I Get It, We All Get It, You Have Perfect Children

52f573eecbcd40b644ceba5e025b75dcCan we all just get over our kids? Yeah, we love them. They are the moon, sun and stars. The air we breathe. And yes, I know parents should be obsessed with their children. I do believe that’s part of the child-rearing creed. What I want to point out is that while it’s super that your addicted to your brethren please don’t expect me to be. In fact, there may not be anything more boring than a mom or dad whose sole topic of conversation is about their amazing kids. For the love of all that is holy just give a rest. We get it your kids are the best and the brightest or at least in your brain they are.

I’m curious to why parents feel the need to continuously sing the praises of their offspring? Why does anyone imagine that other people want to hear, pretty much all the time, about your wonderful children? I love my kids and guess what? I, as their mother, sometimes don’t even find them that thrilling. So, I would never assume that other people would be enthralled by their “achievements.”

Things came to head this week when a couple of moms figured out that you could find your high school child’s current class rank by going online and signing into your school’s parent account. I currently don’t know the class rank of my own daughter, but I do know about 15 other kids rankings because they’re parents won’t shut up about it.

I want to tell these moms and dads to calm themselves because their kids are only high school freshman and if I’ve learned anything it’s that high school is a marathon not a sprint. Get back to me in your child’s senior year and then I’ll act impressed. If you’re lucky I’ll add in a high-five.

What a lot of moms and dads need to do is come out of the parenting closet. Oh, it takes guts, that’s for sure. Not many of us have the courage to share the unedited, non-scripted version of our child. A couple of months ago I was volunteering at a high school and a group of theatre moms were talking about their children. I was hanging back, being new to the theatre mom arena, and just listening in.

My initial take away was that theatre moms might be the most hard-core, ruthless parents I’ve ever come across. And that’s saying a lot because I’ve been everything from a soccer/volleyball/baseball/dance mom to a competitive Lego club parent (you’ve haven’t lived till you’ve witnessed two parents chucking limited edition Lego Architecture bricks at each other. Note to everyone – don’t get in the way of a dad attempting to get his kid qualified for the Lego World Robot Olympiad). The mothers were engaging in rapid-firing one-upping and as I was keeping score it seemed like the musical theatre moms were getting in the most verbal punches. Not that the one-act play parents weren’t giving it all they had, but bless their hearts they couldn’t keep with the wannabe Broadway bunch.

Then, out of nowhere, a mom mentions that she just “hopes her son graduates high school.” As soon as she said that everyone froze, like we all weren’t sure of what we had just heard. I was ecstatic. I do believe for a moment I fell in love. I wanted to get down on one knee, propose and run away with this courageous woman. Instead, I looked at her and said, “You are my hero.” And I meant it. She had boldly went where almost no mom with a kid born in the 21st century has gone before – to the alternative universe where parents are honest.

I naively thought this would open up the discussion to being more than a contest about whose kid was most likely to get a Tony award by 2022, but I was wrong. The other moms’ just shook off the blast of candor like a dog inadvertently misted by a lawn sprinkler and continued on with their kids’ greatest hits.

I don’t mind a parent being proud of their kid. What I’m confused about is why that’s all we can be. Why have we as parents congealed and hardened into one, big, unyielding igneous rock of, “my spawn is more awesome than yours?”

We’re cheating yourselves and our kids. Honesty is good for friendships and families. Parents need to be able to vent and ask for advice from other souls in the child rearing trenches. As it stands now we’re all afraid to show any weakness so we either say nothing or disguise our children’s realities like an airbrushed selfie – too perfect to be true.

*Attcover_1.3-2ention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂


17 thoughts on “I Get It, We All Get It, You Have Perfect Children

  1. Jolie says:

    Well said. I’ve said it before – it takes a village to raise a child, and I just hope I’m not raising the village idiot.

  2. Darla Mitchell says:

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! The words say it all and needs to be put in a
    Pamphlet form to be handed out in schools, churches and any other place where two or more humans gather together! Something to pass along quietly to make sure no gunfire will erupt!

  3. Kim says:

    WILD APPLAUSE!!! I know exactly what you mean by the theatre moms, I am a former theatre mom. My child even went on to major in theatre in college and even is the proud possessor of a BA degree in theatre from Kansas State University. She is working at a hardware store handling equipment rentals. 🙂

  4. Jessie says:

    This is wonderful. I don’t have kids, but there are a select few people in this world where I can’t hold a conversation with them without talking about their pregnancy and kids. I vowed to myself to never ever ever ever do that. I’m all for talking about them if it’s related to our conversation, but if I can tell the person did not hear anything I just said and quickly changes the topic back to their kid, I’m outski.

  5. Been There, Done That, Threw Away the Tshirt says:

    It’s not at all about the kids, it’s total narcissism. “I’m the best parent, as evidenced by my perfect child!” It takes real effort to confine justifiable bragging to those who honestly care, and to confine your comments after a friend’s good news to a simple, “That’s great!”
    I worry about these parents, honestly. They’re the ones who will saddle their kids with big student loans some day so their parents can brag about the great schools they attend.

  6. Suzette says:

    As the parent of two boys with severe mental handicaps and autism, this post hits on something that has bothered me and is even painful at times. My brags are about my kids involve them putting on their own socks (my boys are 11) or them trying a new food. I just can’t hang with people who want to one-up the next person in to the next century. I’ll celebrate your kids’ accomplishments and their vast, unlimited potential to rule the world, I just don’t want that to be the only thing you are able to talk about.

  7. AthenaC says:

    I like kid talk when it’s genuine sharing, which means a mix of good, bad, and ugly. Yes, I’ll get excited when your little baby first rolls over, and I’ll also laugh when you tell me about all the poop and puke you had to clean up.

    In other news, my toddler boy has been pretty consistently 50th percentile height and 50th percentile weight for a while, so I get a kick out of telling people “My baby is average” just to watch them squirm uncomfortably, uncertain how to respond.

  8. Jodi says:

    As the mom of 5 kids who vary wildly in attitude, interests, and style, and as a kid who was a good girl till I hit college and blew my parents’ expectations to hell, Iknow better than to brag too much. You never know when one will go off and get arrested. What will you tell your friends then?

  9. A.PROMPTreply says:

    OMG! The Lego Olympiad…..I know that world well and THANK GOD I’m out of it now! Is there a worse way to spend the day? I think that woman who was hoping her child would graduate would be my hero too!

  10. Shelley says:

    Like Suzette I have two autistic boys. I love my fellow SpEd moms because we get together and talk about the bad and the ugly with a freedom that typical parents just don’t get.

  11. SP says:

    My husband and I have a game we play to see if anyone will ever ask us about our lives and kids. So sad, but most the time no one does. Our questions and congratulations are usually one sided.

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