I’m sorry but my kids just aren’t naughty

Do you know the thing people say most often when they see me marching along with my brood..

‘Oh you’ve got your work cut out there’

What they are really trying to say is ‘I bet they run rings round you’, ‘I bet they are difficult to control’ etc etc…

I used to nod and smile, say ‘yeh they are a handful, for sure’ but over time it has begun to grate on me. Because actually, they aren’t. People will remark at how well behaved they are when we are out in public but I have always found myself saying ‘Oh they aren’t always like this’ and we nod in agreement. But that is a lie, they are always like it. I am not one to brag, but my kids are actually bloody awesome and if you’ve ever met them, you’ll know they do as they’re told and behave 100% of the time.

I’m tired of pretending otherwise.

It’s like society wants us to fail. Other mum’s like to hear about other mums having a tough time of it, so they can relate and feel better about being in the same situation. Obviously they don’t want others to be struggling but it is just nice not to feel alone. I get that, I really do. But it has got to the point now when I feel like I have to hide how well behaved my own children are in case people hate me for it. Or think I’m pretending everything is rosy.

I can assure you my life isn’t rosy. I have enough washing to set up a launderette, dishes stacked up to the ceiling and I have a pounding headache where I haven’t actually had anything to drink today. I’m sleep deprived and I am grumpy 98% of the time. But my children are not the cause of it (besides the sleep deprivation – the baby is totally taking the blame for that!).

I am not saying my children are perfect, of course they have their flaws. But running rings around me? Difficult to control? Nope, can’t fault them on that.  They do as they are told and half the time don’t even need telling.

So, from now on I’m not going to pretend.

I am proud of my children, I’ve raised them to be kind, helpful and respectful of me and of others. So the next time someone says I’ve got my work cut out I’ll tell them this..

‘Actually no, they are pretty damn amazing and I’d have another one if I could!’


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Comments 29

  1. Sounds like your one of the lucky ones Katy. My toddlers a sod 90% of the time and the little one (9 months) has his moments. Go on share your secret?

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  2. You are totally right to be proud of them, as we all are of our children. My kids definitely push the boundaries with me sometimes but I don’t look at that as a sign of failure. They don’t do as they’re asked 100% of the time… again pretty normal, neither do I! I usually get the ‘you’ve got your hands full’ comment, and I just take it exactly as that, my hands are full, my life is busy, I have a lot to do. Which I do.

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      Oh it definitely isn’t a sign of failure – definitely don’t mean that. But people like to assume your kids run a muck because you have loads of them I find. x

  3. High fives to this! I only have two but they are well behaved and do as they are told. But, it always feels like we need to be embarrassed that they are good kids and not proud of them x

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      That is exactly it. I have 100% been embarrassed by it and that is ridiculous! It shouldn’t matter whether they are behaved or not – we should just feel comfortable admitting to one or the other. x

  4. I do get your point! We are veeeeery modest people here in Finland. Sometimes – rarely, because we are in Finland 😉 – people do came to me and say that wow, you must be very busy / you have your hands full / there must be too much noise at your house / how do you survive… It is not okay to say that nope, I do not have that kind of problems. I usually say that yes, I am busy – that is obviously true) 😉
    Please come to visit my blog to know more about Finnish lifestyle, it is also in English.

  5. Love this post and can totally relate.

    As soon as I say how old T is a lot people take a sharp intake of breath and go; “oooooo. THAT age”. And yet I’m sat there not knowing what they’re talking about.

    Sure, T can be challenging in that he gets frustrated easily or is messy as hell but when we’re out he’s polite and does what he’s asked. I can’t fault him and cannot be prouder.

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      Yep – we never experienced ‘that’ age either. I mean Lils became a little out of sorts for a while, a little more sensitive maybe, but never to the point that she was unbearable or showed awful behaviour. And yet I can guarantee I have made out as though she has – and that is just awful! Why pretend? x

  6. I’ve only got the one so far so don’t actually get the comment but still feel I can relate because he is a little angel most of the time and do get comments on how good he is… why when you switch to more than one do people think it becomes hard work!? I’m sure I’ll find out but definitely be proud of our kids!

  7. I love this post. You should be proud of your fabulous children and you shouldn’t have to hide how awesome they are. My two are gorgeous as well. Little Miss has her moments but they are normally when she is tired. And Little Mister H is a complete poppet. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  8. My children are much older than yours, but I do remember people saying the same to me when they were a bit younger….. and me falsely replying that they are not always good. My two youngest have always behaved really well, both at home and when we are out, they are very close in age (only 12 months between them), so they have sibling disagreements, but I have always helped them to resolve their differences in a calm way, so we never experience “naughty” behaviour. My eldest is disabled so his behaviour might appear “naughty” ocassionally but its actually not, and I manage him well. If we have good kids we should be able to be honest about it, I wouldn’t like my kids to hear me telling another mum they are naughty sometimes when they are not…it would be unfair on them.

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      Yep mine have sibling disagreements too, they’d be very odd if they didn’t haha! But I don’t class that as being naughty really, that is human nature. The other week my husband’s friend commented on how good they were and I found myself saying it was because I’m a sergeant major so they have to be. But that was a lie again- I’m the most relaxed parent ever! I really don’t know why I feel embarrassed by it as you are right- saying they are badly behaved is totally unfair on them!

