I Don’t Care


Parenting is not easy. It’s more than a full time job. It’s a 24/7 job, dealing with little individuals who have their opinion, their dreams, their goals, their fears, their dislikes, their tantrums. As beautiful being a parent can be, as exhausting it can feel on other occasions.

One thing I find easier now that our kids are older is, that I have more me time. I can use the bathroom without being interrupted. I can have a shower without spectators, I can drink my coffee while it’s still hot and I can vacuum clean without freaking someone out.

There are other needs to cater for when the kids are older and sometimes the things that made almost break years ago seem so little. Often you look back and wonder why it pushed you so close to the edge. You look back at moments and wonder why you would have overreacted then, knowing though, that you were at your limit. But you can no longer see or better feel how it felt back then. And when you observe parents that find themselves in the same sticky mud you were in at one time of your parenting journey (most likely not just one time), you feel surprise about the way they deal with it.

Sometimes it even feels like watching what you’ve done years ago but obviously experiencing it from the outside and realizing the right or wrongs.

I had a little flashback this morning while on my walk with the dogs. I passed a house and already from far I could heard crying.  There are different kind of crying, I think. There is the angry one, the tantrum one, the hurt one and then there is the sad one and the desperate one. Today I heard the desperate one. And I started wondering what would make that child so desperate. Given the time it would probably be either about a parent leave to work and leaving the child behind with someone or getting the child ready to go to childcare.

When I got closer there was an open garage door and the door from the garage into the house was open too. So clearly someone was about to leave the house. There was an empty car with running motor and I heard a guy calmly talking. And there was the child crying. As one of my dogs decided to get its business done more or less in front of the house I had to stop. The man was still calmly talking to the child, the child still crying. And then suddenly out of the blue almost like a thunder on a clear blue day, I heard the mom.

And she was angry. Even I, standing outside and not even related to them in any way, got scared.

“I don’t care what you want or don’t want. I want you out of here and now!”

Image result for image abusive words voice children

It broke my heart hearing this. So much came to my mind. While I understand that she probably “simply” lost it because she felt some kind of pressure to get her child to childcare or wherever and is most likely exhausted as they just only had a baby too, the words she chose couldn’t have been heavier.

Maybe I’m over analyzing. Maybe I’m reading more into it than the child will ever do. But those two sentences are harsh. They leave a clear and brutal message for the child.

“I don’t care” in itself can be brutal. The combination with the “what you want or don’t want” just kills it. Even saying this to an adult can leave deep marks. Imagine what it can do to a little child when said over and over again.

“I want you out of here and now!” Another bomb dropped. This would be a sentence I would use if I want to kick a cheating partner out the door.

I’m aware that in the heat of the moment, in the exhaustion, we say things we later regret. I know because I am guilty of that. I also understand the impact things like this can have on you. I only heard “you will never make it without my help” once in my life. But it stuck to me and it still pops up like a roadblock and messes with my confidence 30 years later.

Our words have an impact. Especially when not chosen wisely towards a child.

I don’t know what lead to the fact that she ticked off in such a way. I know that sometimes only tiny things can get you to boil over. I know that in some cases and depending on how you are wired you can lose it and overreact and in doing so choose the wrong words in the wrong tone. The situation seemed so harsh because the child was not crying in a demanding and pushing sense. It was desperate. It was a sad cry. It was a “please understand me” way of crying.

I don’t know how often she had already tried to explain to the kid that there is no other way. I don’t know the story behind hit. I don’t know the build up and I don’t know their situation in general. I only got a glimpse of a moment. I overheard a reaction that might as well have been the first and last of its kind. And yet, it got to me.

It was a good reminder to choose my words and the tone of voice carefully. Words can hurt. Your tone of voice can hurt. If you combine them it can blow up like a nuclear bomb.

