My Kids Bring Out the Worst In Me

June 21, 2012

Before I had kids, I thought I was a patient person.  I did.  And I thought I was organised too.  I enjoyed planning and was able to keep the house clean and tidy; I was rarely late. I enjoyed going out and dressing up. I didn’t feel angry, hardly at all! I was poised and in control.

Here I am, pre kids, with my then fiance (now husband) at a dress-up party. All fresh faced.

my kids bring out the worst in me

And then I had kids, four of them, and I turned into a monster! I found out I was horribly (horribly!) impatient, my organisational skills cracked when the 3rd child came along and I am rarely (if ever) on top of things in the house. Plus I lose my cool, a lot.  Crazy frustration, anger even.

My kids bring out the worst in me. Every weakness is exposed, pushed, stretched. There it is, right there.

And yet, I can truly say, without hesitation, my children are the best thing that has happened to me.  Although they bring out the worst in me, with abundant measures more, they bring out the BEST in me. Absolute best.

I am more gracious.


I’m increasingly tolerant of others and have learned not to judge.

I know the meaning of real love. Incredible, unconditional, steadfast love.

I am braver.

More open.

I am wiser.


I am real.

And stronger.

I create more, smile more, see more.

I can improvise. In fact, I’m incredible at it.

I AM more patient. Yes, I can say that now.

Patience anchored in graciousness is truer than one of only self-control.

Amazingly, despite the chaos, I am calmer, and more relaxed.

Because small joys are everywhere.

My kids have been the making of me.

Maturity happens through many areas in life, but I know I wouldn’t have the depth I have now if it wasn’t for my children.  When I look back at my former self, I had poise and control — things that made me look good from the outside. Yet children have an incredible way of exposing truth and were (still are!) instrumental in breaking down walls in my life. Walls of facade. Today, after 11 years of parenting, I feel like a mess in so many areas.  That’s what you might see from the outside, it’s true. But I’m a beautiful mess.

My kids bring out the worst in me and I’m a better person because of it. Always, always grateful to these little people in my life.

the kids bring out the worst in me

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

JanetNo Gravatar June 21, 2012 at 11:58 am

Hi Kel, thanks for sharing so honestly. Motherhood is incredibly rewarding but yes, kids can bring out the worst in us! I blogged a similar post a couple of weeks ago, about my own struggles in this area, which you can read at


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar June 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Janet, such a beautiful story to share. Thank you x


Ash KayeNo Gravatar June 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm

That is a beautiful post Kelly, I love it xx


Squiggly RainbowNo Gravatar June 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Funny, can so relate! xx


ElizabethNo Gravatar June 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Amazing post Kelly. I feel the same way. Children have stretched me in both ways but I love them too the moon and back (a family saying). Stretching is good, even the best thing ever. I am happy to be a beautiful mess too. xx


Debbie @ Aspiring MumNo Gravatar June 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I am ashamed to say that having kids has brought out so much anger in me. And I absolutely hate that. But, since becoming a mum, I have had to learn so much patience – which is a good thing! There is definitely an added dimension to life and mine have grown me in ways that I never thought possible.


PollyNo Gravatar June 22, 2012 at 5:37 am

Well said, Kelly!!


EllieNo Gravatar June 22, 2012 at 7:39 am

What a great post. You could have been talking about me. Kids do bring out the worst and best in us and sometimes at the same time!!!


MelissaNo Gravatar June 22, 2012 at 8:02 am

I’ve only been a mum for five years, but with three boys it feels like a lifetime! I really don’t know what I would do without my kids, except sleep a whole lot more. I have changed in so many ways, and so many ways for the better. Thanks for putting in words what so many mums feel.


MaxabellaNo Gravatar June 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

Aw Kell, that’s so true and so beautifully observed. Kids have a knack of making us live wholeheartedly, doing they! No shortcuts allowed, it’s in with both feet, leaping off the cliff.

And I love a pontaneous grateful post! Come link it up with us later today!! x


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar June 25, 2012 at 10:28 am

Yes please! Did I miss it? Coming over now.


