parents

Unpopular opinion: "Just because I have kids, it doesn't mean I like yours."

“I don’t actually want to hold your baby, sorry.”

I like kids. I really do.

I like their inane conversations (“Do you think Spiderman or Superman has longer arms?”)

I like the way they express themselves through fashion. (“No you can’t wear your dressing gown and my high heels to pre-school”).

I like their lack of filter and their inability to contain their emotions, their joy, their disappointment, their love.

I like them. Honestly.

I just, sometimes, don’t really want to be around yours.

My child is great… yours, not so much.

It’s nothing personal.

I have three of my own.

Three deliciously amazing little beings who make my throat choke-up and my lips unable to stop smiling when I think of them. Three individuals who I can’t get enough of, they are interesting and creative and talented.

But they are my kids.

Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I want to be around other people’s.

Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I think yours are interesting and creative and talented.

Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I even like other kids.

Here’s the thing. While I might look idle as I sit in a coffee shop, laptop open, browsing Facebook, while I might look ready and willing to engage. Looks are deceiving. I am not.

If I am alone.. child free. I am alone for a reason. I could be working.  I could be focused intently on watching the newest cat video on YouTube. I could be deeply invested in the latest Kardashian pregnancy bump shot .

But what I am not, I am sorry to say, is deeply invested in entertaining your toddler. Just because I engage in a minute of peekaboo doesn’t mean I want it to continue.

Just because I engage in a minute of peekaboo doesn’t mean I want it to continue.

Just because I smile and remark on his cute shoes, or unusual sweater doesn’t mean he should linger.

I am not sure if I come across as being a kid-kinda-gal – perhaps I need to work on my ‘leave-me-the-f**k-alone-face’ but more and more I am being forced to invent excuses for my child-free hours to remain child free.

Sorry I just have to take this call. Oh is that the time? 

From the kid at my daughter’s swimming lesson who plonks himself next to me and asks to play on my phone to the six-year old shopping with her mum who chats to me in the supermarket queue when I am trying to catch up whether or not Duchess Kate has lost her baby weight.

ADVERTISEMENT

You have your own mother, kid. Ask her. 

Its not ice-cold hatred or irritation it is just a mild sense of annoyance when I want a bit of child-less time and it becomes all about other people’s children.

Are these the most annoying kids on TV? Post continue after video.

Oh, don’t brand me as a whinger just yet.

There are many, many kids I like – the neighbourhood rabble who knock on my door asking for my WIFI password before they say hello, my niece and two nephews who fit together with my three like pieces of a puzzle. My children’s best friends.

I “like” my Facebook friend’s holiday snaps and baby pics and I will coo over your newborn appropriately when we cross paths in the street.

But let’s be totally honest, even the guy in the Humphrey B Bear suit needed a break occasionally.

The problem with us parents is that we are so intrinsically enraptured with our own offspring we can’t see how annoying they can be.

I do it myself – sprout amusing anecdotes of my children’s surely fascinating lives at every opportunity, post Facebook updates of their cute little drawings and their never-before-equaled achievements.

We need some ground rules.

But occasionally we all need a reality check.

I know I sound bitter and jaded but I think it is time we established some ground rules.

1.    If I invite your child over for a playdate it is to play with my child, not to stand in the kitchen talking to me. I have shit to do.

2.    Just because I have Angry Birds and Minecraft on my phone doesn’t mean your kid can play it when my kids are at school. If your child is too young for school they are too young for my phone.

3.    No one wants to play peek-a-boo more than twice. After that, most well-meaning people would rather stick forks in their eyes.

4.    Sure, tell me about the goal your daughter kicked, or the play your child was in. But I don’t need to see the video. I don’t need you to email me the YouTube link.

5.    If I am in a café having child-free time. That is what it is. Entertain yours yourself. What do I look like? Someone from Play School.

6.  If I begin to harp on about my kids, feel free to block your ears and start singing Britney Spears.

I won’t be offended. Would you?

Want more? Try this.

Chrissie Swan just said the one thing that all parents need to hear.

7 thoughts every sleep-deprived mum has had.