her toys and daddy, I have a huge grin on my face. This is what I wanted, and the fact that I’m not really a fan of other kids hasn’t had any affect on my love and attention given to my daughter.
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LOL. I feel this way a lot, too. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Orange is the New Black, but there’s this scene where one of the characters (not in jail) has just had a baby, and a friend stops by to visit. And the friend is kind of mushing over the baby, and says something along the lines of “Oh, he’s just so full of joy, everything is so new and he’s so happy!” And this super tired, distressed, annoyed mom looks at him and says, “Don’t worry, my husband and I will fuck that right up.”
For me, that scene basically sums up how most people feel about parenthood. Don’t worry, we’ll fuck that right up. We’ll do our best, but in a lot of cases, our best won’t be enough. And trust me — it doesn’t matter if you are the most nurturing, maternal person in the universe… you’ll fuck that right up. Somewhere along the line.
The good news is that humankind is pretty resilient. And YOUR babies in particular will have a stellar example of how to bounce back when they’re knocked down. No worries.
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I was just like you, I really didn’t care much for kids, in fact I didn’t even hold my sister’s newborn because I knew I would fail the kid or worse.
I think its absolutely normal to feel that way, and let me tell you, even when my son was born (people say labor increases the maternal bond, I say no) I was too scared to change diapers, bathe him or even swaddle him. My husband did everything. Sometimes when he cried uncontrollably, I would pass him on to my husband and say calm him. My husband would ask whats wrong with you, cant you pacify your kid, I would say I don’t know.
And I wont lie, my husband is my son’s favorite. Between me and my husband, my son will always run to my husband when he falls down or is hurt, no matter how much I calm him. And its ok. Does that mean I don’t love him? No.. of course not! I will move heaven and earth and kill anyone who tries to harm him, I am the mama bear, which you will be too. It will come automatically, you learn to love the little crying pooping monster, soon that child will be all you can think of, you will run home after work to be with the child.. It just happens naturally, don’t doubt yourself and don’t expect it to happen overnight.
Life is hardly scripted like the movies.
“I honestly don’t have a maternalistic bone in my body. In fact, if such a thing exists, I’m pretty sure mine has been broken since birth.” I could have written this exact thing. When I was in my twenties I was adamant I never wanted kids. I hated the sound of crying children and would move in a restaurant or train if I was close to a child because I found them so peculiar and illogical. Oh gosh, I cringe to think of the things I felt and thought. I’ll tell you something else – even as a mother I STILL don’t go crazy for other people’s kids (I just tolerate them so much better because I understand), but what I will say is this – I imagine that when you are matched and you bring home your baby, your feelings will explode in their ferocity. I could barely believe how much love came out of me, given that I had a pretty nondescript relationship with my own mother and had never been keen on children. The love you feel when you have that small person in your life who depends on you for protection and guidance – it comes out of nowhere and knocks you right over. I can’t wait for you to feel that 🙂
Looks like you are not alone in these feelings!!
My husband is definitely the baby goooey cooing machine over me.
I had a weird dream last night that I was looking after a child about 5 years old, I don’t know who the parents were and the kid was quite frankly being a little shit, I was trying to figure out how to discipline him, I tried everything and the kid just kept laughing at me. You see I do share similar feelings to you, other people’s kids are not always the greatest, but I truly believe I will fall in love with my baby when they come and I Will feel different and maybe even different about other people’s kids once I understand them better (maybe ;-))
Your Mother Nature instincts will kick in and you will fall in love with your child and will do your best for that child (just look at how much you have done for your child already), no doubts 🙂
I don’t think you are alone in these thoughts at all. I have never been the person to gush or push someone out of the way to hold a baby. If I hold one, its usually because the mom has forced me to or I feel like there is some awkward expectation of me.
Never the less, I don’t think that equates to how any of us will be mothers. Mother’s come in all shapes, sizes and attitudes! Love is all that matters.
I feel the exact same way! And my husband is incredibly good with kids. I didn’t want kids for years and years, and even when my brother had kids I wasn’t too excited about them, but when my twin sister had kids, I changed my mind about babies. They’re awesome! I’m still not that fond of other people’s babies, but I’m much more confident about having my own children now that my sister has had kids and I know how I feel about them.
