There is nothing (ok, so there is probably something but it feels, at this particular moment as though there is nothing) more insulting than to hear, “It must be nice to have easy kids.”
Let me give you a news flash. I’ve never seen an “easy” kid. Even those who don’t challenge you directly, have their own quirks and problems that result in much work on the part of parents. Just take note, right now, there are no “easy kids”. There might be kids who pull wool over their parents’ eyes, kids who are hard for a time and then easy, kids who are easy for a time and then hard, but every person at some point in their life, must confront their own sinfulness and conquer it and it’s the job of parents to do their part.
But back to insults. There is nothing more frustrating to a parent who has put hundreds or thousands of hours investing in their child, working through character flaws, training in obedience and godliness, only to have that effort tossed in the garbage with a thoughtless, “it must be nice to have easy kids.”
I’ve heard it, and I have friends who have heard it and I guarantee, we all have shortened tongues from where we’ve bitten the ends off trying not to make snarky retorts to the inaccurate and annoying comments of people who have no clue what we go through to “produce” those “easy kids.”
- I’ve put a child’s entire birthday cake/meal back on the shelves and left the store with nothing for a bad attitude.
- A friend has crawled in between bouts of vomiting to deal with a child who refused to obey before crawling back to that toilet.
- Everyone of my babies (except the eldest obviously) has been put down mid-feeding while I dealt with an errant child who thought they could get away with murder while mom was latched to the infant.
- I’ve held fake conversations on the phone, for hours, in order to train my children that it doesn’t matter WHAT I am doing, I will stop any conversation and deal with misbehavior.
- I’ve dragged sobbing children back to stores and made them return stolen items, pay for said items, and leave without said items.
- I’ve spent four hours, at a friend’s house, working with a stubborn toddler, until she obeyed. During pregnancy, while contracting, and wanting nothing but a long nap… for all of us!
- I have a friend who has spent twice that time doing the same thing with her “easy kid”.
I could go on for hours, but the fact is, I don’t have to prove to anyone that my kid is just as sinful as the next. That really isn’t even my point. My point is that when I say, “My kid wouldn’t ever try that in my home,” it isn’t because he wouldn’t have at one point. It is because I worked hard, every day of their lives, from the day they were born until they leaned that mom and dad’s word was like the law of the Medes and the Persians. It will not waver. Yes I failed. Often. I will tell you, however, that I succeeded often enough to make a lasting impression.
Why do people recognize all the work that goes into an exquisite painting, a masterfully played sonata, or a hand stitched quilt but if a child is well behaved, it must be because he’s “easy”. Why do people think that “good kids” just “happen” to run in families? Wouldn’t it make more sense that they’d be sprinkled a bit more evenly through the population?
Do hard working moms everywhere a favor. Next time you see a well behaved child, make a positive comment about the child or their behavior. Please don’t tell the mom how nice it must be to have an “easy child”. It would truly be kinder if you slapped her in the face.