Despite her natural timidity, one of my daughters is especially out spoken.  I never have to wonder what this little girl is thinking!

 

 

 

I spent a morning recently helping my girls clean their bedroom.  My Out Spoken Girl was perched on her top bunk, scrubbing crayola off the ballet-slipper-pink walls while her sister and I de-cluttered and swept the floor.  Suddenly, she leaned over the side rail of the bed, peered down at me, and asked,

 

“Mama, do you think children are annoying?”

 

 

 

 

My head jerked up in surprise at her rather random question (we had not been discussing anything of the sort!), and I found her earnest little face pensive, as if she expected me to answer in the affirmative.

 

 

 

 

Beautiful sad girl holding teddy bear and crying - closeup

 

 

 

“Of course not, Sissy,” I answered quickly. “I think children needs lots of love, and need to be taught lots of things so they will know how to act.  But they are not annoying.”

 

Her face relaxed into a little smile.

 

“Do you think children are annoying?” I turned the tables.

 

 

 

 

 

She was thoughtful a moment, then said, “If you don’t think so, then I don’t think so.”

 

 

As simple as that.

 

 

My little girl went back to scrubbing her pink walls and left me alone with my thoughts.  The primary question plaguing my heart was, Am I living in such a way that my daughter wonders if I think she and her siblings are a bother?

 

 

 

 

 

Children are a blessing.  Scripture tells me so, and I believe it.  But am I living like I believe it?

 

 

Do my children wonder if I believe it?

 

 

 

 

Do your children wonder?

 

 

 

the Natural Cottage Mama

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13 thoughts on “Mama, do you think children are annoying?

  1. Player Who’s Afraid Of men.

    Posted on February 17, 2014 at 10:34 pm
  2. Thank you for this very real and honost post, Kristy!

    Posted on August 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm
    1. Thank you for commenting, Danell! These little ones keep me on my toes (and on my knees!).

      Posted on August 2, 2013 at 5:41 pm
  3. I’m the lucky 24-year-old mama of a tiny, precious 15-month-old girl. This post (the first of yours I’ve stumbled upon) brought bitter tears to my eyes. All it took was the title. Let me apologize in advance for the wordiness below, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to talk about this.

    I’ve never needed to wonder, I knew. I annoyed the living daylights out of my parents. I still do. As my father put it to a 5-year-old me: “Aimee, you experience the world by talking about it.” I’m sure it sounded gentle to him, but to a little girl seeking affirmation from the man she got her bright blue eyes from, his comment was crushing. That’s the moment I vowed to myself that I would never cause a child to feel the way he’d made me feel.

    To their credit, my parents viewed their dismissal/reproach as beneficial. They honestly felt they were doing us a favor, letting us know how irritating whatever thing we were doing was. Nobody wants to hang out with the annoying girl. Ask more questions — your favorite topic of conversation shouldn’t be yourself.

    Here’s what an average conversation would look like for me: We’d greet each other, and immediately, I’d start babbling. As words were flying out of my mouth with reckless abandon, the voice in my head would be BEGGING me to STOP TALKING. Unfortunately, my anxiety had switched the ‘talk’ setting to overdrive, and I was stuck chattering away. I’d walk away from those encounters with slumped shoulders and tears of shame in my eyes, imagining what negative things my friends were thinking about me, probably even saying out loud: how “intense” I was, how I’d steam rolled the whole conversation, how self-centered I seemed. I’d labor over that one conversation for days, hating myself for being seemingly incapable of reining in my behavior. It’s a vicious cycle of regret, self-loathing and anxiety, one that I remain stuck in.

    I still see the irritation in my parents’ eyes when I’ve taken a conversation down a rabbit trail. I know that the moment my father answers my call, he’s counting down the minutes ’til he can get me off the phone. When I drop my daughter off with my mother in the morning on my way to work, I can see her glancing toward the door, visibly wishing that I would just go. Recently at a family wedding, I attempted to join a conversation that my dad was having with my college-aged cousins. I turned to look at my father and noticed that the smile had suddenly left his face. I stopped speaking and walked away, embarrassed and defeated.

    Nothing has changed – their dismissal of me is discouraging, humiliating, extinguishing. I am 5 all over again.

    When I look at my daughter, I see myself. She’s a mirror image of my baby pictures, it’s spooky. I see myself in her huge blue eyes (just like my daddy’s). Whenever I get the chance, I hold her tightly. I tell her how smart she is. I tell her how much her mommy and daddy love her, how thankful we are that God sent her to be with us. I clap for her, rejoice with her, laugh with her. One day, she will pester me. She’ll do things that irritate me. I know this, because that’s life. But I’m praying now, and I’ll be praying then, that in those moments God will grant me the patience and the empathy that my parents lacked.

    It’s a choice we make. We need to be patient with our children as Jesus was patient. “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” We have to take time to sit and really listen to them, pray with them, let them dream wild things, foster their sense of creativity, allow them to be silly. Please don’t ever let your babies wonder if their parents like them. If we can’t be a refuge, where might they turn?

    Posted on August 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm
    1. Aimee, your comment brought me to tears. Your description of yourself reminds me so much of one of my own daughters. Lord, please help me to never crush her spirit!

      May the Lord bring healing to your heart and to your relationship, dear lady. One day, your little girl will very likely thank you for breaking that cycle of rejection and nurturing her little soul.

      Posted on August 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    2. That was beautifully written Amiee. I too am that child. I feel the same rejection at my own intensity. I am rebuked too as I have two children like that…I need to give them grace. Thank you for sharing!

      Posted on August 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm
  4. Thank you for this! I’ve been catching myself lately responding to my children’s cries of “Mom?” with a “What!” rather than a “yes, dear?” and each time I’m reminded that the way in which I respond must be showing them how I feel about them, their needs, their questions, their desire to interact. I’m a work in progress 😉

    Posted on July 31, 2013 at 7:25 pm
    1. As we all are, Alecia!

      Posted on August 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm
  5. That was a deep question but I think you answered it well. I remember my child asking questions randomly and amazed me what she came up with. Kids think and wonder about more things than we know.

    Posted on July 31, 2013 at 7:48 am
    1. Yes, they certainly do, Lisa! They think about more things than we often realize.

      Posted on July 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm
      1. 🙂

        Posted on August 19, 2013 at 9:05 am
  6. Oh so good. I dare not think too hard about how I’ve answered this question through my actions with my own children. Instead, I’ll just proceed in such a way that leaves no doubt that they are a serious blessing! Thank you, Kristy!!

    Posted on July 31, 2013 at 7:40 am
    1. The same is true for me, Kasey! This is a constant process of growing in grace!

      Posted on July 31, 2013 at 4:16 pm