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Childrearing

Anonymous Mom: I Have A Baby And I Hate Babies

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 b Anonymous Mom b  I Have A Baby And I Hate Babies  1575675461 jpgI have a toddler and a baby and do plan on having more, because I love children and my husband and I do want a large family. But I don’t like babies. Sure, I LOVE my babies and feel a fierce protectiveness toward them from the moment they’re born, but I think the first year just sucks. It’s more than the physical demands and grossness of infancy. I just don’t get on with babies. You know when you’re at a party and a small baby is getting passed around and everyone is fighting over who gets to hold the baby next? Well, not me! I have no interest.

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Even my own babies, who I’m happy to hold, are really boring under the age of one. I talk to them and sing silly songs and provide all the human interaction and stimulation I’m supposed to, and I hate it. I feel like such an idiot blabbering “goo-goo ga-ga” to a drooling, pooping, puking blob who doesn’t yet know how to respond. I feel stupid doing the running commentary- “and now mommy is putting you arm through the sleeve of your shirt”- to someone who can’t yet make sense of such funny sounds. As much as I know I need to do these things so that they DO learn to make sense of it, I still feel stupid every time I do it.

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Although I truly LOVE both my children equally, frankly, I like my toddler better right now, tantrums and all- and I like him better than I liked him a year and a half ago. I just feel more connected having a conversation with him (even though it is not particularly sophisticated) and I just get a much bigger rush of parental joy watching him play imaginative games or hearing him make observations about what he sees and hears than I do when the baby gives me a drooly smile or bats at something dangling.

I used to feel guilty about my feelings about babies when my oldest was a baby. I beat myself up for thinking of him as inane and struggled to reconcile my intense love with my strong boredom and dislike. Every now and then, I would admit to someone that I couldn’t wait for the next stage, and every time without fail, I got the old “you say that now, but you’re going to miss this time when you get there” line. NOPE!

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My son started walking and talking and it’s every bit as awesome as I expected. I don’t miss his baby self one bit. When my husband and I decided to try for a second, it was because we wanted to grow our family, not because I was getting wistful baby pangs. I just went into it knowing I would do what I need to for the first year, looking forward to when he would get a little bigger. I’ve come to accept that I’m just not a baby person. I’m a big-kid person. This should come as no surprise to a high school teacher, but it took awhile to come to terms with my feelings. Yes, 16 is my favorite age and that’s OK; I think we all have our favorite ages and stages. I don’t love my kids any less because they’re not 16 yet, and I’ve certainly found enjoyment in toddlerhood (which is remarkably similar to adolescence in many ways). But I’m just not a baby person and probably never will be.

 

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