I once was a kid person. Circumstances have changed that. I am much the same with most children. I think it is partially a defense to protect me from the reality. I do not feel this in any way reflects on your mothering. You will be the most generous, loving and kind mother. As for mistakes I only got to be an earthly mother for 19 days and 28 weeks previous to that but let me tell you. I made LOTS! Hahahaa. Right from whom I trusted with the health of my unborn child.
Letting your child see your compassion, resilience, perspective and perseverance for even a few days he or she will grow up to be a great person. You will inherently be a good mother because you are a good person. Also the love you and Mr. MPB have will be such a good model for humor her. Plus– my prediction is you will get mushy when your baby arrives in your arms 🙂
I know you will be a great mom! Just the fact that you are thinking about all of this makes me sure you will be conscientious of how you are affecting your child/children. I think a little dose of reality is good for kids too! You both will be a great balance for a child. Seriously, can’t wait until we both get our formal matches!
A friend of mine (a father of three) says “I’m not interested in kids, I’m interested in my kids”. I think that about sums me up too. Some of my mates cuddle and play with all our kids in the park and some of us just cuddle our own and make sure the others don’t hurt themselves. I think it’s almost unrelated what you think of kids in general versus your own – the tsunami of love that came with E knocked me sideways and still does some times. xx
Yes, I think this is a totally normal feeling. Lots of gals I know, myself included, don’t swoon over babies. I think once yours is in your arms, you may shift but at the very least I have no doubt that your maternal instinct will show with your own. And I’d say that even if the baby stage (I’ll say 0-12m) isn’t your favorite, babies start to get really fun after a year or when they become more interactive. Regardless, I know you’re going to be a good momma 💛
I feel so much exactly the same way that it’s scary! I don’t like kids. Babies skeeze me out. I think that you and I will be the kind of mamas who only like our own kids. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve also had the same fears about raising a child too, as far as making them detached or not compassionate or whatever. But with your own child, adopted or biological, I’m positive that the maternal instinct you think you don’t have will show up to the degree that you need; you just haven’t had a chance to exercise it yet, but it’s there!
This is like a breath of fresh air. I am the same as you. Never was a huge fan of babies or kids but wanted my own. Now that I have them I still am not in love with other people’s kids but mine are awesome. You fall in love with your own. You won’t lose yourself and turn to mush and start talking baby talk but that motherly instinct will come out. Mine took a while but it happened!
Trust me you are not abnormal. Very few people love all kids, most people only really think their own or ones in their lives are awesome. Kids, like adults, can be lovely, sweet, annoying, irritating, trying, fussy, false etc…
My mum loves most kids but that’s why she became a teacher. Most people would hate to be one!
Do you think there is a self defence mechanism in all of this?
For me, definitely. Everyone said they thought I didn’t like kids and didn’t want them. Even though I was always the favourite aunt etc. I just didn’t like how my friends would go on and on about kids.
I’m different from most people on here it seems, as I really like kids. I always get on with them, and I probably even prefer teenagers. I like speaking with young people and I’m interested in how their minds and conversations change as they get older.
I don’t love babies, though. They can’t express their own personalities in the way that makes kids so endearing. I don’t really love helplessness. I like a bit of interaction. So for me the best bit kicks in once they can walk and talk. Babies are a means to an end!
P.S. I don’t swoon over others’ babies either and I hate that mushy baby talk crap. I swore into my early 30s I would never have kids. Look at me now. Moved heaven and earth to have two of them. People change. And parenting changes people more than anything else I know except perhaps recovery from addiction and continued sobriety.
this is very interesting. i used to love kids but not so anymore. not sure if it’s some sort of subconscious protection mechanism, but i really don’t (except my nieces). or maybe it’s most parents i can’t stand these days. but i feel you. i do think i’d adore my own as you will yours.
It’s different when they’re your own. Trust me on that 🙂
I felt the same as you for a lot of my childhood and young adult life, I refused to change my nieces diapers, and even when I was bit by the baby bug in 2013 and we started trying, I didn’t care for other people’s children (but I did all of a sudden want to cuddle new babies). I just had my son 7 weeks ago, (after 2 miscarriages and the stillbirth of my daughter @ 38 weeks) and after many years of pondering what it means to be a mother, and wondering when I will ‘turn into’ a mother, all I can say is this:
I didn’t. I had two babies, but I am still 100% me, I didn’t turn into this super nurturing, wise, calm, patient, semi-spiritual idea of what a mother is. I’m just me, plus a baby, minus a bunch of sleep and my clothes don’t fit.
