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I Love You, But I Can't Stand Your Kid

Toddler pretending to be tiger with blue and pink marker drawn on her face.
Photograph by Getty Images

I’m not going to pretend that I’m one of those people who loooooooves having friends with kids come over to our home. Call me horrible, but I actually cringe at the idea.

It’s hard enough trying to clean up after my own children. Adding another child or two (or three!) means I’m going to be left cleaning up the mess. I already know I will never find the missing pieces to the Doc McStuffins puzzle. This happens every single time.

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My very social child couldn’t care less. She loves having people come over, and what’s better than letting her get some social time in while I chit-chat with a friend? It’s like the best of both worlds. Or is it?

Some kids are brats. In fact, a lot of kids are brats.

Sadly, some of my friends are raising these brats. Now listen, I’m not judging anyone’s parenting styles. I am well aware that all kids go through challenging times, and they may not always make the best houseguest. Girlfriend, if this is your kid, please decline the invite to our home. Tell me you’re not feeling well. Tell me your child is cranky. Lie to me or tell me the truth, but whatever you do, don’t make me have to deal with your child’s crazy behavior in my home.

The hardest part of this is when a friend is oblivious to her child’s behavior. She isn’t aware that her precious little snowflake ain’t so precious. Or maybe she knows and doesn’t care. Either way, her little tornado of a child wrecks my home and nerves every time he visits. Not OK.

So now what?

I am totally fine with admitting that it's me, not you (and not your kid). I want to be a supportive friend, and so I certainly don’t want to make you feel bad.

I love you so much, friend, but your kid? Your kid is kinda awful. Go ahead and give me that WTF face. I don’t care, because I can’t let you think that just because we’re friends, your kid’s behavior is acceptable. It’s not OK that your child bullies mine, destroys our home and disrespects us—while you doing anything.

Wait, what? He’s going through a tough time? She’s learning how to find personal space? You’re confused about what to do? Girl, I get it. I am the last person in the world to judge. I’m not even going to pretend that my children are perfect. They aren’t. I think about running away from home every day.

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But I value our friendship more than you know and, for that reason, it may be better if we meet at places that aren’t my home. Or maybe we can hang out without your kid?

I know, I know. I feel horrible even suggesting this. I am totally fine with admitting that it's me, not you (and not your kid). I want to be a supportive friend, and so I certainly don’t want to make you feel bad. I want to be there for you and love on you.

But I am having a tough time being around your child.

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