Real talk. Being a parent is hard.
It is perfectly okay to hate parenting as it is a mentally and emotionally exhausting task. Hatred is a natural human emotion towards something or someone who has affected a person negatively. What is not okay is when hate has materialized into violence or any kind of destructive behavior.
Not because our blog is about fatherhood means we enjoy being parents. In truth, I used to hate parenting. Children have never been my cup of tea. I find them annoying and unstable. I thought my outlook would change when I became a dad, but it did not. As I reflect on it, it might have even gotten worse.
5 things I hate about Parenting
I know I am not the only parent who has felt this way. We were all enjoying life until these little monsters came into the picture. Here are the five things I hate most about parenting:
- Financial strain — it is expensive to raise a child.
- A crying child — it ticks me off, especially in the middle of the night.
- Constant interruption — it is a battle I have to fight every day.
- Mess — no amount of cleaning can make the house clean.
- Time-consuming — it is about the kids 90% of the time.
Read: Dealing with Anxiety
It is okay to hate parenting.
According to MedicineNet.com,
“Hate is a feeling of intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or a sense of injury. It is extreme dislike or disgust. Hatred is an emotion.”
What can we learn here?
First, hate is an emotion. And emotions are neither good nor bad. They are simply reactions to an event.
Second, hate has a root cause.
Why are you reading this post? Chances are, you also hate parenting in some way. The question is, why do you hate it?
As for me, aside from I innately do not like kids, I feel parenting has robbed me in so many ways. Time with my friends. Money to buy my wants. Peace of mind. A comfortable life. A business or a career I can be proud of. And the list goes on…
How about you?
Raising a child from infancy to adulthood is a demanding task. It is only natural for most parents to loathe it as it threatens the life they envisioned for themselves.
When hatred is not okay
Not because it is okay to hate parenting means we should not do anything about it.
The problem with hate is that it grows.
When hate translates to action
I remember when our daughter was less than a year old. She was crying like crazy the whole night for the entire week. My wife got up and told me, “Can you please take Jrue out for a walk?” It was 2 AM. “Because I am about to throw her out the window!” (We live on the twelfth floor).
Studies show hatred tends to last. Prolonged hate may one day lead us to act against what we consider as a threat.
When I asked my wife if she was serious about it, she said, “I am afraid so. I gave her everything she wanted, and she is still crying. It’s driving me crazy!”
Some people harbor hate but never act on it. But others have less self-control. They become energized by their emotions that they need to express their feelings through violent acts.
When hate develops from an individual to a group of people
Another effect of hatred is it can level up from one person to an entire group of people.
In 2009, there was a mass shooting known as L.A. Fitness Shooting in Pennsylvania. The cause? It was the gunman’s hate toward women. He was frustrated about the rejection he had received from them over the years. He writes, “Last time I slept all night with a girlfriend it was 1982. Girls and women don’t even give me a second look ANYWHERE”.
Hate is both dangerous and ugly when turned outward. It can cause crime and damaging behavior not only to an individual but to an entire group.
Our antipathy for parenting may have started with one child, but it can eventually develop into hating children overall.
When hate starts to harm us
There are two kinds of hate in general. We already talked about the first one. It is hate turned outward (explosion). In this section, we will talk about the other kind of hate, which is the one that turns inward (implosion).
One of my mentors is a cancer survivor. Every time people ask what cured him, his answer is always: Forgiveness. He said he was an angry man. He had a friend turned enemy whom he had hated so much for decades. Knowing he might not live long, he called this person to reconcile. Later, he learned that his frenemy also harbored hate towards him and was also in serious health condition.
To cut the story short, they mended their pasts, and both were cured of their illnesses consequently!
Have you heard about this quote?
“Hatred is like drinking poison and then waiting for it to kill your enemy.” I am unsure who said it first, but it seems like it is more than just a metaphor.
According to EverydayHealth.com,
“Poison isn’t always something you eat or drink –- it can be an emotion. And hate is one of them, eating you up inside and causing destruction.”
Hate is a potent emotion. It is venom in our mind, soul, and spirit. But furthermore, it is also poison in our bodies that makes us vulnerable to certain diseases.
Let me share another quote before I move on: Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
Both outward and inward hate is destructive when left unchecked. It wreaks havoc with our physical health and emotional well-being. It affects the relationships we have around us. Like hot coal, the sooner we get rid of it, the less damage it can do to our lives.
Reflection: is it possible that our hate towards parenting is what makes it more exhausting than its actual duties and responsibilities?
When hate becomes a cycle
It is unclear where hatred begins. But it is said that it is a learned emotion.
Have you become an object of hate?
People who experienced abuse, mistreatment, or bullying may grow to hate the person who harmed them. They might feel the need to exact revenge. When they couldn’t, they may redirect their hatred toward other people or even to themselves.
Our hate for parenting could be less about our children and more about our relationship with our parents. — It is called the parental wound.
We might have a tarnished relationship with either mom or dad. Each parent can inflict different wounds. Since it is not morally possible to make our parents pay, we now redirect the hate to our children.
What do you think will happen when it is time for our kids to become parents?
Hatred can be passed down. That is why, when I learned about the parental wound, I made an effort to make it right with my parents. — I wrote about it in a separate blog post: Do this if you want your kids to treat you well.
Hatred is an emotion. But it does not mean we cannot do anything about it. We have the power of choice. No matter how we feel, we are still in control. We can hate parenting all we want yet continue to love our kids dearly. An emotion is only an emotion until it translates into action.
One day, our kids will leave home to lead their own lives. We may not see them like we used to see them today. Hopefully, they will also raise their own families.
When the day comes, my prayer is that they will spread love. Not hate.
Check out these 7 things you can do when you hate parenting.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.Romans 12:21 ESV
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