I love him so damn much, but I don’t comfort him because I am a natural comforter – I do it because his crying gets right into my brain and makes me feel awful (like it was designed to). And I won’t celebrate him learning to lift his own head up because it’s a super special milestone, I’ll celebrate because it’s freaking annoying to have a floppy-headed baby, and my life will be easier when he can hold it up his damn self.
My baby isn’t boring to me because everything is a challenge, especially in the beginning, trying to juggle a newborn’s erratic schedule and still have clothes to wear and food to eat. Other people’s babies are boring because you mostly just get to hold them while they’re asleep or calm. I don’t know any nursery rhymes, so I’ll sing any song I know the lyrics to, and call it good enough (he certainly doesn’t mind), and when he’s screaming inconsolably, my patience is usually in shreds. But he’s mostly happy, clean, well-fed, and his neck is getting stronger by the day, so I must be doing something right.
You will be a good mother because you are a good person, and that won’t change just because you don’t romanticise the newborn-baby phase. I think the romantic part of it comes with hindsight 🙂
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I feel like some of this will kick in once you have your own child in your arms. I know a lot of people who have felt the same way you are now, but once they had kids they changed. I’ve always gravitated towards babies and toddlers. I feel like older kids feel that I’m too strict at enforcing the rules, so they usually go to someone else who will give them whatever they want. The reason I don’t like most kids these days is because of poor parenting…so many parents just don’t know how to tell their kids no and discipline them in any way, resulting in spoiled brats who feel entitled to everything. Sooo…yeah. Don’t stress too much. You’ll raise awesome kids who know how to act in public, and who know they are loved. 🙂
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I so hope your right Amy! I’m making the gamble that once we actually have a child, I’ll like them. Heck, I’m willing to bet I’ll love them more then anything else in the world! 🙂
And I totally hear you about parenting styles these days! We often joke that we will be th mean parents because we plan to discipline our children and teach them right from wrong.
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Yeah me too. I say often that I hate kids these days, and people are always like “why do you want them then?” And my response is that I’ll teach my kids how to be decent humans and not spoiled brats!
I was the same way – didn’t want to even hold anyone else’s babies before having ours – and I bet you will be the same way. When it is your child, it is different and this little one will be yours to hug and to hold and I bet you will be awesome at it. You hold the hand of at least 100 bloggers here every day with your cheers and encouragement – just imagine what you will do with your own child? You will be awesome my friend. ❤
It sounds like we are very similar in this regard! And thank you so much for always being a positive light in my life! You are the best!
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Wow, do I relate. My therapist advised me to babysit or volunteer for afterschool activities an I was just like “but I don’t like other people’s kids!” I wondered for the longest time if my aversion to kids meant I shouldn’t have my own, and sometimes I still feel guilty about it. Good to know I’m not the only one. 🙂
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I don’t think any therapist I’ve ever met would tell me to babysit! Hahaha! I’m like you, I don’t like other people’s kids and have felt guilty about that. But I’m pretty sure I’ll like my own a whole heck of a lot, so I’ve decided to gamble on that being the case! 🙂
Ha! I could have written this post. Funny, but even now I don’t loooove other people’s kids though I love mine tremendously.
The way I see it, I never wanted a baby but I always wanted a family. I wanted the chance to help a little person become the best version of themselves. It just so happens that little people start off as babies.
I love your way of thinking! A baby is the first step is having a little person. 🙂
Okay, first off … you can skip the baby talk. Not needed. Just talk to the kid! And secondly, there’s no “one right way” to do this, okay? You and Mr MPB need to figure out what’s right for you and for the small human who ends up sharing your lives – in other words, you can have opinions and theories now, but they get to become realities only after you get input from Mini-MPB. In my opinion, the main thing to remember is to try to make it fun. Not by saying yes to every demand … but by continuing to do the things you enjoy, modified as needed so that someone with short legs and attention span can enjoy them too.
And also … befriend mud. It really is absolutely fine if, by the end of the day, your child is filthy because they’ve been playing and exploring the world and living.
