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When You're a Mom Who Doesn't Always Like Other Kids

Photograph by Twenty20

“And maybe we can come over for a playdate sometime.”

With those words, I manage to produce a half smile and and scurry faster than a toddler who hears the sound of a bag of vegetables being opened.

I don’t want a freaking playdate. There are several reasons why I am just not that mom who ever enjoyed playdates. Perhaps the biggest reason is this: I don’t always like other peoples’ kids.

To be fair, I don’t always like MY kids. That’s OK, though. They’re mine, I’m raising them and so, ya know, I’m stuck with these nutty little ones.

But your kid? The kids at preschool, gymnastics class, at the library, at the grocery store and everywhere else kids may be, well ... I’m not always the most kid-friendliest person.

It's true. Yes, I'm a mom, but that doesn't mean I'm supposed to automatically like all children. And I don't.

It wasn’t always this way. The thing is, I used to like kids. My first job was as a camp counselor at a summer camp. I was a nanny, babysitter and volunteered at elementary and middle schools. There was a time when I really liked kids. Perhaps motherhood and lack of sleep is what decreased my tolerance. All I know is, when I realized that motherhood meant potentially being around a bunch of other little kids, I realized I had a bit of an aversion. Perfect timing, right?

It is possible be a parent and not enjoy being around other kids.

Before anyone starts judging me—if they haven't already—I want to make it clear this doesn't mean I'm a jerk to kids. People think those of us who aren’t kid folks will purposely trip kids at the playground. That so isn’t the case.

Even if I’m annoyed by your kid destroying my home (and also your inability to stop said kid), I would never bother your kid over it. And yeah, when the kid at the restaurant is tossing dinner rolls as if he needs to start a toddler league for baseball, I’m annoyed but I also know it’s not my place to say anything.

I’m an adult. I can sit quietly with my irritation because I know not even two seconds later, my kid will be doing the same thing. The only time I’ll confront a child is if they are harming my child, another child or themselves and I can’t find their caretaker. Otherwise, I’m like everyone else who gets irritated by kids—I get annoyed and then walk away.

You may also be wondering how someone who's not a kid person deals with big birthday parties. The honest answer is that I've completely avoided throwing them until recently. I bit the bullet last year and had a small shindig for my 4-year old and I was very particular about the kids that I wanted to invite.

The entire class? Um, NO. Kids that my daughter actually likes? Of course! And only a handful of kids? Yep! I know it’s popular to invite dozens of children to a party but in addition to not wanting to pay for that many kids, I don’t know if I want to be around that many children.

Yeah, I said it.

And I'm not ashamed. It is possible be a parent and not enjoy being around other kids. And guess what? I'm still a functioning person in society ... just as long as those annoying kids stay far away from me.

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