5 Things I have grown to hate since having kids

Drawing of 5 things

1) Stickers – All kids love stickers. It’s a fact. And they stick them everwhere. Nobody told me when I was pregnant about how much time I would have to spend over the next few years cleaning stickers off furniture, walls, the floor, clothes, myself, the cat. At 13 and 10, my kids are past the sticker stage, but last week I realised that I have not recovered yet myself when the dentist casually asked them if they were too old for stickers and I snapped back, all too quickly “Yes they are!”.

2) Balloons – Yes, they look very pretty strung up somewhere, and that’s where they should stay. For many years balloons from parties were in my house, under my feet. Or making that annoying squeaky noise they make when they are played with, which eventually ended in the loud bang that scared the wits out of me. Then there were the extortionately priced large helium filled mylar balloons which I was begged to buy. I’m pretty sure I could buy a small island for the cost of one, but occasionally I would give in, and would then be faced with the stress of stopping them from flying away. When they did fly away, then there were the inevitable tears (mine).

3) Making sandwiches – Again, nobody warned me about how long I would be spending on this activity. Every morning there are sandwiches to be made for school. Every weekend there are sandwiches to be made for trips out. The sandwich making is never ending. I wouldn’t mind if there was some gratitude for my sandwich work. But no, there are regular complaints about the choice of filling, or the choice of bread, or the way they are packed (yes, the way they are packed).

4) Cuddly toys – I don’t actually hate cuddly toys, I kind of love them, but that’s the problem. What I hate is how they have taken over the house, there are so many of them, but I just can’t bear to throw them away. Not when they look at me like that with those cute little eyes saying “Please don’t heartlessly throw me away like a piece of garbage”. I can’t do it, I can’t get rid of any of them. I blame Toy Story.

5) Mud – I can’t say that I particularly liked mud before having kids, but I was somewhat indifferent to it. The problem is, in order to get from the car to the front door of our house, you have to walk over some grass, and that means that for at least half the year, you are also walking in mud. My valiant attempts to control it by enforcing rules of muddy shoes to be left by the door, always fail miserably. My sticker cleaning days may be over, but my mud cleaning days certainly are not. You wouldn’t believe some of the places I find mud, but that’s another post for another day…

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40 responses to “5 Things I have grown to hate since having kids

  1. Trying to remember if I took my shoes off now!

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  2. Go on – there are far worse things than you pick out, such as sleepless nights; endless making of meals; worrying about education; other mums talking almost exclusively about boring, boring schools/results and the loss of spontaneity thanks to rigid school terms!

    Mud = gorgeous! Sandwiches = fabulously practical! And 13 and 10 is definitely not too old for stickers. I’m joking, but what have you done to your poor kids’ sticker gene? In fact now I think about it, your five bad things, are probably the 5 things I have grown to love even more since I had children. OK except the balloons. Def with you on them! That said, lovely blog piece. Have a good week, Nicola

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    • Oh yes, there are definitely worse things, these are just things that have been minor, but regular irritations! I must admit to feeling a teensy bit guilty when I read what you said about stickers – I suspect that I decided my children were too old for them before they did!

      Thanks for stopping by Nicola, and you have a good week too!

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  3. I agree with all of these. When he was four, my son found a packet of stamps and put them on the back of his door. There they have remained for 6 years. That’s stubborn glue.
    My sandwiches get insults too. I switched to wraps for awhile, I was so hurt.

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    • The funny thing is as well, kids seem to think that we love stickers as much as they do, and so they can never understand it when we’re not delighted to find some stuck on our things, or ourselves!

      I find I tend to get less complaints with wraps too!

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  4. All five of your pet peeves must be universal. I laughed about the stamps and sandwiches. I’ve made enough sandwiches to circle the planet and I am inventive because I get bored but does anyone notice? Nope. Have a nice day.

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  5. I was peeling some teeny tiny stickers off the kitchen table this weekend and wondering when I had gone from the polar extreme from LOVING STICKERS to absolutely LOATHING STICKERS. This post really hit home.

