Saturday, October 20, 2012

What if I just don't like my kid?

There is no end to the worries I have as a mom, and I'm sure most moms feel the same.  With some perspective and a little wine, I can usually talk myself down from whatever worry is hovering in my mind, but as soon as the wine wears off, there is a new one that pops into consciousness.

My worry of the moment is that I may not actually like my middle child.

I can handle the idea that G is "challenging" or "spirited" or "difficult," but what if I just don't like him?  

Sorta changes the conversation, at least to me.

If he is "challenging," "spirited," whatever, then he is the one with a problem. But if I just don't like him, well then I think I might be a bad momma.

Or is the truth somewhere in the middle?  

G is a whiner, which simply sets me off.  I'm not sure if it's because of the whining or because it never ends.  Every day I must wake up hoping today will be the end of the whining, and it never is.  Every day there is an episode (if I'm lucky) or a series of episodes (if I'm unlucky) that sets off the whining.

He is also tremendously persistent when he sets his mind on doing something.  When his mind is set on whining, it requires every ounce of my strength not to go absolutely berserk.

It is hard to know sometimes if what I dislike is certain behaviors in G or G in general....especially on a bad day when it seems he is doing that disliked behavior

I don't have this worry with the other two.  M is insane sometimes, but he is 3.  All 3-year-olds are bonkers.  N is mostly even-keel, although I know the teen years will be here before I know it, which will likely change my perspective on liking her.

G has many, many wonderful qualities that I adore, and I try to remind myself of this as often as I can.  His exuberance, his curiosity, his helpfulness are all wonderful.  His smile alone is heart-melting.

I know I always love him, but I often wonder if I like him.  And that makes me feel sorta rotten.


Swistle said...

I have wondered similar things. The problem is that it doesn't look to me as if humans can do much to control who they do/don't like. The best I think can be done is acknowledging things like "Just because I don't like this person doesn't mean THEY'RE UNLIKEABLE, it just means _I_ don't like them," and trying to find things that you DO like about them, and so on. Which is exactly what you're doing.

A bad mother would be one who blamed her child for it, like by saying it must be that he was unlikeable; a good mother sees the situation and then does the best she can to figure out how best to deal with the way things are.

Shelby said...

I am right there with you Carrie. There are days, months or even years when I really feel like I may be a bad Mom because I simply don't like one of my children. The good news is that it has always passed. I remember thinking that I was such a bad Mom when Lily was three because I just didn't like her very much. She was constantly causing issues in our house and always doing things that irritated someone else. She is now five and that seems like a distant memory. Of course, she is still a tough kid to parent but I do like her these days. :) Right now, it's Noah. He is bringing new meaning to the term "dislike". I try not to worry though because ten years of parenting has taught me that this too shall pass.