  9. I don’t think people are trying to criticise your children when they comment you’ve got your hands full. I think they just generally mean in the way you described – kids make life busy! More washing, more tidying, less sleep etc etc. The ‘hands full’ comments often really mean – ‘I know how hard you’re working’. I’d take it as a compliment!

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      Oh I know. It is more how it then makes me feel. So I nod along as though I should be struggling or whatever. I need to learn to be brave and say actually no, my hands aren’t so full as they pretty much look after themselves haha!! xx

  10. You should never apologise for your children being well behaved, it’s a testament to them being loved and bought up well (although I know that lots of little ones who can be challenging are also loved and well bought up). I often get the same comment with my two but always assume people just mean that I must be super busy with two little ones rather than making any assumptions about their behaviour xx

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      Yeh I wish I could just edit the post and take that bit out (never dreamed so many people would read it haha) as it is more the way I react to those comments. I am forever making out like they aren’t as good as they seem or whatever and I need to stop. x

  11. “What they are really trying to say is ‘I bet they run rings round you’, ‘I bet they are difficult to control’ etc”

    Well no actually if I do say to a parent that they have their work cut out (makes note never to do this again) what I mean is what you say makes you tired –

    “I have enough washing to set up a launderette, dishes stacked up to the ceiling and I have a pounding headache where I haven’t actually had anything to drink today. I’m sleep deprived …”

    It is an expression of sympathy for the hard work of family life with children – why should you assume otherwise?

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      I didn’t explain my thoughts in the best way (didn’t ever think that many people would read it haha!!). What I mean is, when people say things like that I always nod along and say ‘oh yes they are a handful’ or even when people say positive things like ‘aren’t they well behaved’ I will turn around and say ‘oh you should see them at home’. Because in truth, I have been embarrassed to admit publicly that my children genuinely are well behaved. It isn’t just in public, they are well behaved at home. Not because I am some sort of sergeant major or that they are my puppets, but because they just are. The point in my post was to really just say that I am fed up of pretending, I have well behaved kids and I am not going to pretend otherwise anymore. x

  12. Good for you; I totally agree. I know the general trend of being self deprecating and funny about the perils of parenting can be funny, and I’m sure it’s important for people to feel like they’re not failing if they have a bad day, but some of us truly enjoy being with our children and don’t *need* wine or gin by bath time. I love and like my children too. Go us!

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      Thank you Natalie. I totally understand why people relate to those blogs but I have never been able to. For a start I am allergic to wine haha!! I have always nodded along as I felt like I must be the odd one out but I truly enjoy being around my kids too xx

  13. Hurrah! If I’m completely honest just recently Effie has been failing to listen quite often, but I don’t necessarily think it’s defiance – more often she’s just so caught up in what she’s doing. That’s not okay though, and I’m working on it. But she has fab manners, and I’ve *never* (yet) had to deal with a full-on tantrum, kicking, screaming, etc. The closest was some months ago when she was woken prematurely from a nap, and in fairness I would not deal with that very well either!

    Good for you, Katy – I love that you’ve been honest and said what a fair few of us think! (Funny though how you can’t win – all those with little horrors have to experience raised eyebrows etc when theirs are having a meltdown.) xx

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      You really can’t win can you? Mine have their moments when waking up too early but like you say – that isn’t being naughty, that is just a normal reaction and I would be the same!! xx

  14. I think you’re missing the point a little. As many others have said before me – it’s not the kids themselves that people are commenting on, it’s the business that comes with being a parent.
    I really struggle with mine, but it’s not because they are “naughty” – it’s because I dislike spending lots of time at home, being away from work, doing housework etc.
    You say you are a very relaxed parent. I would say that is the difference, not necessarily that your children are “awesome” and other people’s aren’t. You just have a relaxed attitude to parenting, which is great.

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      I think I probably didn’t explain myself very well to be honest. It is less what people say but how their comments (and sometimes positive comments) make me feel. I feel embarrassed when people comment on how well behaved they all are. I make excuses or tell them that they are a nightmare at home etc etc.. when that is a lie as actually they truly are well behaved. So yes I completely agree that people don’t mean anything by their comments – it is more my responses that need attention. x

  15. I’m so glad I’m not alone here!

    My kids are the happiest kids I know!

    Feels like way to many parents out there are doing everything they can to reign in their kids to the point that they look miserable all of the time!

    My son tends to be a little loud when he’s excited, but he’s happy.

    He knows his rights from wrongs and knows to stay close when we are in public, but I’d rather have people give me dirty looks at the grocery store because he’s laughing than force him to be a quiet little “Drone”

    I love my little squirts!

    Thanks for the article, was a very good read!

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      Thank you Chris! Good to know it isn’t just me! Mine are a bit loud when excited too – so lovely to hear isn’t it? x

  16. I hear you. I have one child who is so well behaved it’s like it never occurred to her to be any different. But I have another who, if you gave her a rope would hang herself and every living thing within 10 miles of her sneaky dishonest mischievous lair 🙂 Incidentally she’s the one who makes us laugh till we cry. Navigating two very different parenting techniques is my daily challenge.

  17. It comes as second nature to me to agree when someone mentions oh I bet they’re a handful.
    It seems easier and just quicker to agree with them.

    The other day my neighbour pulled me over and told me how polite the boys and I instantly said oh they’re not like that all the time instead of just thanking him.

    I don’t know why I do it but I totally understand you on this one and think I should start giving the boys the praise they actually need rather than slating them to random strangers!

    Xx

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