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    • I agree, I used to collect stickers when I was a kid, and continued to look back fondly on my sticker collection right up until my kids were old enough to have them! In the end with my kids, I designated the inside of their wardrobe doors as sticker zones, and once they had a proper place where they were allowed to stick them, it seemed to cut down on random sticking elsewhere – especially when I encouraged a bit of friendly competition between them about who could get the most stickers on the inside of their doors, they then didn’t want to waste any stickers elsewhere ;) (a sneaky trick, but whatever works right?).

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  6. My kids each brought a balloon home from last night’s party. Sigh. And yes, stickers are everywhere in this house–everywhere they shouldn’t be.

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  7. This was a brilliant recap of my life while the children were still living at home. We had to make a trip to the emergency room when my middle daughter (age 3 or so at the time) put a piece of a popped balloon up her nose. After waiting for more than an hour to be seen, she sneezed and OUT it popped!

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  8. My kids are 6 and 8, and I identified strongly with this post.
    Especially the bits about stickers, balloons, sandwiches, cuddly toy and mud. ;-)

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  9. I love this blog, Vanessa. Have you considered pitching this as a magazine article idea? It has great appeal for parents!

    P.S. What about the saying ‘Are we nearly there yet?’

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    • Thanks Nicola, I hadn’t thought of that, no. I actually wasn’t sure if I might be the only one who feels this way until I saw all the comments!

      Actually “Are we nearly there yet?” has never been too much of a problem with my two thankfully!

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  10. My ‘kids’ are 40 & 43… stickers hadn’t come on the scene when they were young, or the balloon craze either… at least the Mylar ones. Didn’t do a million stuffed animals then either, my grandkids have a hell of a lot of them though. Mud was always a factor, but my darling little ladies were pretty good about that. The one thing I really miss… making sandwiches for them. Making anything, actually.

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    • Maybe you were just lucky – I’m 41, so I’m the same age as your kids, and I used to collect stickers, so they were definitely around. The big craze was the scratch ‘n sniff ones and the padded ones! Although my friends and I used to stick them in albums rather than the furniture, so I don’t think they caused a problem for our parents. And I did also have a million stuffed animals, they practically took up half of my bedroom. I expect I will probably miss making sandwiches for them too once they’ve flown the nest (my kids, not the stuffed animals).

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  11. Very funny. My kids are not out of the sticker stage. In fact, my son has used his bedroom door as the place to display his stickers. My husband offered to repain his door, but it would mean getting rid of the stickers. No, that’s not going to happen anytime soon, lol

    I can’t even think about mud. Actually, the kids aren’t my biggest problem with mud. It’s the dog.

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    • It’s interesting isn’t it, this love of stickers. It starts quite young, and goes on for a number of years! I wonder what it is about them that makes them so appealing. Yes, I have a bit of a cat mud problem too – probably not as bad as a dog one, but my cats do run in and up the stairs with their muddy paws!

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  12. introvertedblogger

    I still have stickers on a few bedside tables, and it both irks me and makes me smile because the villain is now 20. Thankfully he grew out of everything you’ve mentioned but the mud. They all still do that.

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  13. Ah, balloons. My daughter had an “incident” recently with the Mylar balloons that had me laughing so hard I couldn’t stop. My grandson’s birthday and she went to the Dollar store to pick up eleven balloons. During the walk to the car the wind decided to gust upwards of 45 mph. Trying to hold on to the balloons, attempt to stuff them in the car, while trying to handle a business call on her cell phone must have been entertainment for the ages. She was rather haggard after the ordeal – I saw her a few hours later – but was proud that she only managed to lose two balloons to the elements. She was more upset that the balloon bouquet was now nine instead of the necessary eleven. I could just visualize the whole thing.

    I blame Toy Story about the population of stuffed animals in my house that can’t be thrown away also. I don’t even have kids at home.

