How to: Be a Good Mother When You Don’t Like Children


April 12, 2012 by Heather

Obviously, I cannot tell you how to do that.  Give me a few years and then maybe I’ll try to shed some light on the subject.

A couple of weeks ago I said to Andrew, “I just don’t really like kids.”  He informed me, in a rather taken aback manner, that what I had just stated wasn’t something a person should say.  “You can’t say that!”  Um, oh yes I can.  Just did.  I don’t know why he was so put off by it.  He’s known for quite some time now that I’m not exactly kid friendly.

I realize that saying “I don’t like kids” is a very broad generalization of my feelings toward an entire people group.  Perhaps I should have instead said, “I don’t like the majority of kids.”  Is that better?  Because yes, there is a small handful of children who I can tolerate and perhaps even enjoy being around from time to time.  Please do not ask me if your child is one of them.

Apparently it is ok to say that you are not a kid person, but to say that you flat out don’t like them is borderline offensive.  I get it – they’re cute, they say funny things, they are the future, blah blah.  But if your child is the product of a hyper or under-disciplined or weird environment, no thanks.  I’ll not be volunteering to babysit.

You know those people (usually girls) who are total kid magnets?  I mean kids just adore them and they adore kids and let them play on their cell phones and sit in their lap and eat off their plates and yank their earrings out…?  I look at those kinds of people in awe because I just don’t get it.  I shake a one-year-old’s hand when I meet it for the first time.  Sorry, I mean when I meet him or her for the first time.

I am one of those people who say things like, “I like your outfit” to a two-year-old.  Or I’ll offer a bite of my cheeseburger to an infant.  Or I’ll tell my sister to tell my perfect niece to shut it so we can have a grown up conversation.  I don’t like baby talk, kid music, or kid tv shows.  I’ll hold an infant and it will cry.  I once sang Baby Got Back to a baby to make it go to sleep.  Then I accidentally knocked it’s head on an end table.  I’ll say if I think a newborn baby is weird looking, even when everyone else is lying about how cute he/she is.  Most new babies are funny looking, let’s just face it.  I’ll own up to it if mine is.  They usually grow into their looks.  Usually.  Some kids, unfortunately, are just destined to look weird.  We can’t all be beauty queens.

This is sounding rather harsh isn’t it?

People who know my personal stance on children have often told me, “Ooooh, all that will change once you have one of your own!”  And I don’t think it will.  I mean, yes, I will love the poo out of my little boy and will think he is the greatest human alive (because he will be), but I still probably won’t like your child.  And that’s ok.

As Christians, we are called to love everyone.  “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” and all that jazz.  However, not once have I read in my Bible that I am supposed to like everyone, let alone a little kid who doesn’t have a clue how to behave.  I can love it, and I might save it from a runaway train, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  I mean him or her.

So, my new thing is to say “I LOVE ALL CHILDREN,” while secretly I am thinking that I still don’t like them.  It should be better received that way by others.  Unless of course they’ve read this, then they will know the awful truth.

I am 100% sure that after this post the babysitting offers will start to roll in.


7 thoughts on “How to: Be a Good Mother When You Don’t Like Children

  1. Susan G says:

    Heather, you are not alone. I 100% agree.

  2. Sarah says:

    oh well…you know I KNOW you at least “semi-like” my kid. I mean, he showed you his eyebrow trick for crying out loud. won you over in a heartbeat! and yes, if it takes me turning my two year old into a dog who performs tricks for others so they will like him, then I am totally okay with that. 😉

  3. When David was just over a year old he started daycare. Shortly after that I starting working at said daycare. When I first got the job I was all excited to be the 2-year old lead teacher, have my own classroom, la de dah. Then I started the job…lets just say I discovered that most kids are (still) pretty awful and that I don’t like the general child population. Just because you’re tiny and cute looking doesn’t mean you’re tolerable. If I know you as a parent pretty well then I’m probably gonna like your kid because most parents I know are disciplinarians just like I am so their kids are pretty good. But most random kids out there I can’t stand. You’ll constantly hear me say things like “I would have already busted that tail” or “OMG control your kid” to myself or husband while walking through Walmart or Kroger. I just don’t know how to do baby talk or be that crazy kid person. Chris does…but not me. I’m pretty boring lol. So never fear, you can not be a kid-liker and still be a great parent.

  4. Mrs. Baker says:

    Bahahah! I don’t even like my own kids most of the time. I love them of course, but I’m like you, I have never been good with children. I don’t like baby talk and all that. I sometimes find myself trying to have an adult conversation with my one year old. (He only knows how to say thank you, wow, and uh oh.) Wasn’t much of a conversation.

  5. Kelly says:

    You are a funny one Heather;) I enjoy how transparent you are… your blogs are hilarious!
    When I was in Burkina Faso (the middle of the bush in West Africa) before marriage & kids, I had an eye opening experience. One beautiful afternoon, I was sitting under a tree by myself when a 2 year old little boy found me and sat by me. I just kept reading & journaling, but the next thing I notice is the little boy peeing in the dry dirt right next to me… and then playing in the mud (from his pee pee:) I had to laugh at how disgusting it was, but all of a sudden God opened my eyes to see the bigger picture. I’m that child, playing in the filth, and yet God not only loves me, but delights over me. That is the kind of love I want… that’s the kind of love I need.
    I not only want to love my kids, but I want to delight in them, as my Father delights in me. My prayer when I was pregnant with each of my 3 boys (and even now), was that the Lord would help me to see and love my kids as He loves me. God is faithful… I’m completely smitten with my crazy boys:)

  6. Jami says:

    I totally feel the same way. I am excited to have my own children but am aware that most of the time I probably won’t like their little friends that they bring home. I think it’s fine. We’re not all meant to be like the kid magnets out there. Thank God….. those people kind of irritate me!

  7. This was posted forever ago, but I laughed at telling a two-year-old that you like her outfit because I do that. And I’m a mom of a two-year-old! And an 8-month-old. I love my kids all the time, I like them most of the time (well, maybe half the time on some days, haha!), but I am not a kid person. In fact, my husband and I once babysat three little girls over a weekend, then swore that we weren’t having kids for a VERY long time because of that experience. One or two weeks later I found out I was pregnant. God has a sense of humor! Anyway, I’d love to see a follow-up to this post since you have been a mother now for a few years!

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