Non-Parents, Don’t Put Your Kids Baggage on Me

As a mom I have plenty of mom-friends. We lament about the struggles of parenting but also revel in the joy our kids bring us. It’s a safe place to both vent and brag.

I also have many friends who aren’t parents. Most of them are amazing and respectful. They either don’t have kids yet or don’t want them. But either way, they love my kids, or at least tolerate them. They will indulge their little games and sneak them sugary cereal snacks. It warms my heart.

And then, there are interactions I have with non-parents that leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. That’s because they have no problem going on and on about how awful it must be to a parent. As a mom of two awesome kids, I am personally offended.

I understand parenting isn’t for everyone. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t want to have kids, you shouldn’t have them. And as a mom, I definitely understand the struggles and challenges of parenting. It’s not always fun. No one likes waking up in the middle of the night to a screaming crying child. No one likes dealing with a nasty blow-out diaper. No one likes being sleep deprived or spit up on or having to clean up mess after mess. But I still love being a mom. I love waking up to my children’s squeals and hugs. I love going to the playground with them. I love spending time with them – whether it’s cuddling on the couch, exploring the children’s museum, painting. The love I have for my children and the love I receive from them is incredible.

And yet, I hear childless people constantly saying that having kids messes up your life. I don’t know what kind of baggage they’re dealing with or from where they are drawing their conclusions, but it’s irritating. My life isn’t messed up. My life is enriched. It’s definitely not all about me anymore. I sometimes have to cater to my children’s schedules and desires. And yes, sometimes they even act like brats (as many adults do as well). Sure, I do wish my kids would let me sleep in once in a while, but that’s why they invented coffee. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. However, I feel that when childless people complain about children or how they wreak havoc on our lives they are dumping all their baggage on parents and trying to make us question our life choices.

Again, I get it if you don’t want kids, but do you really have to dump all over those of us who do? Can’t you just say parenting isn’t for you and leave it at that? Because, honestly, having kids isn’t as bad as you’re making it out to be. Becoming a mom has changed me, but not in a bad way. Becoming a mom has given me more perspective and purpose. I’m not saying you need children to live a purposeful life, that’s far from the truth. But I am saying that having kids didn’t ruin my life, it gave me life. So please stop with the “kids suck” baggage. I look at my sweet children’s faces and all I can feel is profound gratitude.