Confession: I like my kids

(Originally published December 23, 2011. Almost a year after writing this, I still feel the same way…)

I confess…. I like my kids. I do. I. Like. My. Kids.

There. I said it.

I have spent a fair amount of time here opening up about the difficulties of motherhood.

I mean, kids are work.

Not just physical, but who knew how much of an EMOTIONAL toll motherhood would take.

I don’t just worry about the here and now, but I spend a lot of time worrying about the days to come.

WHO KNEW that in nearly every discipline decision I would not only weigh the present, but also THE ENTIRETY OF THEIR FUTURE.

Dramatic much?

Perhaps.

But here’s the thing… with all the messes, and reasonable level of disobedience (who doesn’t disobey, right?), the inconvenient potty trips, the misplacing of shoes and coats, and did I mention the messes???…

I really like my kids.

And as soon as I hit publish I am sure there will be reason for me to log back in and just line-through this entire post.

{Ahhhh… the nature of children and their mothers}

But I want to share a sweet story that I not only want to remember, but also to offer as hope to those moms who are in the thick of life with a 2-3 year old boy.

Because, mamas of little boys, I know you need some hope.

My boy never stopped. He was utterly physically exhausting to keep up with, and there was the one time he bit a kid on the face. And countless other times he hit/kicked/screamed his way into unwanted infamy. My dear friend gave him his first haircut when he was two. He kicked her in her stomach.

Never before or since has a client kicked her in the stomach. And she is still my friend. Bless you, Sara…

But the hope.

My son is 12. I am in no way claiming he is good at choosing an inside voice (EVER), nor always listens in class, nor never ever rolls his eyes when given a chore to do…

However. He doesn’t kick the barber anymore. He hasn’t bitten another kid on the face. Nor does he kick, scream, spit and hit when we try to leave the toy store.

*cue GLORY music here*

Recently, one evening, we, just him and me, hit the mall for some holiday-related errand running. He had the option to invite a friend over instead. He chose to hang with me. His Mama.

*passes tissue*

We hit the mall, looked at shoes, shopped for gifts for his dad and sisters. We laughed, talked, ate fast food, got turned away by a closing-too-early-5-days-before-Christmas-Starbucks, then came home. He turned on jazzy Christmas music (the boy loves him some Bing Crosby) and we got our present wrapping on.

Just my boy and me.

My boy and me

If anyone had suggested such a scene between my boy and me 10 years ago, I would have called them a liar.

A pants on fire LIAR.

The first 4-5 years parenting that boy were TOUGH.

And I feel the need to add, I have no idea what mothering a teen will hold.

Prayers welcome.

//

Recently, I have been working hard to be more intentional with my kids. Even just taking the time stop and watch. As I have been taking this time, I have realized something…

Oh my gosh – I LIKE MY KIDS.

I think you (moms… dads…) know what I’m talking about.

I LOVE my kids, but the biggest surprise in motherhood has been learning this lesson: just because I love my kids, it doesn’t mean I like them all the time.

The same may or may not be said for husbands.

All that to say, I know not what the future holds (remember: teens years ahead!), but I am so thankful for where we are now and who I see my children becoming. I am proud to be their Mama and I like them.

A lot.

Let’s see how I feel the day after Christmas…

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18 Responses to “Confession: I like my kids”

  1. What’s ‘GLROY’ music Jenny?

  2. Crystal says:

    LOVE your post Jenny. You always speak to the heart. I agree that LOVE does not always = LIKE for your children, but thankfully the LOVE does carry you through the disLIKE – especially when they DISlike their mama. (not you of course!)

    Here’s to wishing the liking continues through the teen years. I have a sneeky suspicion you will like the great adventures ahead.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Wow-I have a 12-year-old boy as well, and when I swim through the sea of Axe body spray, there does seem to be a glimmer of human under there. Just yesterday, he chose to go to lunch with 3 adults. Then, (cue gasping) he contributed to the conversation, was funny and charming, and we had a good time. My BIL remarked that that was the most he had ever heard him talk, total. One more great reason to blog/tweet/facebook. These will become our memory books.

  4. Joanna Sprik says:

    Ugh! ‘The Girl’ is 15 and some days I want to throttle her and others she is just as sweet as she can be…and my son was just 10 when he went to heaven and he was such a sweet little boy. Kids are such a blessing. There isn’t a tougher OR more rewarding job out there than being MOM!! Wouldn’t trade it for anything!! 🙂

    • Oh Joanna… I lean on the wisdom of my friends who have those teens. Lots of great things, but I hear the stories and I wait. Pray for the best, but prepare for… the not best 😉 I think of you and a handful of dear friends who have lost their children… and your hearts inspire me to remember your children and treasure my own that much more. Big hugs and endless love to you… SO much <3

  5. Carrie says:

    Well, it does seem like you’ve got some pretty likable kids.

    They’re cute as hell.

    Then when you throw Kevin in the mix…just WOW.

  6. Jenn says:

    Awww. This is so sweet.

    Mostly because today I really like my kids… But yesterday? Yesterday I was thinking ” I love that girl…but I sure don’t like her much right now…”

    Parenting is HARD.

  7. Jill says:

    I have three year old B/G twins, one of whom had to be dragged out of a Barnes & Noble yesterday. Thanks for this!!

  8. omg, did you write this post for me?! 😉 i think you already know how i feel on this subject, so it’s really great to hear stories like this that give me hope that my boy and i will still be friends throughout his life. your kiddos are lucky to have you for their mama.

  9. I have two stepsons and I remember distinctly the day I looked at my oldest and thought to myself – Wow, I like him. As a person. Not as my son, not as a kid, not in a I have to like him way – but actually enjoy his company – would seek him out to be a friend (if it weren’t weird bc he was 15 at the time and I was – well, older.)

    At the time I had a toddler and remember the relief of knowing there is an out on the other side where they turn into enjoyable people – ones worth knowing and respecting – ones you are more than excited to spend time with..

    Great post! Merry Christmas.

  10. jubilee says:

    Thanks for your honesty and sharing your heart. There is nothing better than the moments you realize that you really and truly DO like your kids in spite of their behavior sometimes.

    Tonight we were at a dinner party (our first fancy schmancy one in a LONG time) and there wasn’t a kids table. My oldest who is ten and my youngest who is seven lit up the room and (appropriately) entertained us. I was so shocked that the little boy potty humor was hidden for awhile!

    *sigh*

  11. LOL, this made my night. I love this blog.

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