I’m so mad

Because I just witnessed a woman scream, “Shut up” at her infant and “Don’t you dare cry. I hate you both,” at her toddler while getting them out of the car. I’m angry with her, and with myself for judging her. I have no idea why she was in such a mood – or if she’s suffering from postpartum depression. I’m perturbed with myself as well for just walking by. But honestly I didn’t think I could take any abuse from her, and I wasn’t feeling sympathetic enough to offer to help until I got a block past.

Upon careful introspection, I feel certain I would never say that to any child. “Shut up,” unlikely, but maybe, in a very rare moment of extreme passion and stress. I really hope not, though. But “I hate you?” Never. Seriously. I know that if I get to have children there will be moments when they drive me crazy, but I also know I would ask, no BEG for help before I got to the point where I could say, “I hate you.”

I know the following rant is about to be unreasonable, but I haven’t ever said this yet. Because I know it’s ridiculous and anecdotal and inaccurate.

But WHY does it seem like so many parents I see right now don’t appreciate their children? Why does it seem like every other mother on the street uses her children as an accessory, as a way to one up other women? Why does it seem so damn easy for total assholes to get pregnant, and stay pregnant, and give birth, and bring home a beautiful baby? Why do women who don’t even plan to get pregnant, and then don’t even realize they have until they’ve smoked and drank alcohol for months get to bring home babies?

I know I’m not representing things accurately. I guess the key word here is “seems.” I’m just not in the mood right now to see it so clearly.

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8 responses to “I’m so mad

  1. Rant away! Feel free to turn it into a whole chapter to add to the never ending “Life is Definitely Not Fair” book!

    It’s very upsetting to witness a parent being abusive toward their child. And I’m sorry, telling a toddler you “hate” them, is abusive. The problem is, it’s that kind of gray area abuse where you can’t report them, but you know it’s not good (and probably the tip of the iceberg).

    I don’t “know” you Sara, but I am certain you will never tell your child that you hate him/her. I don’t claim to be the perfect mother. I have lost my temper with my kids more times than I care to admit. But I have never come anywhere close to telling them I hate them, or anything else that would be truly damaging to their spirits or psyche. The worst they hear from me is a frustrated, “You guys are making me nuts!” And even that, I always feel very sorry for saying.

    I have often said that if I were allowed just one suggestion to the Big Guy that would improve the world. It would be that conception could only occur when that child is truly wanted, planned for and loved. AND, that anyone who could meet those criteria, would be able to have a baby. I know it wouldn’t eradicate all the problems in the world, but I’ll bet it would go a long way.

  2. You’re totally right Lori. It was abusive. I just have trouble discerning whether my feelings are coming from jealousy or what, you know? But that’s seriously what she said and she screamed it at her.

  3. The other part that is scary about the scenario you described is that they were in public. Usually, most parents are on their best behavior when out in public. Even good, non-abusive parents, will admit that their parenting is often a notch or two better when under the public eye. To scream something like that, when you know people might hear you, is disturbing.

  4. You maybe in the mode that every person you see has kids or is pregnant, even if it’s not really true…that happens to me in waves, dunno why…

    But the thing about seeing so many people angry at kids, I think it’s the season, it’s that crummy, dirty, clouded over tired tiem of year. No more fluffy lovely snow, and no sun and fun. It’s not an excuse, but I have to say I lose my temper more often when the weather is crummier.

  5. LeRoy Dissing

    I have often wondered why people who would be wonderful parents either didn’t or could not have children and those who should never have had them seem to reproduce like rabbits. What you describe Sara is something I have seen over and over…society, as a whole, gives a lot of leeway to parents in how they raise their children. For many, no thought goes into having children and no thought goes into raising them either.

    It is ironic that I have to have someone licensed to cut my hair or run a bingo game at the Knights of Columbus, yet I need nothing more than 5 minutes with someone of the opposite sex who is fertile to become a parent. Makes me wonder just how much value society places on having children or in raising them. I have often thought a “parenting license” would be a good idea although logistically and politically it would never happen. Yet the licensing funds could go toward marriage and parenting education.

    The mom you saw should not have said what she did to her children…she lost it in a moment of stress and hopefully felt guilty over it later. If she is like many parents, she will regret many things she did or didn’t do with her kids but it will be too late then. The old cliche about sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me….is just that – a cliche. Bruises heal on the outside but the ones on the inside seem to last an eternity.

  6. Leroy and Aurelia, You’ve both explained exactly why I felt bad about judging that mother in that moment. I hope she felt terrible, and I hope even more that she’s so freaked out by her behavior that she seeks out some help. To hear your own mom says she hates you – I hope those kids don’t have to go through that very often in their lives.

  7. Agreed, no mother is perfect. But also agreed that it’s very hard to see people who don’t seem to be good to their children yet they got to have them and we didn’t

  8. Many parents don’t appreciate children because they weren’t really ready to have them, or had them for the completely wrong reasons. Young people see pregnancy as somethign trendy – pregnancy is the new black – and think that their lives will replicate that of Jamie Lynn Spears or whoever…but, the reality is that many people resent their kids for taking them away from their lives, especially if both parents aren’t together. They see friends going out, dating, having fun, but they are stuck home watching “DWTS” and chaning diapers. Playing house wasn’t everythign they thought it would be. Nothing ever is…

    Then, if the parent’s resent their children, they can’t teach them how to be good people. how and why would you care about somethign you hate? In the end, they end up like this.

    http://eatabigone.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/i-hate-children/

    Oh an Leroy, I think people should not only get some sort of parenting certification, but need to take an IQ test and pass a financial requirement. I don’t want to end up paying for someone else’s mistake.

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