Fed-Up Parents Are Venting About What They Secretly Can't Stand Doing With Their Kids, And I'm Honestly Feeling Secondhand Catharsis

    "Every time I have clapped at an elementary school musical has been a lie."

    Being a parent is tough. And when parents have the 'nerve' to speak up and be honest about the infuriating parts of raising children, they're often criticized by high-horse folks who, I can only assume, worship the ground their toddlers crawl on. I witnessed this when I wrote about parents confessing what they secretly hate doing with their kids — the witch hunt was on in the comments! Fortunately, that didn't turn away more brave parents from being radically honest about parenthood:

    1. "I have banned shows because I’m mean! Blippi, Peppa Pig, and Cocomelon are all on that list. My kid is only allowed 'silly' YouTube videos occasionally, and those already grate on me so much I want to cry. I usually put on a documentary as he watches one of those."

    blippi squirts ketchup and mustard into his mouth

    2. "As a stepparent that didn't initially want kids, I can't begin to tell you how painful it is to sit and hear Minecraft streamers go on about ridiculous and obviously fake personal scenarios that my kid 1,000% believes is really happening. For like 20 minutes I hate Minecraft crap, but my child loves it, so I take a sigh, put on a smile, and listen to the babbling."

    minecraft streamer

    3. "I hated breastfeeding. It was a sensory nightmare. I hated the physical sensation of it, and I didn’t feel like it helped me bond with my baby at all. They weren't very interested in the breast and wouldn't latch. And I could never get a decent supply of breast milk no matter what I tried. If anything, our struggles to do it successfully. The struggles, and especially the pumping, made it all so weird and unpleasant that I was much happier once I finally let myself stop trying. I know many people (especially other moms) judged me for it, but I think my baby having a happy, alive mom with a bottle of formula was much more important to me than listening to others."

    a bag of breast milk falling over in "tully"

    4. "I have a 3-year-old and 10-month-old twins. Do I love wiping bums constantly? Nope. Do I love reading the same story five time a day? Nope. Do I love trying to get my kids to act calmly in public? Nope. Do I do it all every single day because I absolutely love my kids? Unfortunately. Not enjoying some aspects of parenting doesn’t make you a crap parent. It makes you a human being."

    brett goldstein as roy kent reads a bedtime story in "ted lasso"

    5. "Dealing with, talking to, or even interacting with other kids' parents is what really bugs me. We're pretty relaxed parents, and while we do have structure and boundaries, we let our kids have more freedom than other kids — they have no bedtime on the weekends, and they almost always have at least one friend over (we are that house). I constantly feel like I'm dealing with the judgment of their friends' parents who are a lot more strict than we are."

    laura dern screams in "big little lies"

    6. "I can't stand those videos of other kids playing with toys like Ryan's World, yet kids seem to be obsessed with them. Go play with your own toys! What's so great about watching someone else play?"

    a kid plays with a toy

    7. "I hate the park mostly because of other people’s kids! So many times, the parents either don’t watch their kids or they watch their kids acting out and don’t care. Once, an older kid was spraying my pre-schooler at the sprinkler; the parents watched and said nothing. I've also seen parents let their toddlers wander without any supervision, and don’t say anything as they dig through other kids' strollers and take their toys. I get that we need a break, too, but I’m not taking my kid to the park for me to have a break. We’re there for them to play, and it’s my job to make sure they’re safe and not being total monsters. Now we go to the park early in the morning when very few people are there."

    8. "I couldn't stand fighting with my kids to practice their instruments or to go to lessons, then getting called a 'bad parent' for letting them quit. I hated being told by highly competitive family members that I wasn’t teaching my child perseverance or encouraging them to be 'well rounded.' Little hint: If your kid hates going karate on Saturday morning and they aren’t going to be the next Chuck Norris, why continue the battle? Let them decide what they enjoy."

    lindsay lohan in "freaky friday"

    9. "I often find I've spent 20 minutes going, 'Uh-huh. Oh, really? Wow!' and not actually hearing a word my kids said."