MelNo Gravatar June 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

i love this, I get so tired of the perfect pics of beautifully dressed kids in white (spotless houses) and mothers going on about how much they enjoyed baking, crafting ect. I like to do stuff with my kids but they (and I) always look like a mess after woods, and they usually drive me batty n the process. I constantly clean and yet my house never is truly clean. I have 5 kids and I wouldn’t be without them but I think projecting life with kids should include those moments where we all know we fantasize about running off to a deserted island, if only to get the opportunity to go to the loo by ourselves.


MistyNo Gravatar June 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

Your honesty is beautiful and the so too is the way you love yourself – the core of yourself – your spirit. More Mothers need to talk about themselves in this way, just beautiful.


edenlandNo Gravatar June 22, 2012 at 9:20 am

I absolutely love this … and so so true. All the joy and frustration and hard times has carved out a depth in me that would never have been there, if I wasn’t the mum of my guys.



LyndallNo Gravatar June 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm

It is so good to know I am not alone with this feeling. I could have written your first paragraph word for word from my own life! The truth of who the real me is, as revealed by motherhood, is absolutely shocking as I find myself daily grappling with anger and frustration… and I have only two kids! I am dismayed at how I can get so enraged around these little people who I love so much. I have learned that I am so selfish at the core, and my anger radiates from it. I am trying hard to work on this with God’s help and guidance.

The second half of your post has given me some positive perspectives – encouraged me to look at the positive elements of what my journey of motherhood has seen develop in me. Sometimes its easy to dwell on the negatives, isn’t it.

Thanks again!


KerriNo Gravatar June 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm

And oh the love!!


GailNo Gravatar June 25, 2012 at 10:34 am

I also could so relate finding the first paragraph as if it was written about me. But yes, I also have learnt so much and grown so much in my 9 years of mothering. Can also relate to Lyndall above! :) But wouldn’t change it in the world.


Lisa | Renovating ItalyNo Gravatar June 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

It’s rare to find someone willing to share the hardships of being Mum as well as the joys. I am often to the point of furious frustration and yes life has certainly changed but I’d never change a thing (other than perhaps a fairy godmother from time to time to clean up the house lol).

It’s madness how often I beat myself up for not being the “Perfect” mum and wife…I learn each day.
ciao lisa x


Veronica @ Mixed GemsNo Gravatar July 13, 2012 at 8:28 am

I thought I knew myself and had arrived at who I was. Then the kids came along and I could not have imagined how much more I had to grow and change. After initially feeling lost as a mother, grieving for what was the “old me”, I then realised there was a whole new dimension to my life as a parent that was enhancing the old me. It wasn’t that I lost the old me, I was being moulded into “the new me”, a richer, deeper and fuller life, despite the ugly revelations under my surface too, such as anger, impatience, selfishness, etc. Thankfully, you can pick up the dirty, tarnished pieces of our nature, and polish them fresh and shiny. What a rewarding journey and I wouldn’t, at the depth of my heart, have it any other way —- no matter what I might mutter under my breath in a sleep-deprived haze when the baby has woken me for the umpteenth time overnight over the past 16 months!


Tracey HutchingsNo Gravatar July 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thank you so much. I can relate to this a lot. I don’t feel very patient, kind, etc. of late, and yes there is a lot of chaos around me, but I hold on to the hope that this journey is going to teach me SO much and be worth every bit.

Thanks again


Kim- Reunite Child AssistNo Gravatar July 23, 2012 at 11:19 am

OMGosh! I cannot thank you enough for publishing this post! I so often feel like I am failing miserably at being a Mum because my kids bring out the worst in me, and then you have those priceless golden moments that no amount of cloud could cover the glow of. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the first time ever I feel like someone gets me, and that I am not failing too badly! Kim :)


NicoleNo Gravatar December 11, 2012 at 10:10 am

I would like to echo all of the above feelings. Before kids I was so tidy, clean and organised – almost to the point of being obsessive compulsive. But having kids has taught me to let go (rather reluctantly) of the need to have a clean and tidy house (an impossible feat with 4 year old twins and an 8 month old). I too feel that I have little patience at the moment and snap at my kids rather too easily. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one, but I still view it as a rather large failing in me. I keep reminding myself that they are little human beings and how I speak to them is how they will learn to speak to and relate to others. I am trying my hardest to lead by example. I can’t imagine my life without my gorgeous kids and, in all honesty, have no idea what I did with all of my time pre-kids. Anyway, am off to play lego and princesses now…the washing can wait! :)


