We parents live in a different world now that we have kids. We would very much like to think we are still a part of our “old world”, but alas things will never be the same. But you know something? We’re OK with that.
Yes, at times we are frustrated, exhausted, and even cranky about it. But at the end of the day we are pretty darn happy with our lives in our “new world.”
We just want you to know a few things about us:
We don’t like it when they act up, scream, or cry in public any more than you do.
Please, be patient and understanding instead of giving us judgemental glares of disapproval. It would really mean a lot to us if you would practice patience in moments like these. Trust us, we are doing our best to keep our kids quiet and well behaved.
Don’t take it so personally or get annoyed if we don’t keep up our social lives the way we once used to.
One thing you really must understand about parents is we are tired. We are exhausted in fact. Especially in the early years.
A good rule of thumb is the younger the child, the more sleep deprived the parents. We are basically a bunch of zombies in the first two years. We can barely keep up with our showers and laundry, nevermind having time return phone calls or emails in a timely manner.
And trust us, we’d LOVE to join you for a night out, we just would much rather sleep. It’s nothing personal really. We just really, really love sleep all of a sudden. We’ll come back around, just give us time.
We talk and post about our kids a lot because they are the most important thing in our lives.
We’ve heard from non-parents how annoyed they get at parents posting baby pics or cute stories about their kids all over Facebook. (There’s even an app for that!) Or how when they get together with parents all they talk about are their kids. Well we’re sorry, but get over it.
Our kids are the most important things in our lives. It is only human nature to share what your are interested in. Everyone does. Sports fans post about sports, politicos post about politics, travelers post about their travels ... You get the picture. So please, stop giving us such a hard time about it.
Talk to me, not my kids.
We are trying to teach our kids to be safe and not talk to strangers, but we also want them to be polite so please don’t put a small child in the predicament of figuring this out on the spot.
We know you are just being nice, but we don’t want our kids to think that it’s ok to talk to just anyone. So many people try to give high fives, shake hands, or even ask our kids their names or how old they are. This seems innocent to them and most don’t mean anything by it, but honestly it kinda creeps us out. Why does an adult need to have a conversation with or touch our kids? Please, just direct conversations to us adults from now on.
Try to remember our schedules have changed now.
Now that we have kids our schedules revolve around their schedules. Little ones need to nap at certain times, and even older kids have their routines. If you want to hang out with us or come for a visit, please ask what time works for us and plan accordingly.
A child’s schedule is a very delicate balancing act. If nap time gets shifted even so much as an hour, we will have hell to pay that night and sometimes even for days. The older they get, the more flexible they get but we still have to plan around them for the most part.
Please don’t offer my kid candy or other treats. Ask me first.
We know you mean well, but some of us don’t allow our kids to have candy or certain treats. Sometimes our kids have been naughty and we have already told them “no.”
When you offer a treat in front of our kids and we have to tell them “no”, it makes us look (and feel) like a jerk to our kids and everyone else. If you want to offer a treat, please know that we do appreciate the gesture, but direct it at the parents and not the kids.
We can’t be as spontaneous as we once were.
Things take more planning now. Those of us with little ones have to pack for even the smallest outing. Even a trip to the grocery store usually involves a fully stocked bag! Don’t get us wrong, we’d LOVE to be able to just up and go somewhere on a whim. It’s just not in the cards for a while.
What I say goes. Don’t undermine me in front of my children or otherwise.
We all have our own way of doing things and parenting is no exception. You may have your own ideas on what to do or not do, but they are your ideas and we have our own.
If I have told our child “no,” that’s that. If our child is crying and I choose to talk to them instead of gushing sympathy, that’s that. If our child is doing something we don’t like and we tell them to stop it, that’s that.
Please don’t undermine us by giving in or going around us. If you genuinely have a concern then talk to me about it when my children aren’t around. We all make mistakes and we could all use a little constructive criticism from time to time, but when you do it in front of our kids, we lose a little respect from them every time.
We don’t need advice on our children’s diets.
We all wish our kids would love to eat all of the healthiest foods and to have a greatly varied palette, and while some children do, a lot of children don’t!
As parents, we have to pick many battles and we all have different priorities. Some parents have kids that only want mac and cheese, some parents want their children to have vegetarian diets, some parents only eat organic, and all of these are fine. We really don’t need to hear “oh, you let your child eat that?” or “you don’t drink organic milk?” because it just may not be a battle we’re looking to get into with our child.
Our kids are our bosses.
We wish this one wasn’t true, but it is! Being a parent is a 24/7 job and no matter what’s going on in our lives, our children always come first. Most of us had an idea of this before we had kids, but didn’t realize the extent of it until those little bundles came around.
As much as we’d like to have our own lives, they aren’t our own for (at least!) another 18 years so try and have patience!
There’s no reason we can’t all just get along and coexist in this world. We are not the enemy and we do not bring our kids places to annoy you. We are just doing our best and hope for a little understanding and patience as we figure it all out.
You can also check out the Campbell Patch Mom Squad on Facebook or Twitter! We share our articles, community events, thoughts on parenting, parent related current events, and more. We also welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions anytime!
Anything our fellow parents would like to add? For those of you who are non-parents, what do you think? We’d love to hear from you all! Please share with us in the comments below.