For the generation that never knew a world when FOX was just a channel for joke shows like”In Living Color,” “The Simpsons,” or Tracy Ullman, this title won’t make much sense. But for my peeps who were actually allowed to watch “Madtv,” you remember the “LE” spoof. It was basically for folks who couldn’t find a match anywhere else and had the slim pickings of “LE” instead. In today’s world, “LE” was the “blocked” section on a shaadi.com profile.
But as a mom, I find “LE” to be the first thing I think of when things just aren’t going the way I want:
The Pinterest chicken I tried to copy tastes like shoe.
My house looked like a bomb went off inside within an hour of cleaning it.
My kids are real stinkers.
There are just days when #3 hurts so badly. Like when I sincerely hate my kid(s). How could such a demon be borne of my loins? Did I not pray hard enough when I was pregnant? Was it all that coffee I had in pregnancy that gave this child the disposition of a PCP addict withdrawing? Did I go to the zoo and see a snake or something that made him/her so shady (mother myth that looking at animal while preggers makes the kid that way--major eye roll, I know!)?
And there’s no one I can turn to and say, “Man, I really hate this kid.”
I did that once years ago and a sister came up to me quietly and advised, “You know, it’s okay to feel that way, but you can never say that out loud. People will think wrong about you”
So what happened to the kid(s) I hate? Well, I still have them all, and thankfully I don’t always hate them. I said it was my work hours that made the kid(s) jerky, and upped my mom guilted game by doing more with and for them. I said it was mental illness and tried to get kid(s) counseled. Diagnosis: Your kid’s just a jerk. I’m not even kidding.
So the only thing left was, okay, I’m doing something wrong, so I got counseled. Diagnosis: I have anxiety, and my kid is still a jerk. My therapist did not rule out that the jerk was not the cause of my anxiety. Chicken and egg scenario.
Everyone has that one kid that we’ve called “spirited,” “high needs,” “challenging,” or “special.” I’m not talking about the kids who have a REAL psychosocial or physical diagnosis. I mean bona fide, totally healthy kids who drive us to crying and screaming into pillows. Or just into the backyard hoping a neighbor will hear and finally call “911.” The kids who we think are messed up, or we’ve messed up, or only Allah can help because exorcism hasn’t worked, are the ones we are praying the hardest for. To make them feel loved and loving, to help us understand how best to help them, and please Allah, to LIKE them again. How to do it?
Well, PRAY, and lower those expectations. A lot of times our kids earn a label they just can’t shake. A lot of times, we’ve innocently labeled them, or they’ve overheard us talking about it and they’ve taken on something they feel obligated to fit into. It’s totally true that a kid will live up to what we tell him/her s/he will be. So if we think s/he’s acting a jerk, s/he will play that role. If we think s/he’s being a superstar, s/he will be that. Pressuring the jerk, no matter how s/he got to be that way, into being less of one will blow up in your face. Lesson learned. Hang back and try not to rush into labeling a behavior or situation. Hug more, yell less, and pray A LOT for patience, time, healing, and more love between yourself and this human who probably needs you more than all your other kids do right now. Hate is certainly not an understatement, but it’s also certainly never permanent. Especially when this testy kid will find a particular toy at the store and insist you buy it for a sibling. That’s a prayer answered BIG TIME. Allah, thank you for not making this kid a sociopath!!!!
Finally, reach out for help. We always recommend getting professional help, but if you need to start with your mom tribe, do it. And if you don’t have a tribe, contact us. We will be there to say, “You don’t have to keep this secret of not liking your kid right now. Just know it’s temporary and you’re not alone.”