I Don’t Actually Like Kids


I love my kids, and perhaps more importantly, I really like who they are. They’re smart and funny, they’re generous and athletic. When Alexander tells me about his day I sometimes wonder how we exist on the same planet. His frame of reference is very different than mine. I love that my son gives me a different view of the world.

I genuinely enjoy my children’s friends. I love nothing more than to hold my friend’s babies and then to watch them grow. When we drive carpool I’m excited to hear from Jane and Alexander’s friends about their days. I like the people I like.

I just don’t think stranger babies are cute. I don’t like toddlers and sassy preschoolers are nothing but sticky germy people who need to grow taller and learn to wipe their asses properly.

I used to think I was a bad person for not enjoying little kids. I used to want to look at a newborn baby and think Ooh he’s precious. But I’m learning to accept that unless it’s the newborn of someone I care for, I’ll look at the baby and think that it looks a little like ET.

I can’t possibly be the only mother that doesn’t love all kids. Please tell me that someone else feels this way too.


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29 responses to “I Don’t Actually Like Kids”

  1. Ali says:

    AMEN! Not just you! I’ve been this way my whole life. I didn’t even hold a baby until I had my own. Once I went to a cousin’s who had just had a new baby and got a new chihuahua. My adoration of the dog was not appreciated. That was pretty stupid. I should have at least “acted” interested. Ooops.

  2. Oh, I am right there with you. And yet, people keep asking me to be their kids’ legal guardian in the event of their untimely demise(s). Obviously, I haven’t been clear enough.

  3. Nicole says:

    I feel the same way, always have. I never did much babysitting growing up. The first baby I actually cared about was my oldest nephew–it really meant something to be able to hold and cuddle him. I have three children (one a baby)–and love having my own kids. My daughter seems to be the same way–she doesn’t get in babies’ faces or try to grab and play with young children (unless she knows them well).

  4. I don’t even like most of my friends’ kids.

  5. Nina Bargiel says:

    A woman was once telling me how I didn’t like children and how that made me a horrible person.

    I had to finally tell her “Lady, I like kids. I don’t like YOUR kids.”

    (I like your kids.)

  6. Oh, it’s not just you. Unless they’re somehow related to me, I like most kids on a case-by-case basis.

  7. Wow, you are brave to write this post!! I honestly feel very similar…I really don’t like most people’s kids. And, these days people do not rein their kids in at all — letting them run free in stores, malls, at events, Costco (oh, that is the worst), and their attitude is that you should love their kids and find them adorable. Not so much.

  8. I think almost zero other kids are cute. I can’t remember ever telling a stranger that their kid was adorable. I know that there are people who do this, but I’ll never be one of them.

  9. Fortunately I feel much better after scrolling down to your post and seeing the other comments.
    There was a panicked minute where I thought “wait, what? That’s weird?! Oh crap.”

    I won’t even begin to tell you what I call other people’s kids (OPKs) in my head sometimes. OPK’s unless they are an extension of someone I already love are likely to annoy me. Sometimes even when they are extensions of someone I already love – especially the ones who are obnoxious when my child is in the same environment very pointedly *not* being obnoxious… especially if my child comes home with ‘copycat’ behavioral issues that I then have to dissuade her of.

    Oddly, there are some peoples’ kids who I just like because they have come across as pleasant little people in their own right. Then it’s hard when I don’t like their parents. Then it’s really awkward.

  10. Ben Hughes says:

    Babies are effing yucky.

  11. bitchymom says:

    I get annoyed so easily. It’s some kind of miracle that I haven’t killed my step children. Do I love them? uh.. kinda. I mean, I do.. and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m so frustrated and irritated with them I can’t bear it. I feel horrible about this… but I just can’t help it. Imagine inviting two of your kids friends to live with you. Now you have to do their laundry, pick up their crap, cook for them, be affectionate,listen, and make sure they never ever know that they annoy the shit out of you. Impossible right? They never go home. They are home. They live with you. This is step parenting. And it’s hard as shit. People say, “well you knew what you were getting into when you married him.” but.. I didn’t. I had no idea. You think it’s bad to not think other peoples kids are cute? Try living with other peoples kids 24/7. I’m such a bitch.