    10. "My girls' birthdays are two days apart with birthdays, and I usually throw joint parties for them even though there's an eight-year age difference. The last party we had I wasn’t even able to enjoy it. I was constantly playing good host and making sure everyone was having fun and not sweating their balls off since it was the end of May and so hot outside. I missed a lot of good moments and didn’t get to take any pictures, so my family took them for me and sent them to me."

    birthday party

    11. "I'd like to 'thank' Bluey for making kids think parents want to play pretend games all the time. My kid tried to play magic claw with me the other day — 'No, Mommy, you're doing it wrong; you need to make noises and have a different voice.'"


    12. "The simple act of making my child wear her clothes is a task. She will come out of the bath and run around naked while I try to towel her of. Try catching a slippery 3-year-old. Once she's dry, after lots of running around, then it's time for clothes...only she is not in the mood for it. She wants to play around instead. If I make her stand up to wear her pants, she will immediately flop and sit down. If I pull the shirt over her head, she moves her head too much for me to pull the over shirt down quickly, leaving her stuck in the shirt screaming her head off. I go to comb her hair and same thing. Now, do this every day without a break when you also have personal and professional work pending, and then let me know if you are enjoying every last second of it."

    kid with face against shower

    13. "I refuse to do the Elf on the Shelf tradition. I even hid the elf gift set from her grandparents in the closet so my toddler wouldn’t see it. I've already got too much to do with keeping her alive, constantly cleaning, and my full-time job for all that pressure and stress of making it seem like a toy elf is alive and getting into a ruckus throughout our home. Grandma wasn’t super happy, but she got over it."

    toy elf in the fridge

    14. "Every time I have clapped at an elementary school musical has been a lie."

    "grown ups 2" dance recital

    15. "I really hated when other parents used me as a babysitter because I was a stay-at-home mom who worked remote (before it was commonplace), so I 'didn’t have a real job.' Bitch, I make more than you! And it was tough dealing with the bullying, rude, or misbehaving playmates of my kids. I learned quickly which apples didn't fall far from the tree."

    dad trying to work as kids bother him

    16. "It's so stressful bringing my kids anywhere. I even hate bringing them to the corner shop for something small — they constantly try to run around and proceed to touch everything, and then complain! I'm going shopping to a city I've never been to before this week and I can't get a babysitter, so I'm contemplating even going now. Kids are stressful in situations that they get nothing out of."

    a child sitting on a toy in store crying while his mom and sister bend down to talk to him

    17. "I hate packing their lunches. It's my least favorite mom-chore. It’s a necessity, but it stinks!"

    parent holding baby while making sandwich

    18. "Rocking a baby to sleep is the absolute worst part of parenting. First of all, your arms get sore so fast. I was already so exhausted, and sometimes felt like I was about to fall asleep and drop my baby. It didn't matter if I was sitting down or standing up. Then once she finally fell asleep, it didn't matter if sat still holding her for up to 20 minutes — the second I put her down, she'd wake up again!"

    charlize theron asleep while holding baby in "tully"

    19. "I have a 16-year-old niece. I love when she comes to stay with me, but I hate decision-making with her. Any question I ask gets an 'I don't know' or 'I guess...' answer. I just want to know what you want!"

    20. "Honestly, I always hated just about any sort of 'event.' Recitals, school awards, chorus concerts...believe me, there is some sort of ceremony for just about anything. And they're all literally so boring."

    sleeping crowd

    21. "I'm sooooo happy I pay for Disney+, Netflix, and HBO Max just so my kid can watch some streamer on YouTube scream while they're playing Minecraft."

