I recently read a blog post by a blog ModernLifeWife31 titled “It’s NEVER OK to call your toddler an ASSHOLE” and it keeps popping up in my Facebook newsfeed so I feel like I should form some kind of response to it.
She starts off by saying “STOP CALLING YOUR SMALL CHILDREN ASSHOLES! “
She goes on to say “Your toddler is not an asshole – nope, not all. But you however are, if you think that it is ok to name call your child.”
And she wonders “Even if it’s meant to be light hearted, what are they calling their kids in real life? “
In my experience, parents I know who refer to their children as all manner of things on the internet or not in their hearing, call their children things like “Honey” “Sweetheart” “Darling” to their faces. Admittedly sometimes between grit teeth and the overly enthusiastic grin of someone who is about to snap.
Social Media Doesn’t Always Reflect Real Life
In contrast, the parents I’ve known who’ve gone above and beyond to praise and announce to the world that their child is the most beautiful, lovely, gorgeous, wonderful thing that has every happened to them and they’re utterly grateful each and every day to have them…… (and so on)….. are the parents I’ve witnessed call their child “bitch” and “shithead” to their face.
I don’t know about you, but if a parent is feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, angry and just at the absolute end of their tether – given the choice between saying it to other parents or to their child’s face, I know which I’d choose.
Venting To Your Friends Is Okay
In all honesty; asshole isn’t my first choice of word, but I know so many wonderful, attentive, caring, dedicated parents who will occasionally call their child an asshole (or whatever else) outside of their hearing, or in a space they’ll never find, because they just need to vent.
And yeah, it seems like a big joke – at the child’s expense – but some days if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.
The days where your toddler asks for a red cup, you give them a red cup, and they pitch a fit because you didn’t give them a blue cup.
When you ask them twenty times are they SURE they don’t want some toast and when you make your own they cry until you give it to them.
When you JUST FINISHED cleaning up ALL the toys that have been spread all over the house, and you hear that telltale crash of lego, or some other tiny pieces of plastic, being tipped all over the floor.
Parenthood Is Genuinely Hard Sometimes
Of course we love them. Of course we’re utterly grateful to have them. Of course we do absolutely everything we can to keep them happy, healthy and thriving.
But sometimes they respond to our unwavering love for them by digging poo out of their nappy and smearing it on the wall.
Or by lashing out and slapping our faces, because we dared to try to help them get dressed in the morning.
Or they completely forget how to speak normally and communicate only in whinge. Even when you feel like screaming “I SAID YES WHY ARE YOU STILL WHINING AT ME!!!”
So, what can we do? We can’t run. We can’t hide. We can’t leave (not for any decent amount of time). We pin a smile to our faces, push out our chins and we get on Facebook and we tell whoever will listen that our kids are driving us absolutely batshit crazy.
In whatever words feel most satisfying.
Because sometimes “Oh deary me my toddler is being a wee bit of a bother” Just. Doesn’t. Cut. It.
You’re Not Alone
So, if you feel like you’re the only parent who gets angry – really angry – at your child, even if it’s just because they’re doing perfectly normal kid things – don’t stress. You are not alone. You are not a bad parent and you can vent to me. And even if you don’t feel like saying those things aloud, I’ve still got your back. Even ModernLifeWife… if 6 months from now, or a year, or however long, you feel like you are about to snap and you’ve possibly burnt all your bridges implying at parents who speak ill of their kids are assholes…. shoot me a message. I’ll even be there for you.