    I’ve been secretly looking for the guy that invented stickers for years. If I ever find him….

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    • I expect your daughter’s balloon incident is already circulating on YouTube as we speak! Not much avoids being captured in some way these days. And if you ever find that sticker guy (or gal!), give me a call…

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  14. This was a welcome smile before going to bed. I am SO with you on all these things.
    (I’ll admit, I thought your illustration of mud may have been something else.)

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    • Haha, yes I thought the same thing about my illustration of mud – however, drawing isn’t my strong point, so with each illustration, as soon as I came up with something that vaguely looked like what it was supposed to be, I just went with it!

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  15. As well as stickers my son once decided to draw green love hearts all over the house!! On walls, furniture, the stairs, the floor!!
    Balloons – they give them out free in shops here. My ex-mum-in-law was once invited to a party where a child died because he breathed in while try to blow up a balloon, he sucked it back into his throat and it blocked his airways. I always snatch them away outside the shop!!
    Cuddly toys took over our house (with four kids). Two years ago I heard about a truck taking cuddly toys to kids in Bosnia. They said they are particularly good for these traumatized kids. I sat with my kids and we talked about it. They generously handed over two thirds of their cuddlies.

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    • That’s awful about the balloon – I’ve often thought of the potential for that to happen actually.

      That’s a really good idea about the cuddly toys, I’ll see if there’s something like that being run near me, I think I could definitely cope with getting rid of the cuddly ones if I knew they had an important job to do like that.

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  16. Great post! I don’t have kids so I haven’t grown to hate these things yet. You’ve convinced me that I will in future.

    I loved stickers! When I was a kid my grandad helped me collect hundreds of them. One day I used them to decorate every single surface of my bunkbed, by which I mean high bed with a wardrobe, desk, shelves and drawers underneath – i.e. lots and lots and LOTS of surfaces for stickers!

    I got carried away. It wasn’t until I stood back and looked at the overall affect for the first time that I realised how dreadful it looked. Then I discovered they wouldn’t come off.

    After that I stopped letting friends in my room. I was far too embarassed.

    I might have to ban stickers. :-)

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    • Haha, that really is a sticker story! I guess any thoughts of selling your bunk beds once you grew out of them were lost!

      I think that attempting to ban stickers will be a futile task, but good luck with that ;)

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  17. I can just imagine. I think the stickers would bother me most of all.

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  18. I grew to hate some sounds or phrases. Top one was” DAD!” Which denoted a subsequent complaint or unnecessary plea for assistance. “Stop touching me,” almost always in moments of their boredom, which were usually moments that I was occupied with something interesting or requiring concentration. It’s a small world after all,(Disney World theme song) boy I really hate that song which gets in your head because you hear it during the entire time you are standing in line to get into the boat that takes you from one country to another all inhabited by little people singing it’s a small world after all. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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    • Haha, yes, children can be challenging when they are bored! I think they deliberately work on being even more challenging when I respond unhelpfully to their complaints of boredom with “Well go and tidy your room then!”. Yes, that is a VERY annoying song.

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  19. My son liked stickers for about a month of his life, and then they never interested him again. The dentist and the doctor always open a drawer and offer him a wide selection, but he always says no. Of course, in that month he REALLY liked them. But that was years ago.

    He doesn’t like sandwiches either.

    And he liked balloons a lot and then got over them a short while later. He’s like that.

    Oh, but the plush toys. No, he can’t get rid of the plush creatures with big eyes–and neither can I.

    What I hate are those little straw wrappers from juice boxes. I find those thin bit of plastic everywhere.

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    • Wow, your son is bucking the trend here! Although the main theme behind the list is repetitiveness isn’t it, you wouldn’t mind something if it was just occasional, but when it’s all the time it drives you nuts! Therefore your straw wrappers fit in nicely ;)

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  20. Pingback: 5 Daily Simple Pleasures and 2 Weekly Ones | Vanessa-Jane Chapman

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