“Hi. My name is Jenna. I am a mommy, and I am not a kid person.”
You don’t have to be a “kid person” to have and enjoy children (yes, it is different when you have your own), but it does have some challenges- like thinking you’ll suddenly change into a person who likes kids. Allow me to illustrate:
Yes, it is different when they are your own.
When I tried to help out in the church preschool, a little boy fell and was crying, and I had zero maternal instinct. Oh sure, I rush to my own kids and cuddle them while applying Kiss Placebo Magic, but this was some squawking alien creature with copious mucous secretions. The creature garnered staccato pats on the back and a bewildered look. Then and there I realized that I wasn’t cut out for preschool duty, but I hadn’t learned my lesson.
This is the terrifying work of a preschooler but not the child holding the marker.
A friend asked me to baby-sit their multiple children. No problem. I had multiple children, this was no foreign experience to me… Let me just say, their children were all alive and well when they arrived home to a house that was still standing, but I learned that the way I relate to my own children does not translate to other children. I actually cried on the way home, not because the babysitting was traumatic (they were good kids), but because I was felt so inept at dealing with other children.
I felt so inept at dealing with other children
Maybe you’re not a kid person, and you’re thinking, “I’ve been wanting to give the whole kid thing a try. She did it. Maybe I can too!” Yes, yes you can! Are you the sort that needs a step by step? Here’s what I do.
- Pray. Just Pray. Kids are crazy. You will feel crazy. Lather, rinse, repeat.
- Read lots of books. Having a lot of ideas at your disposal is always good. Read opposing view and keep reading as they grow.
- Accept and treat them as individuals. What works with one child often won’t work with the other. Don’t approach education, discipline, or even how you show them love the same.
- Speaking of love, love them every way you know how. The Five Love Languages for Children is a good read for that. ^_~
I am so captivated by these little people.
I say all this, but I will add a disclaimer: Often I feel like I’m failing, sometimes multiple times a day. Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is also the most rewarding. I would not trade the months of trying to sooth a child with colic, the countless hours of crying, or the years of discovering which discipline method works with which boy. For a not-a-kid person, I am so captivated by these little people. I am overwhelmed by how much they teach me and by how much I love them. I may still not a kid person, but I am a these-particular-kids person.