Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like kids.
After all, I have a little three-month-old turnip of my own. I l-o-v-e her.
It’s just that… well, I find most other kids annoying.
Disclaimer: to my friends with kids and nieces, I like your kids/you. Promise.
Pre-baby, parents gave me a clean slate. They sussed my kid-loving ways out. They never assumed I loved their child (although they probably wondered how I couldn’t fall incredibly in love with their adorable, drooling, noisy baby).
In all honesty, I was a baby holder. I was always up for playing imagination fairy doll land.
However, now that I have a baby of my own, it’s assumed I love all kids. Giving birth apparently means that, no matter what the child does, I find them to be the most adorable little human on this planet.
Having a baby means that my tolerance for babies crying or children screaming has increased. I'm forgiving. More patient. More understanding.
Being a mum means that I love nothing more than being surrounded by babies and children.
I am none of those things. In fact, pre-baby I was more tolerant of little humans than I am now (with the exception of mine, of course).
I noticed the switch in the maternity ward. While attending a parenting workshop on how to settle your baby, I was surrounded by babies. Crying babies. I couldn’t take it. I had to leave mid-lecture.
Now you could say that my motherly hormones make it unbearable for me to hear a baby in distress. Maybe. Honestly… I find the sound like nails on a chalkboard, and if it’s not my little one crying, I don’t want to hear it.
Then there was the time when I was ordering food at a shopping centre while my turnip slept in her pram. As I glanced to check on her, I found a three-year-old boy, pulling on the pram so he could see my baby. If it wasn’t for my firm grip, the pram would’ve toppled over.
In reaction, his mum cooed over how adorable it was that her little boy loved my baby. “Kids are obsessed with babies.” She assumed I found him adorable. She assumed I understood how hard it is to control a three-year-old. She assumed I enjoyed her reminiscing about the time her little boy was a newborn. It took all my sleep-deprived strength to fake a smile and walk away.
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Or the time when I was standing in a lift with my baby who was mere moments from an epic meltdown, wishing the lift to get to the basement car park faster. In walked a mum with her two children, who immediately rushed to the lift buttons and played a game of who could press the most buttons. She looked over at me with a tired smile, “Argh... parenting, right?” Let’s just say I had many terrible thoughts on that long lift ride.
You might think I’m a horrible person for saying what I’ve just said. You might be agreeing with me. Here’s the thing though.
I never assume people think my daughter is the cutest baby in the world. I never assume that they don’t find her crying annoying. I never assume that when she spits up on them, that they think it’s just the way things are now. I never assume they want to hear every single detail of her development because it’s so amazing.
Just because you have children, doesn’t mean you’re child-friendly.
How do you find other children, now that you have kids?
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