  12. Catalina says:

    LOL! I’m not alone. I mostly like babies from a distance. A very far distance. I never know what to do with them when it’s “obvious” I should be cooing at them. As for kids- I think some of them are very rude & entitled; they never outgrow that type of character. However, I love and adore my own. People always think I’m a horrible person when they find out how I feel about children. Just b/c I’m a woman doesn’t mean I should like kids and go nuts when I see a baby.

  13. Pgoodness says:

    There are definitely kids I don’t like. Definitely. There are always going to be people in the world we don’t like – kids are no different.

  14. Kristen says:

    Oh, I am the same way. I dread the days I volunteer in my son’s class. That many children massed together just gives me anxiety. I feel like I am more bonded with my kids with every year they get a bit older. I love them, of course. But kids are exhausting to me.

  15. I couldn’t stand kids before I had my own … and I still can’t stand them unless they ARE my own. ’nuff said.

  16. Amanda Armstrong says:

    If this is true – then what do the sitters think about our kids? Do they detest them as well?

    • Anonymous says:

      I LOVED kids before I had kids. Then I had kids and I loved MY kids. And a few others…and eventually my little love bubble has expanded to a few extras I’m not biologically related to…But I DID love kids when I was a babysitter.

      • Amanda Armstrong says:

        Meagan – thanks for your post! That’s great to hear. Great babysitters are sometimes pretty hard to find!

  17. HaHaHa! That’s funny! I don’t like kids either. And even funnier is I work at a school! (Putting that marketing degree of mine to full and proper use!) When I used to volunteer at my kids’ bookfair there were a bunch of us who would look at each other and say, “I hate kids.” But yes – the ones that I know (including the ones in the classroom that I work in) I do actually like – you know for the most part! You have hit the nail on the head once again Jessica and are truly not alone!

  18. Lissak says:

    Nah, I don’t. Based on the fact that my daughter is 3 and already she’s been beginning to be bullied at the park by kids her own age because she’s different…. I mostly think that a good portion of them are obnoxious, which says a LOT about that parent over there who’s texting on their blackberry instead of parenting their child. But that’s another rant, I suppose.

  19. Shasta says:

    I am the exact opposite I like all kids but my own. Just Kidding, but I do love other people’s children. I’m the mom at Walmart that says OMG, you baby is adorable! I love your daughters “hair, clothes, or whatever else”. I never lie though, I only comment when I really notice a child because of a unique feature or adorable fashion!

  20. Willibaldoea says:

    My mom also doesn’t like children. She used to tell us, “I don’t like kids. I used to always shoo away kids when I was younger. You guys – I’ve grown to like you guys. But not other kids.” :)

  21. Anonymous says:

    This someone feels this way, too. ;)

  22. Before I had my girls, I DID love all babies and little kids.I grew up in a big family with a lot of cousins and so kids was part of the package. In fact, before I had my girls I taught little kids and adored their little sweet selves then when I had my girls I realizes all that patience and understanding that I had for them, I needed to use for my own and I had none left for strange:) Needless to say, I now work with college students versus elementary school aged.I had my girls and I ADORE my little girls but I’ve realized that I don’t really “love” all kids anymore. In fact, unless its a relative or a good friend’s kid, I don’t much care for them at all.Now, there has to be a connection other than just being a small person.

  23. Heather says:

    I feel exactly the same way most of the time. Always felt guilty about it, but it’s the truth;)

  24. […] Don’t get me wrong.  I love my kids.  I feel a lot like Jessicca Gottlieb in her recent post I Don’t Actually Like Kids in which she wrote that she doesn’t love little kids.  I’m not saying I don’t […]

  25. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE babies!!! I can hold babies for hours as long as they aren’t inconsolable, I will bounce rock and snuggle babies forever!!
    Toddlers are usually pretty enjoyable but there are always some that have already been taught horrible habits. From there it really is just a matter of personality. I don’t tolerate a lot from kids so there are a LOT of kids I don’t enjoy, including family and friends kids. But there are some I’d take home and make my own because they are such good kids. But I DO enjoy middle school and high schoolers for the most part. I’ve worked with them at our church and of course there are some who aren’t too pleasant but overall I really enjoy them.

  26. […] another something I want to throw out there. A tough lesson for us moms to learn. Not everyone likes kids. Not every store wants your baby in it. I’m telling you, the more they move, the less […]

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