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48 thoughts on “I Don’t Care

  1. Reblogged this on Jdawgswords and commented:
    I remember to this day that I was the cause of her misery…(intellectually I know this is not true)…on one occasion I saw her my latest creation…a drawing…her response something like, “I don’t know why you spend so much time drawing…you’ll never be any good.” I still don’t draw…I’m 54

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That post comes at a moment when I was just reviewing past times with my middle child. I am preparing pictures for a slideshow for his upcoming 18th birthday. When he was little he was such a sunshine, always joyful with attentive eyes and ALWAYS with a smile on his face. I remember when I was pregnant with my third child I got impatient, couldn’t take that much, and got overwhelmed when things have not been under control or in my plan. (Thank God, I could leave that behind me because of all the insights I got while working on myself – but back then it was that way.) I forced him to adjust to my plans and put unnecessary pressure on him and after a while, he got insecure. I am also a strict person which is not bad and the kids always knew that they could rely on what I said. But also back them I asked myself where the limit line was between strictness and stubbornness. When I look at those pictures I notice that photos some years later show a different expression in his face. Perhaps I overanalyze this too and of course, there are many factors but I know that I acted so wrong and did not realize it in that moment. I am recalling so many little situations which are breaking my heart over and over again. I sit here and regret it all from the deepest point of my heart knowing that nothing can change anything anymore. I apologized twice him saying that he doesn’t remember things that impactful as I described it. He is a great boy, no sadness at all, an unworried mind, but serious (if necessary… lol) with such a certain sense of humor and I am amazed by his skills and abilities, all his knowledge and how he looks at life. He will go to university this year and I am not worried at all that he will continue making his way great. That way again I think I might really overanalyze but anyway… it happened and it is not easy to forgive.
    What I want to say is, that we have not always that cool to think further. We think what we do is right because we don’t know it any better. Anyway, looking back we see much clearer and that might happen to that mom too. I feel sorry for the kids when I witness something like that but it also reminds me that in a different way I was not better!
    Sorry, perhaps I digressed here. But as I said, your post came at that perfect moment when I was just thinking about it.

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    • Such a great and honest comment and I totally agree. It was a reminder of all I did wrong when my son was little… things I would love to change. I guess the good thing is that we learned from it and they hopefully too in a good way. Your boy seems to be a wonderful young man. Here is to the next chapter, my friend 😘

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      • Yes, you are absolutely right! The important part is that we learned our lesson. Also, I believe that nothing happens accidentally… Yes, he is amazing and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Thank you for your post and your thoughtful reply, Sandra. Once more I wish we would live closer 💖

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  3. I think as we grow old, we forget what it was like to be a child. How every action and word, left an impression in some way or the other – we used to soak them up like a sponge, hidden somewhere but ready to spill over at the slightest squeeze. It is that perspective that is needed while dealing with any child – yours or anyone else’s.

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  4. It scares me to think of things I might have said in fits of anger while raising my four children. My hope and prayer is that I didn’t scar them for life. It’s so important to choose our words wisely. Once they are out, you can’t take them back.

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  5. Words are so very powerful. Poorly timed or thought out words can devastate an adult. To a child who doesn’t understand life beyond childhood innocence, the damage is so much more. All it takes is a few seconds to run our words past the should it be said filter and ask ourselves if it’s necessary, is it kind? Is it true? Is there another way to say this? Just a few seconds can make all the difference.

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      • Reading your words..that many need to just brought up a lot of things for me personally. This post is SO important because so many people have no idea that those things can stay with a person forever. As you said, all parents (me included) make mistakes. Say things we wish we could take back and that is part of life. That’s what parent guilt is for 😉 But if we don’t start out with an understanding of the damage words can do…we can create a damage that is ever lasting. They were tears of understanding. ❤

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  8. Makes me emotional and sad for all the times my knee jerk reaction was not the best. Words can hurt no doubt. Being sorry doesn’t take away the sting. My therapist let me off the hook today by telling me not to blame myself. She says “We do the best we can at the time with what we know”. I don’t feel forgiven but I do feel I can do better going forward. I just hope it’s not too late.

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  9. In my elderly selfishness, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and the added bonus of CRS (can’t remember stuff), I will take some exception to this discussion of words and how they impress small children and how long that impression lasts. There are two kinds of abuse, verbal and physical, and when that mom was as stressed as she was to say what she did, you as an observer should be grateful that the dad was able to remove the child before she did something physical! I know I have been close to the edge myself, in a similar situation. Also, if the child was a baby, they may not have heard and certainly did not understand what the mom said. I can also say that all we can do is try to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others, including our own parents. In the heat of the moments, and we know there will be more than one, the best we can do is hope that we might react more positively, but that result will only occur if we are acting and thinking rationally. Very hard to do under extreme stress, but worth a try if even a slight possibility or rational moment exists.

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