I hear that people with children usually don't realize how the things they say or do affect their children until way after the fact. Although, for the good of humanity, let's hope all you parents out there are doing just fine... I believe in you.
For more stories, find the original thread source at the end of the article.
“I don’t want to be on them for every little thing, but seriously, turn off the lights and close the fridge door.
Flush the freaking toilet and how about you wipe your butt. You are in grade 4 and why do I need to remind you to wipe your butt when you poop every time – seriously. Who just dumps and runs. There are no drive-bys when it comes to defecation, you will be fine. I’ve told you every day for the last 6 years to flush, wipe, wash, and you still can’t do it.
God, I love them so much, but how hard is it to flush the toilet and wipe your butt?
Why is there pee all over the seat?
Why is there pee on my freaking wallpaper?
You know, those things are challenging.”
Daddy’s Little Girls
“Honestly, the hardest thing I deal with is being jealous of my husband. We have two girls and they are the epitome of daddy’s girls. I’m always the bad guy and they run to him for comfort. He’s an awesome dad and amazing husband and he always has my back on decisions, but it doesn’t change the fact that the bond he has with them is way different than with me. As soon as I stopped nursing my youngest it was like she wanted nothing to do with me. Deep down I know that it’s typical for girls to be like that with their fathers and I am very happy and thankful that I have such a good man, but it’s hard to not get the affection from them that he does.”
“Children are draining. I kinda figured it would be like with my husband – if I’m with him I’m not having energy drained. But the kids just drain my energy so quickly. I get tired from the constant talking, touching, screaming, arguing, questioning and there is like no break from it unless I stick them in front of a screen and then I feel super guilty.”
Dealing With An Erratic Volcano
“I have found that the hardest part is not reacting to the stuff children throw at you while going through puberty. You are living with an erratic hormonal immature volcano of a person. At any point, they may erupt with some kind of angry outburst portraying you as the arch villain in their life. Staying calm and not taking the bait is very difficult.
But an hour later, they will be sobbing and telling you they are a terrible person and that you are the best parent a child could have. Hormones are a powerful thing.”
Wearing Multiple Hats As A Mother
“Someone. Is. Always. Touching. Me.
I love my kids, I love my husband, but at a certain point you feel like mom, cuddle mate, food provider, book reader, booboo kisser, fight de-escalator, question answerer, butt-wiper all throughout the day and then wife, conversation continuer, dinner maker, cuddle mate (again), intimate partner, financial advisor, kiss machine once the husband gets home and not at all like yourself. Like you lost who you are after being all those things.
At a certain point it’s just: EVERYONE STOP TOUCHING ME AND ASKING ME FOR THINGS. YES TO THE ICE CREAM, YES TO THE CHOCOLATE, YES TO THE FRUIT LOOPS BUT PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY LEAVE ME ALONE.
My 1-year-old is currently crying because I am hiding in my blanket fort and not letting her in. I just want five minutes – please.
Also being sick with kids. Just because you guys are sick doesn’t mean the kids stop having the need for silly things like eating and drinking.
Probably the worst is being sick with sick kids. Everybody is miserable. Everybody is crying. Nobody sleeps.”
All Kids Are Exhausting, Just In Different Ways
“Finding a way to interact with children while keeping in mind that my job is not to raise children, but functional adults.
My oldest was born a grumpy old man. He’s always been an old soul. He’s got a bizarre understanding that doesn’t fit in his brief 8 years of life. So when he actually acts like a child and I get mad at him I have to step back and remind myself that he is, in fact, a kid and still needs patience and guidance and fun to successfully make it to actual adulthood.
My second is very young. He’s 5, but a very young 5. He’s got this inherent sweetness that I never ever, ever want to go away. So telling him no is hard. Making him do things he doesn’t want to do is hard. I want to protect him and baby him and never let a tear touch his cheek or let the world tarnish his beautiful soul. But that’s not helpful. Combine this sweet demeanor with some motor delays, I just want to do life for him. But I can’t. He has to learn how to handle himself. He has to learn that sometimes life is difficult or boring or yucky or whatever and he’s going to have to deal.
