Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Whiny Wednesday: Parenting Radar February 15, 2012

I’m whining at myself today and the bad attitude I’ve developed towards parents, or more precisely, towards parenting.

Listening to the radio on Sunday morning, I heard an interview with a author who’d written a book about parenting in France. She was saying how “amazed” she was to see French children sitting quietly at the dining room table, eating what was put in front of them, and entertaining themselves for hours with a simple toy.

In a second, my mind flashed through all the times I’d witnessed “bad American parents” and their out-of-control offspring, and before I knew it I was off, stomping around the house spitting vitriol at the radio and the poor unsuspecting author (who, fortunately couldn’t hear me.)

But my husband heard me, and gave me one of his, “Oh, no, where can I hide before she turns on me” looks. It was enough to cool my jets, stop for a while and listen quietly to what the (very nice) author had to say.

I apologized to my husband, and skulked off to have a talk with myself and try to figure out where this ire comes from, when it comes. It doesn’t come often, not any more, but it does come, boy, does it come with a vengeance.

I don’t hate parents (I’ve had two of my own and they were great) and I don’t resent parents, I don’t think, but this anger is hiding inside me somewhere, and when it bubbles up, it scares the heck out of me…not to  mention my poor husband.

Anyway, it’s Whiny Wednesday today, so now’s a good time to let your anger out to play for a while.


14 Responses to “Whiny Wednesday: Parenting Radar”

  1. RuralRabbit Says:

    I find myself doing the same thing. I think I’m over my bitterness about losing two babies and not being able to have children, then something will set me off. Last night it was parents who were showing no sportsmanship at a basketball game, they where terrible!

  2. Kate B Says:

    I’m guessing that at some time or other it happens to all of us who wanted kids and couldn’t have them. We’re thinking how much better we could have done it or how differently we would have handled it. And it’s not so much that we think we are better – it’s the jealousy popping out in a different way.

  3. counslorry Says:

    I really like your honesty and the way you write with a bit of humour thrown in. refreshing

  4. Lee Cockrum Says:

    I think that Kate B. has hit on at least part of it. They were blessed to have kids, and then can’t even raise them properly. It is a disservice to the children, as well as it makes people who have to deal with the children miserable.

    I totally agree with you about feeling like this. I feel similarly about people who complain about their kids all the time. I understand it is not always fun, but some people never seem to stop complaining.

  5. Kelly Says:

    I’m reminded of a time when I was on a bus in Italy somewhere, and there was an adorable baby being held up with disgust by its mother. She refused to look at the child or cuddle her to calm her down. She seemed to hate this child, that’s the only way I can put it. There was an older woman that seemed to be with her, yelling at her to do something for the baby but all it resulted in was the mother spitting on the bus window and continuing to reject the child. If someone ever figures out time travel, this is the moment I want to go back to. I’m not sure what I would do, but I would do something more than nothing this time.

  6. Peaches Says:

    you know what scares me even more? people who are happy all the time and never seem to get angry. Of course you get angry at parents sometimes, they can be really annoying!!

  7. Rerah Says:

    My whine is about a trailer for an upcoming movie called “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”. The plot goes something like this–a young infertile couple write down all of the qualities they want in a child, put them in a box, and then bury the box in the back yard. Magically (?), this child appears and they get to live their family fantasy. I don’t know how the movie will end, nor do I want to. Just when I think I’m making progress, I see this and it’s like a huge punch in the stomach.

  8. Mali Says:

    You’re not alone. I sometimes wonder if my disgust at some parents these days is sour grapes, or a generation gap, or cultural gaps, but then I think – my sisters, my friends, my mother and my mother-in-law are all equally disgusted. You should have heard my sister, and her two friends (all of them mothers) rant about the mother letting her little boy stand beside the pool at their hotel and pee in it! Unfortunately, commonsense is not a pre-requisite for parenthood.

  9. Kris Says:

    When you’re 17 and the condom broke and your period is 3 days late, it’s terrifying. When you’re 27 and you’re trying to have a baby and your period is three days late, it’s thrilling. When you’re 37 and you’re on month 28 of trying, you’ve gone through one miscarriage, you have a crazily consistent cycle and you’re period is three days late, it’s soul crushing. At least it is for me.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Kris, I’m so sorry and yes it is soul crushing. Many of us on this site have been there, me included. So, sending hugs your way as that’s all I can do. 😦

  10. CiCi Says:

    I totally agree with this post and with several of the comments. I’ve been getting upset at parenting ways also. Recently I was at a baby shower where I was the only childless woman in a room of 30. After ooohing and aaaawing at all the new baby stuff, the mom’s proceeded to complain about having to go home to their own children. Some of them decided that their husbands were “on duty” for another hour and that they should go shopping together instead of going home. It made me angry to see so many taking their lives for granted. Now that some time has passed, I realize that it would probably be nice to get some “off” time as a parent. But still. For me, I think that’s where that anger stems from…mothers complaining about the lives they get to enjoy, when I can’t. Mothers who have short tempers with their blessings. And mothers who don’t take their role seriously and totally slack on raising adults.

  11. khh1138 Says:

    I have episodes like this, too, where I can tell I’m over-reacting (or at least taking it too personally and that’s what’s making me so mad) and I can see it in my husband’s reaction to *my* reaction. He’s annoyed by the crazy useless parents and their maddening hellion kids, too, but he isn’t taking it personally like I am. I think it might be because I over-identify with those mothers – I always picture myself in their shoes and am appalled and think I would instantly take steps to fix it – and I can’t understand why they are not. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t see himself in those people’s lives *at all* – so the most he ever says is he’s just glad he isn’t living that on a daily basis.

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