Being A Parent Has Made Me More Resentful — Of Everyone

In my experience as a mother, I’ve found myself resenting the hell out of people, questions, attitudes, and total idiots, much more than I ever did in my pre-baby life and I know I’m not the only one. I don’t think resenting your children should go hand-in-hand with parenting. But I do think that childrearing opens the floodgates for judgment and criticism and it is not always easy to shrug off or avoid altogether. If we aren’t armed in the thickest of skins, we can find ourselves feeling like we’re fighting an uphill battle just to live how we see fit.

Pre-baby, we did it freely, marched to our own tune without missing a beat and no one seemed to care. It may be partially because there are few things in life that beg to be judged more than our parenting choices, but also because once you start making them, you become a billboard for everything you believe — it’s written all over the hippie school you choose and your toddler’s Tom’s (yes, I’m speaking personally here). You can’t hide your values or religion or lack thereof unless you try really, really hard. Once you have a kid, everything is on the table, and everything becomes fair game, at least in a lot of people’s minds.

I hate to say it like this, but when it comes to how kids should be brought up, opinions are definitely like ass holes (everyone’s got one). Forceful and invasive criticisms are something any pregnant woman or new mom knows a lot about. We’ve all experienced it at some point. Ex: the lady who walks up to your table while you’re eating to ask your daughter’s name and then promptly tells you she will hate it when she’s older and that “Piper” is in fact, a boy’s name. (Damn, I wish someone had mentioned that sooner!). Blatant and unprecedented opinions practically from the exact moment of conception are about as common as prenatal gas — just another side-effect of baby-making that’s not anticipated if it’s your first rodeo.

Childless people love to tell us what they will do when they have kids. And it’s normal to have a vision of what your perfect family will look like, to think that will never be your kid laying on the floor of Target, red-faced and terrifying everyone in the store. The reality that you are not immune to the ugliest of public tantrums is something we have to believe; otherwise the population of our planet would be pretty much doomed. But those estimations, flawed as they may be, are rampant. As parents, we must learn quickly learn to smile and nod, or at least to pick our battles.

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    • E.D.

      You only need one comeback – “No one here asked for your opinion.” It can be reworded to sound less rude, but really, people generally need to be told that no one cares what they think.

      • bumbler

        my fav is “if you think you can do better, than by all means…” then try to hand your screeching baby to them. Hilarity.

      • Andrea

        Oh dammit!! I wish I would have thought about doing that!!! Would have been priceless! LOL

    • nk

      Amen.

    • canaduck

      “opinions are definitely like ass holes (everyone’s got one)”

      …AND? Don’t forget the second part of the saying, come on.

    • Gina Steven

      Not responding at all to other people’s rude comments… speaks volumes!

    • mommy

      LOVE, LOVE this article. Parenting is not the same for everyone. And thats okay. I thought it was one thing and it turned out to be completely different. Sure it has its moments but they are few and far between. Ive always said, there should be a video to preview the experience and then you decide if that is for you. If I where to do it again ( oh boy here comes the hater comments) I would not do it again. There I said it.

    • http://twitter.com/SarahKoszykRD Sarah Koszyk

      the glow definitely only comes when you get a tan or where a certain cream. Yes: people do judge all the time! What else do they have to do? Are they trying to take care of that temper-tantrum kid in Target (or in my case Marshall’s?) ha! Your post is SPOT ON!!! Thanks for speaking your mind because there are many of us thinking the same thing!