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What’s It Like to Be Your Child?

happy mother's dayto the best mom!

The other day I posted this picquote on instagram (follow me here).


I got a lot of feedback from moms, some who were excited to ask and others who were, shall we say, less than excited to ask (can I add that every mom who was less than thrilled had a child over the age of 12 and most of the other moms who were excited had little ones :)?)

So… I asked my crew ages 8 to 17 the question I posed and I thought I would post their responses because I learned a lot about what it means to be raised by my hand. These are their undoctored answers.

Oldest Daughter, age 17

Me: What’s it like to be my child? The good and the bad. Be honest.

17: Well, it has been different for different seasons of my life. When I was little I would say it was just very BUSY being your child. You kept having kids and so we were always so active. In middle school I would say it was very FRUSTRATING to be your child. We butted heads so much because I started questioning why and how you did things. I was struggling to be independent and you were saying ‘no’ a lot and that just frustrated me so much! Now, in high school I would say INTERESTING & FUN. Let me explain interesting. There are so many things happening to me in this season of my life and I always have something I need to talk about and I can do that with you. We can talk about so many things and that makes being your child very interesting. What’s fun about it is that as I’ve matured I realize how much we have in common and I have a lot of fun with you.

Me: What is the worst thing about being my kid?

17: You and I are total opposites. That can make it hard sometimes.

Me: You mean the whole introvert/extrovert thing?

17: Yes. It can make seeing eye to eye very difficult especially when I don’t agree with you but still have to respect you!

Oldest Son, age 15

Me: What’s it like to be my child, son?

15: The good part is you get me good food and that helps me gain weight for football and when I get home you are always glad to see me. I can tell you love me. The bad is that you are loud and you scream when we watch movies and sometimes you steal food off my plate. Like you just did. Mom, give me back my pizza slice.

Me: (with a mouth full of pizza slice) Thanks, son. Very succinct. Anything else?

15: Nope. Seriously, give me back my pizza.

Middle Daughter, age 11 (she’s a thinker, not a feeler)

Me: What’s it like to be my child? The good and the bad. Be honest.

11: It can be hard because you schedule a lot of things without my input. That can be frustrating, I don’t like that.

Me: So you want more control and say over what the calendar looks like?

11: Yes!

Me: Okay, what about the good parts?

11: You are very fun and spontaneous. And you are very flexible.

Me: Do you want to keep talking about this?

11: No, are we done?

Youngest Daughter, age 10

Me: What’s it like to be my child? The good and the bad. Be honest.

10: The good part is that you have the best sense of humor! Whenever I have a bad day or need to smile I know I can come to you and you always make me laugh and feel better. You are good at joy. And you are silly, like when you go out in your robe and pajamas. That makes me laugh! You are a good role model for me, too. Like when I think about the kind of woman I want to be I think of you. The bad part is that you are raising us in a Christian home and that means the standards are really high. It can be hard to meet those standards. I can’t do some of the things my friends do, and that can be really hard sometimes. I realize that as a family we are different.

Youngest Son, age 8

Me: What’s it like to be my child? The good and the bad. Be honest.

8: The WORK! You make us work really hard and I don’t like that. Plus, obeying is tough. You know how when you really want to disobey but you know the rewards for obeying are great but you still want to disobey even though you know the consequences will be so bad? That’s the hard part of being your kid.

Me: You mean the consequences are tough?

8: Yeah. And all the work!

Me: So what’s good about being my kid?

8: Well, it is an honor to be your kid. It is a really blessing. You work really hard for us and you love me so much. You take care of me. That’s the good part!

What I Learned

A few things jumped out at me that never would have been on my radar if I had not asked this question:

Though each new season brings new challenges and situations for which I have no idea what to do, overall Christ is blessing the work of my hands. He is using me to plant good seeds and He will someday reap a great harvest in the lives of my kids because I am being faithful to the call of motherhood on my life.

But… having said that…

  1. Am I being sensitive enough to the personalities of my introverts? I’m the only extrovert in my house (did you catch that? I LIVE WITH 6 INTROVERTS!!!) and I am EXTREMELY EXTROVERTED so it can be hard for me to “join the dark side” so to speak and shift my brain to the introvert channel. How can I be more sensitive to their design but still stay true to my own? Yes, I must love my introverts but they must also be taught how to love their extrovert.

  2. Are my standards for their hearts and behavior putting too much pressure on them? Are they too high? That is a huge takeaway for me that I will discuss in more detail with them. On the one hand it is important to be in this world but not of it, and it pleases me to have that as a part of our family identity. However, is it too much? Is it balanced? Is it fair? Or is it oppressive?

  3. As the kids get older my season of motherhood changes. No longer am I scheduling playdates with moms and heading to the playground. I need to be getting more feedback from them about the calendar.

  4. Apparently I need to stop stealing food.

  5. I will not be changing the work load. Age 8 will just have to suffer.

  6. I learned a lot about who can easily access their feelings and who needs practice/skills. I can now begin focusing on that this summer.

  7. I love my kids even more.

So, will you ask your kiddos? If you do comment below and let me know some of your favorite responses! Please share this post!

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