My third is like a lion trapped in the body of a gerbil. She thinks she can do everything but she is 2 and cannot. So I have to find a way to encourage her confidence without letting her get too damaged while still getting through the day. I don’t ever want to tell her that her effort isn’t good enough or that she’s not good enough, but I also don’t have all day to wait for her to ‘I can do it!’ about her car seat when in reality all she’s doing is repeatedly pinching her fingers.
Tiny humans are exhausting.”
You Will Be Sharing Everything
You made a sandwich even though the kids are already fed? Well, they want a bite. A big one.
Did you buy a new keyboard for your computer? Well, they gotta test it out too, even though they’re not old enough to even use a computer.
Do you want a Pepsi? They don’t want their chocolate milk. They want your Pepsi.
Playing a game or watching TV? It’s their turn next and next is right now.
Have your wife’s attention cause you’re telling a story? ‘MommymommymommymommyMOOOOMMMMYYY, mommy, mommy!’
Having kids can be wonderful. But no one warned me about the constant sharing. It’s not bad. But sometimes it gets to me. Like… can’t I eat my sandwich. Or play music without anyone screaming ‘Alex-ahhh PLAY MOANAAA’.”
You’ve Got To Practice Patience
“I have younger kids, ages 3 to 8. Balancing letting them have what they want and keeping them under control, also-known-as, giving them an inch without giving away the mile.
This comes in many forms. I like to give my kids the freedom to be kids. Some people call my kids, ‘free range kids.’ But at the same time, I don’t want my kids to be the ones running around the grocery store annoying everyone and getting in the way. Sometimes the only solution for situations like that is to be very strict, which I hate doing. I also love playing with my kids, but after an hour of piggyback rides I’m done and they never are. Sometimes I don’t even want to start playing because I know I’ll be shaking off kids that don’t want the fun to end for the rest of the day.
The other hard part is patience. You tell a kid to do something and sometimes it feels like it takes 30 seconds for them to process the instruction and start moving.”
The Worrying Doesn’t Stop
“Giving them responsibility when they become responsible. My kids are 17 and 18, and they have lives of their own. I’m a nervous wreck worrying about where they are and what they’re doing, but they’re 17 and 18 and should be able to do whatever they want as long as they’re not getting into trouble.
They’re good kids and I give them the freedom they deserve, but it drives me insane with worry. I just love and want the best for them.”
Learning To Let Them Make Mistakes
“Not projecting my own insecurities and bad life experiences onto them. I had a very difficult childhood both family wise and with friends (or the lack thereof) and it’s so hard for me not to freak out at the idea of my children having similar experiences. I know it’s normal for them to occasionally not fit in with another group of kids (although they do 99% of the time) but I’m always expecting that 1% of the time to have the same effect on them that years of rejection had on me. I have to step back and take a breath and remind myself it’s a normal healthy part of growing up to experience occasional rejection and learn how to handle it now. They also don’t have the family instability that I experienced growing up but I’m always worried they have the same terrors of people just disappearing that I did. But no they are just your average happy little kids who feel safe, secure and loved. I am so thankful but can’t really comprehend it.”
Getting Your Kids To Focus
“Getting your children to focus and or stop regressing. My 4-year-old is less productive now than when he was 3 or even 2.
When he was 3, I could leave him to get dressed by himself and he did it and came to me to see what we were doing next. Now he just stares at the wall for 10 minutes in his underwear. Until I tell him to get dressed or stand there and even then he takes 5 minutes to put on a sock. Or he will take 2 hours to eat his food because he gets distracted playing on his chair.
So, I asked him if he is having fun and if he is happy playing on his chair instead of eating and he says no he doesn’t like it. Yet when I tell him he can leave after he eats his food then he takes a bite and plays again. Or after 30 minutes, he’ll have to go to the bathroom and will hide in there or is full after 4 bites. He literally ate more food faster when he was 2-years-old. He picks out what he wants to eat and if possible we cook it together or he is at least involved in setting the table.
It’s exhausting because he doesn’t mean to be so slow or absent-minded but it’s super annoying. Eventually, he will learn the faster he eats the more time he can play at the park because we are waiting on him. I just need to say it 10,000 more times.”
Raising Girls vs. Boys
“The girls versus boys difference. I have 3 boys and 2 girls.