KellyNo Gravatar December 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

As someone who feels like she is in the trenches at the moment doing combat with my kids, this is a timely post. Looking at all the great things that they bring out in me is a good thing. Today is an ok day, or at least this hour is (though my smallest person is asleep, so that helps!) and I hope that as my days go on, that the flow changes, there are more good hours than bad, God willing.


CharmaineNo Gravatar April 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

Those sure are some priceless jewels around your neck there ;) I totally agree, I often look back and wonder what happened to me and where the ‘old me’ went but then I look on the faces of my two beautiful angels and know that the ‘old me’ has nothing on the ‘Mummy Me”!!


VickiNo Gravatar April 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

Hi Kelly,

I’ve only just discovered your blog via FB and love it.

Today’s post rang loud and clear for me. I thought I would be a great parent, however I do find it challenging and incredibly draining – juggling the lives of 4 family members instead of just myself is hard. I tend to shout more than I used to and become frustrated very easily and of course that doesn’t mean I don’t love them any less, it’s just a learning curve. I hate being thrown into the deep end or being taken out of my comfort zone and sometimes when you have kids that happens.

Great Blog, I look forward to reading more.

V :)


Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

So glad you found your way here Vicki. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.


EleiseNo Gravatar April 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

Awesome post! Love the raw honesty, sometimes I think I was better off before kids and then I remember how much more I love life and are a happier person now they are in my life.


Nicole @ When Did I Become My MomNo Gravatar April 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Great post. Something we think about all the time – what we used to be like. Thanks for reminding me to look at how time and kids have changed me for the better :)

Came to you via Today’s Moms


HappyBunch6No Gravatar August 21, 2013 at 3:14 am

I couldn’t agree more! Some days. (like today) are a nightmare. I end up screaming like a crazy person, crying. My grandmother died yesterday, she and I were close beyond explanation. My children chose today to fight, destroy their rooms, throw dirty nappies on the bedroom floor and then place clean clothing on top of them, rough house. I want to run screaming from the house! But, what would feel the best is to snuggle up on the couch with all four of the tyrants, sip cocoa and read a story. I wish being a good Mom were easier.


JettsNo Gravatar October 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Loved this post so much I have to comment! This all rings true to me, especially the depth of compassion you can develop. Very uplifting, love it, thanks Jx


TracyNo Gravatar October 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Thankyou for writing this. I only have one child but I can relate to everything you wrote. It had made me realise that i’m not alone in my feelings and that they are obviously normal. I do my best everyday, but still feel it isn’t good enough. Then when I have a bad day or days, I feel so much more inadequate. Thankfully the bad days are much fewer than the good and fantastic ones. My daughter is my world, I wouldn’t be without her.


KgllyNo Gravatar October 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Love this post! I can really relate to it and smile about that fact :)
I love my girls xxx

I love that most mums feel the same way inside,


MichelleNo Gravatar October 5, 2013 at 8:05 am

Good, honest post. A great insight to what life is really like with children. Of course we all have these great ideals of how amazing motherhood is going to be. Fantastic images enter our heads of how we will raise our child/children, what we’re going to allow or not, before we even get there. And of course motherhood is truly amazing. But when we actually achieve motherhood it is of course totally different to what we expected. And of course some of the ideals we thought we definitely wouldn’t do in a million years, is what we end up doing just for some sanity. In a couple of weeks I will have been a mum for 15 years. And I still think I am an impulsive, unorganised, stressed out, screaming banshee some days. Which of course makes me feel awful, but sometimes my kids drive me to distraction! But what melts my heart and makes everything worth it, is when all 3 of my girls (even my nearly 15 year old) tells me that they love me and that I am the best mum in the world, and that I am so caring and fun! Being a parent is a blessing and I am so blessed with my kids. I can’t remember what it is like without kids, and I wouldn’t swap any of it for the world.


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