“When you have kids you’ll understand,” was a phrase that would drive me to drink as a kid—drink a cold soda, that is. Really, though, I was never a fan of this particular parenting motto. I’d think thoughts like, What if I never have kids? Why can’t I understand right NOW? GAH, MOOOOM, why are you copping-out? Mainly, I was annoyed by this mommy maxim, because it was impeding me from doing something I wanted. It seemed like a sneaky way to get out of a true explanation. But my mom was right, I didn’t get it. Now, I understand.
I may be relatively new to the mommy game, but “When you have kids you’ll understand” has taken on a whole new meaning for me. My 11-month-old isn’t old enough to try to get out of an 11:00 p.m. curfew, or paying taxers, or eating his peas (OK, he MIGHT be trying to get out the last one), but there are things I do understand now. As a parent myself, I realize there were things my parents couldn’t begin to explain to me as a kid.
Because you love her, it’s tough trying to explain to your 6-year-old who is craftily trying to weasel her way out of her bedtime that there is, in fact, a bedtime. It’s a challenge to talk your 8-year-old down from wanting to eat all the cotton candy at the park, because you love her so much. To the kid, that’s a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t get you a later bedtime or more sweets—but to a parent, it’s everything.
“When you have kids you’ll understand.”
I now understand that my parents only ever wanted the best for me.
I now understand that my parents were proud of me simply because I was theirs.
I now understand how far the phrase, ““When you have kids you’ll understand,” goes. It’s more than a sentence. It’s a testament of love—that never gets me extra cotton candy.