What I Wish I’d Known: Other People’s Kids

What I Wish I’d Known is a series of posts about motherhood written by moms I know and admire in support of the launch of my book, Secrets of The Mommyhood: Everything I wish someone had told me about pregnancy, childbirth and having a baby.

What I Wish I’d Known: If you think children are annoying, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your own (This falls into the “Embrace the fact you’re not a saint” category)

By Heather Hopp-Bruce

Before I had kids, I enjoyed being with kids for limited amounts of time and panicked when asked to hold a baby. I figured once I had my own, that would change and I would love them all, even the snotty jerky ones who throw sticks and tell fart jokes. But that’s just not true. The snotty jerky ones are no more charming now that I have my own.


Drawing by Heather Hopp-Bruce

There’s a mom whose daughter goes to preschool with mine, and we don’t talk often but when we do it’s immediately honest and heartfelt. The other day, standing in the cold with preschoolers darting around and between us, she said, “I don’t necessarily like other people’s kids.”

“I don’t either,” I said.

“Yours excluded, of course,” she said.

“Likewise.” Which is true; her daughter wears cowboy boots and a skirt, every day. What’s not to like about that?

It’s good we clarified liking each other’s kids, because the flip side of this coin is that when you sense someone finds your kids annoying, they are clearly soulless, judgmental idiots.

Another airplane story, three years later: I was flying between Seattle and Baltimore with a two-year-old and a 10-month-old, and the two-year-old dropped a boiled egg on the floor a few minutes after takeoff. This made her mad — really mad — and she started screaming her blond head off, which of course set her sister off too. Two minutes of this and the guy sitting next to me stood up and yelled, seriously yelled, “My ears hurt! I have actual pain in my ears!” and demanded to be moved to a different seat.

“Wow,” I whispered to the really nice man who volunteered to take his place, “that guy is a world-class asshole.”

Heather Hopp-Bruce is a mom of three under 6. She’s works full time and also manages to do FANTASTIC drawings on her blog The Baby Sucks. Today, is her birthday. Here’s a link to her The Baby Sucks facebook page if you wanna wish her a happy birthday!

She’s my very good friend and the illustrator and editor of my book. She is all kinds of awesome in every way. Glad to know you, Heather Hopp-Bruce!


Drawing by Heather Hopp-Bruce

Other people’s kids is a really great topic. How are you with other people’s kids?

I’m okay with other people’s kids in small doses. My kids love their friends and I love them, too. (Again, in small doses.) I could never be a teacher (but admire them very much).

8 Responses to What I Wish I’d Known: Other People’s Kids

  1. Missy February 16, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    So funny! There are definitely other kids I like and others I don’t. I just hope my kids choose to be friends with the same ones I like!

    • Heather February 16, 2013 at 11:54 am #

      I can see the writing on the wall for this one. For now, we can help manage those things, but as they get older they are more likely to be friends with kids we’d rather them not hang around. Not sure how I will handle that when it happens…

  2. Angie February 16, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I tend to like other people’s kids – but, if I’m being honest, there are ones I really don’t like and would prefer my kid not be around! There are definitely some kids I like better than others! Great topic!

    • Heather February 16, 2013 at 11:45 am #

      It depends on the kids. I have some good friends whose kids I love like family.

  3. Amelia February 16, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    I base my friendships on James’s friends. It sounds terrible but I’ve let a lot of friends go because I didn’t like or agree with the way they raised their kids and didn’t want mine to pick up bad behaviors.

    • Heather February 16, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      I’ve done that, too. It’s funny how you will tolerate your friends’ idiosyncrasies when it’s just you, but when you have kids and their apple didn’t fall far from the tree, it changes things.

  4. Heather Hopp-Bruce February 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    The sad thing is that, a day after writing this, I was on an airplane with a bunch of kids and found them ALL cute and charming, even the crying ones. I’m going soft. It might also be that the girls are a little older and need less protecting; when you have a toddler on a playground and grade school kids are whipping back and forth recklessly, that’s when other kids are the most intolerable. Of course, because I’m a hypocrite and possibly not that cool of a person, now that mine are grade schoolers on the playground I think to toddler moms “take your precious babe somewhere that gradeschoolers aren’t using to get out their wildness!”

    • Heather February 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

      You’re not going soft, you’re going on vacation.

      I used to be mad when some kid at school taught Molly something bad. It was always a kid with older siblings. Well, I have two kids. So that means Molly teaches Charlie things and he takes them to school and teaches them to other kids. So, I agree your perspective on other people’s kids changes as your kids grow.

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