Boys have been so much easier! My girls don’t sleep, even at 11 and 9-years-old. They cry so often. The clothing battle… every day. My boys roll out of bed, go to school, come home, and do their chores. My 11-year-old fights every chore as ‘too hard’. Of course, she always has to do them anyway. But this battle has been going on since she was 2!”
Once They Become Teenagers…
“They are so hard to deal with. Mostly I’m just trying to keep everyone as alive, happy and functional as possible. Decisions go from small things like cleaning up after yourself and saying please and thank you to huge and life impacting decisions like intimacy, partying, and choices about college. The pressure is intense and exhausting. I’ve cried more than I ever did when my 3 teens were little and they are pretty decent kids overall.”
Wondering If You Are Doing Enough
“Feeling like a failure and like I’m missing my child’s childhood or that I’m going to lose him somehow. In a way.
I’m currently getting really emotional about my oldest getting older. He’s 10 and I share custody with his mom. I do the best I can and I think I’m a decent dad even though I’m not at my best in the morning or if I’ve had a stressful day. These were all bad parenting examples growing up.
I keep realizing and mentally talking to myself before it’s my turn for the week – how I’m going to be more patient about things and spend more time with him and then I fall right back into old patterns.
I don’t want him to suddenly be a teenager and not like anything he’s currently into anymore. He’s a fantastic kid but I miss his childlike innocence on a lot of things. And how happy, talkative, polite and helpful he is. And I feel like I can never be there enough or do enough to be present.
But I know I can’t be with him all the time and he’s doing his own thing. I’m just going to be sad when (and if) he starts thinking that some cartoon he likes (Gravity Falls or Adventure Time or Star Wars Rebels) is lame or for little kids. Or if he starts arguing back or being depressed about whatever stresses he’s facing in life. Or that he can’t or won’t talk to me.
I just spend the time I can with him while taking some of my own time but every time he goes back to his mom, I immediately feel like I didn’t do enough and that he’s getting older and I’m scared of it and what that might mean.
He may always be a sweet kid and I may be doing alright with him but god, it doesn’t feel like it sometimes.”
Learning To Trust Them
“Trusting them to make the right decisions.
I couldn’t be happier with my kids. They both get good grades. They’re both active in sports and other activities.
But the fear of a phone call about impaired driving, or God forbid, my daughter being assaulted, or some other tragedy is always in the back of mind.
I obviously knew before I had kids that there would be a desire to keep them safe. I just had no idea how strong it would be.”
Appropriate Clothing 101
“Getting my child to wear weather appropriate clothing. It’s winter up here in Canada, but no dad I don’t want to wear my sweater, jacket, boots, and hat. I’d rather run outside in my pajamas then complain I’m cold.
He’s almost 4 soon, so I know things will get even more interesting as he gets older. Co-parenting with his burn out of a mother is a challenge too. He’s a good kid, but really only has me and my girlfriend as a role model. All he does at his mom’s house is play video games or binge watches Netflix while she sleeps. It’s kind of sad, but I do the best I can when he’s here.”
Trying To Keep Children From Swearing
“Not swearing. It seems simple, but dropping an F-bomb here and there in moments of irritation is natural for me and now when my 5-year-olds get upset or irritated they have let loose a solid f-word. On the one hand, I want them to stop, but on the other, it makes me proud that they use it in context and not just arbitrarily.”
“Reproductive education. I am incredibly open and it’s difficult to embarrass me so I thought I would do a thousand times better than my parents, who found the topic so shameful that they just handed me a book and left it at that.
As it turns out my kids are the opposite of me and very much like my parents – they do not want to discuss the subject with me at all. They were brought up by me and you’d think that all my openness would have rubbed off, but not at all.”
Trying Not To Raise Another Version Of Yourself
“Not getting frustrated with one of my kids for being EXACTLY like me when I was his age.
It’s like watching my childhood in the 3rd person and seeing all the things I wished I could have changed about myself but trying to resist the urge to actually let him know I would change those things. He is a great kid and I turned out fine but I just see my own personal shortcomings in him and would love for him not to have gotten them. It’s definitely a ‘me problem’ and not a ‘him problem’.”
Points are edited for clarity.