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Shocking Honesty-June 9, 2011

I don’t read articles I find on the internet from start to finish very often.  I usually only skim the first few paragraphs and look for lists.  Today I found one that had me for all 5 pages.  ‘Why Don’t I Like My Own Child?” (http://lifestyle.msn.com/your-life/family-parenting/article.aspx?cp-documentid=28895290&GT1=32060).  In it the mother talks about the difficultly bonding with her child and the disappointment she felt with her.  I have had trouble bonding with my daughter as well.  Just to make things clear I believe 1)All children deserve to be loved 2)not all children are as lovable or easy to love.  This is something I have been working with/struggling with/stressing about.

What struck me about this article was the ‘shocking honesty’.  I am both proud of her ability to come out and be honest about her feelings to herself and others (under a different name so her daughter is protected), and saddened that honesty like that is so rare and shocking.  People don’t get trained or pass a test to be parents.  It is hard to learn as you go.  Every kid is different and none of them perfectly match a parenting book.  Why is it so hard for parents, myself included, to admit that?  It is another form of perfectionism that we are taught to act. 

It was interesting reading the comments at the bottom of the post and the different ways people responded to it.  There were several showing up every minute when I read the article this morning and they were filled with strong emotions.  They ranged from people telling her she was a terrible mother all the way to people recalling their painful childhoods. 

As a society I feel we have to have places and people we can talk to where we can shed the masks, the perfect fronts and simplify to honesty. Closets and houses full of stuff can be overwhelming, but holding up the person I feel I am expected to be all the time can be even worse. 

I respect this mother.  It is only when she (or I) can be honest with herself about where her parenting is at and admit there is problems that she can do something about it. 

5 Comments

  1. Lorilee Lorilee

    Transfered Comment from Megan:

    “Thank you for sharing this. I too have struggeled with my oldest son. Don’t get me wrong I know I love him but to like him all the time is very hard to do. It has been extremely hard for me to accept that I can be a good mother and not like her child all the time. But thru God I have come to realize that just because my feelings for my child are not strong all the time doesn’t mean they cannot get stronger and be more than they are now. Like relationships with adults sometimes we have to approach them in a way that is unfimilure to us and it’s not easy. Both of you are right to say that if anything better is to come of our relationships we have to be honest with ourselves as well as others. Otherwise how else can God completely help us. “

  2. Lorilee Lorilee

    Transfered Comment from Lorilee

    “Megan,

    Thanks for the comment.
    Hum, the first born for all three of us 🙂 “

  3. Lorilee Lorilee

    Transfered Comment from Angela

    “honesty tends to make me feel normal! when chloe was born i suddenly couldn’t stand the sight or sound of maddie. I had never heard or read of that happening and was horrified and felt guilty. thankfully i had an honest friend who told me not to worry about the crazy hormones or whatever it was and those feelings would eventually go away!”

  4. Nicole Nicole

    Firstborn children make us struggle. Our self-awareness and insecurities are exposed and there are a lot of opportunities for pain. The best thing for us all has been having five more kids. You learn, through the others, that children are children, to moderate your expectations, and what went awry. The later kids are a buffer and your oldest sees you love them and even re-experiences hard things in better ways through the younger ones. I have six awesome kids and now I do understand that oldest one pretty well, although it is always a challenge. Iron sharpens iron, remember.

    • Thanks!

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