    —Aaron Calahan, Facebook

    22. "I could never stand those 'Meet the teacher' events, Parent-Teacher Association meetings, open houses, or any school meeting basically. They're always followed by a follow-up email that covers it all anyway! And if it can be said in an email, then a meeting shouldn’t even happen."

    a principal sitting in her office looking judgmental

    23. "Oh, how I hated the kid birthday parties where I didn’t know any other parents, or I was expected to stand or sit on the ground for four hours. Usually, the hosts only got enough pizza, cake, and drink for the kids, so the parents were thirsty and starving. I always had a splitting headache by the time I left because little Jimmy thought going up and screaming in random adults' faces was hysterical and his mom found it charming, too. We made sure the parties we hosted were fun for kids and parents. Those cost a ton of money, so I was glad when they outgrew birthday parties."

    bored parents birthday party

    24. "I love my boys, and there are moments of vacations I enjoy, but whew, I sure enjoy vacations without them. Vacationing with friends is so much more different than vacations with family."

    stressed family in airport

    25. "Sitting on hard bleachers in the blazing sun, or driving in bitter rain for an elementary or middle school sporting event my kid gets to play in for all of one minute while the coach’s favorites are in the entire game. My husband and I both coached, so we know how hard coaching can be, but also understood how to be fair with young kids learning a sport."

    brett goldstein as roy kent coaching girls soccer in "ted lasso"

    26. "My boyfriend was always better at pretend play. I could never stand my kid asking me, 'Can you make her say this?' No...if you want her to say something specific, you should be playing by yourself."

    tired parents on couch as kids run around

    27. "Three of my children have autism, and one has cerebral palsy. We are constantly going to therapy and doctor appointments — it's the one thing I'm tired of, especially because my oldest can't come. Some days, I'm just driving back and forth to the therapy center because I can't bring both boys at once. "

    frustrated parent driving

    28. "I can't stand the frigging Christmas concerts. My husband and I always went early to get a good spot, only to have Annie's mom save an entire row with parkas on every single chair for every adult her kid has ever known. Everyone is cramped into a gymnasium, it's always so hot, and once the lights eventually dim, Annie's saved seaters finally show up. Of course. The kids line up on risers and mumble-sing 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' wearing antlers and mittens (the only cool part). If we're lucky, some kid barfs from stage fright. Exciting. Then this repeats for five more grades, followed by an all-school finale. Then trying to leave is an ordeal! Once we finally find our kid, we have to try get out of the parking lot, which is like a herd of turtles; all the while my darling child is hopped up on a sugar and performance-high, eager to recreate their holiday number a few more times on the way home. It's exhausting."

    "last christmas" christmas concert

    29. "I loved bath time, movies, and cooking with my boy when when was younger. But I HATED bed time with a fury! That would not settle! I still have issues with bed, and he's 16 years old. The minute I settle into bed, I'm just waiting for that annoying drawl of, 'Maaaaaaar' emanating from his room."

    30. "My issue is not my daughter's fault at all — it's her school's. Her school calls all the time about things that have absolutely nothing to do with my child — school bus issues even though she doesn't take the bus, sports games when she isn't involved in any, announcements for classes she's not even in, or just to say, 'Welcome back to the start of a new school week.' They even call to say, 'What a great day today was for students and staff!' My number was given for things that concern my child, not for constant harassment! I ignore their calls or just hang up, but then that turns into me receiving like 20 voicemails a week! I've just given up regularly checking my voicemail because of it."

    yelling at phone

    31. "I’m a parent of two girls. Some days it's amazing; others not so much. Life is lived in those crappy moments — those terrible dinners, diapers, hell vacations, and everything else you 'learn' from. And when they are older, you'll appreciate when they were smaller and couldn’t talk sass back."


    32. "One thing that I have never missed once my kids all left elementary school was the recorder concert. It was obviously designed by some sadistic teacher who thought, If I have to put up with this, then I’m going to make others suffer too!"

    33. And finally: "Those teacups at Disney, or any ride that spins. Fight me on that."

    spinning teacup ride

    Which confessions spoke to you on a parental level? Or are you feeling empowered to leave your own confession on what you secretly hate doing with your kids? Share your truth in the comments. And don't let the haters bring you down!

    You don't have to prove your love for your kid to anyone but your kids.

    Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.