That’s my take on this whole parenting thing. Have fun, and befriend mud… 🙂
I adore your advice, thank you so much! So long as I’m not the one covered in mud, I can totally befriend it and clean it off a kid from time to time! I also love your perspective about having fun and taking input from mini-MPB! I think the instant we have a mini-MPB, they are going to express their personality and we are going to fall in love in a way we never knew possible. 🙂
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Yup, that’s likely how it will be… 🙂 But you know, even if it doesn’t work out that way – even if bonding and adjusting takes time – this is not some crazy impulse you decided to do yesterday, and it’s not something you’re jumping into without careful consideration. On the contrary, I’m pretty sure you’re someone who thinks … and then thinks … and then … dare I say it? Maybe overthinks a little?
And that’s OKAY! It’s who you are. Just please try to remember to step back and breathe. You’re choosing to add a child to your family. That’s a good thing, a happy thing. It’s a thing that leads to growth. And it most definitely can and should be an enormous amount of fun.
Haha! You totally know me! Yes, I overthink and then overthink some more! I do hope as we transition from this waiting period to actually parenting you will remind me to step back and live in the moment and have some fun at the same time!
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I was never a fan of kids or babies. Boy has that changed! I can’t believe how different I am. I want to see all my friends babies photos now. I can’t get enough. I smile when I see babies. It didn’t kick in until he was about 3 mo. But when it did, it came on strong 🙂
You are certainly not alone in these thoughts! I do not like other people’s kids much at all. Even after adopting our two, I can honestly say I am not a baby person. I enjoy them so much more now that they are 2 and 4! I would not want to miss the baby phase because of the bonding that happens then, but really they are not much fun for me.
You may be surprised when you hold your baby for the first time. The sense that of knowing I would go to the ends of the Earth for my children is overwhelming at times. I love them and honestly crave being with them. They drive me crazy, but I miss them terribly when they are away.
It still does not make me enjoy other people’s children all that much. Maybe I am a little better because I know that somewhere there is a parent who loves that kid as much as I love my own and I know how I would want someone to treat mine. With our kids both being pre-school aged it was suggested that I help out in that area at church. I would rather gouge my eyes out with a spoon than be stuck in a room with 15 2-3 year olds!
Don’t worry too much about it! You have a good heart and long to be a mother. Both of those will propel you into being exactly the mother your children will need!
I appreciated your very honest post. I’m imagining it was a bit difficult for you to write and reveal especially while enduring your adoption process … perhaps with a wee bit of guilt creeping in.
Babies … children … they’re everywhere! Just check Facebook which should really be called “Babybook”. I don’t have any kids so I can’t say I’ve had that maternal bonding with any of my own and also turning it into a love-every-baby fest. Some babies are cute, some are just butt ugly. Some kids are sweet and some are obnoxious-get-the-F-out-of-my-space because you’re loud and when you’re picking your nose and eating it I’m not exactly wanting to interact with you. Someone I know who loves ALL babies, dogs, children, and small things would say, “You were that way too!” I’m not so sure. My mom was kind of the English Hitler on manners and cleanliness … so, really not sure I was that loud-screaming running booger eater. Seriously.
I think I used to be more of a little-kid, baby person when I was younger but as I get older I prefer peace and quiet — thus my ownership and magnetic draw to cats, and alone time.
BUT your baby will be different. You don’t have to love every little flesh-covered youth sack in the universe to be a good and loving mother. There is no requirement that you have to be drawn to all babies and children in order to be a caring parent. Nope. Not a requirement at all.
And if you’re interested here’s my story as to why I never had kiddos: https://hysterectomy4dysmenorrhea.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/what-happened-to-the-children/
Just hang in there! You’ll have your own ankle biter, curtain climber soon enough and you still won’t have to love and adore all the screaming ill-behaved kids around you!
So many women have left comments like mine already…but…just wanting to add that I wasn’t a baby person AT ALL until we recently had our girl. I never noticed babies until we started TTC. I still don’t run to other people’s babies.
The other day I was grocery shopping (alone – it’s like a vacation!) and I heard a kid crying and crying and screaming. I came home and told DH that I thought it would bug me less after having a child. Not really.
DH and I came really close to choosing to live happily child-free. We loved our life without kids. And we are pleased that we also love our life with our baby. I’m glad ’cause I was never one of those girls/women who needed to be a mom. My mom assured me that it would be different when we had our own and I hate to admit it but she was right. 🙂
I think many people have similar feelings. I have always like babies and children, but I have been surprised how much having my own child changed me. I don’t think we can anticipate how much change will happen, and I am sure your life will change when your child comes into your life. You will love him/her and you will do your very best to be a good parent and that’s all that really matters in the end. 🙂 ❤
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