My Kids Bring Out the Worst In Me

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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  • Reply
    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 http://footprintsaustralia.com/blog/2012/06/08/i-was-an-abusive-mother/.

  • Reply
    Ash Kaye
    June 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    That is a beautiful post Kelly, I love it xx

  • Reply
    Squiggly Rainbow
    June 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Funny, can so relate! xx

  • Reply
    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

  • Reply
    Debbie @ Aspiring Mum
    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.

  • Reply
    June 22, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Well said, Kelly!!

  • Reply
    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!!!

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    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

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    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.


  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    June 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    And oh the love!!

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    Lisa | Renovating Italy
    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

  • Reply
    Veronica @ Mixed Gems
    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!

  • Reply
    Tracey Hutchings
    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

  • Reply
    Kim- Reunite Child Assist
    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 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    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! 🙂

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    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”!!

  • Reply
    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 🙂

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      April 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

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

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    Nicole @ When Did I Become My Mom
    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 http://www.today.com/moms/motherhood-brings-out-worst-us-best-1C9329506

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    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

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
    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,

  • Reply
    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.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    May 2, 2014 at 1:42 am

    I have only one child. She has just turned 4. I’m ashamed to say, that having her has (until only just lately) put me off ever having another one, in case he/she turns out the be as difficult. I hate it that I feel that way. I love her to death, but EVERYTHING has been a struggle ever since she came into our life. The biggest thing is probably the financial struggle as we had her right around the global financial crisis hit and my husband being a builder – just plain ran out of work. So we lived between scant paychecks, me typing from home to add a little extra and mostly on the 4 credit cards we had somehow amassed over the years. Before we new it, we were behind on our mortgage and $45,000 in debt on credit cards. We had to sell our beloved first family home to pay everything out and are now renting. We had a massive falling out with my parents over Hannah as they have (or had – he is dead now, thank god – not that that’s changed anything much in them) a vicious and untrustworthy dog, who tries to bite ME, let alone a baby, and he has already bitten the granddaughter of one of my parents neighbours. Therefore, my daughter who as I said is now 4, has not been inside her grandparents house since she was about 4 months old. And never will – as they still refuse to put their only grandchild above the dog and lock it away while Hannah is there. My husband and I’s relationship has turned to absolutely crap since all of the above. We never have sex. Not that we used to have it very often to start with, but something is at least better than nothing. There is no intimacy in our life. None at all. He has been forced to start taking jobs that are far away and generally all over the state. He builds those big sheds that house massive farm machinery etc. He is gone from 2am Monday morning and does not return until usually around midnight on Friday nights. He is exhausted when he is home and is not able to really find the energy to participate in our life in the brief moments that we are afforded his company. I feel that I am a single parent really, but worse I guess, because at least a single parent can date and/or get affection from an outside source. I look at my friends whose husbands work away on the mines. Their husbands are on a regular roster, so they know when he is going to be home or away and therefore are able to plan ahead and organize outings etc. Not me. I have no idea from one day to the next when or if my husband will even be home. I can’t make any plans for us. I just sit at home and wait. Wait for the phone to beep with an incoming message which might contain a hint of when I might be able to expect him home. He has taken to either not telling me or lying outright so as not to upset me, so I don’t really know what to believe when the message comes anyway. Hannah asks when Daddy will be home. Soon honey. I don’t know honey. Maybe he will tell us tonight honey. I look at my friends whose husbands work away but have regular rosters. They pack up their 4 wheel drives in anticipation of dad’s arrival home, and ride off into the sunset for some fun filled, quality time with the family, spent fishing and camping out yonder. Probably some place I know we’ll never go. It wouldn’t be so bad if I knew when we were going to have some time off together perhaps, so I could plan for us to do something together at least. My daughter is 4 and has never been to the Zoo, or the city or pretty much anywhere other than Collie, which is the one time of the year when I know he will be away from work between Christmas and New Years – simply because he CAN’T go to work then as they company is closed between Christmas and New Years. So every year, we spend an obligatory painful lunch at his mother’s house, go home and pack up the car for the only time we get to spend together in a whole year. 365 days. And we get about 5 or 6 of them together at once – if we’re lucky. That’s it. In a year. But those circumstances are not going to change in at least the next 5 years. So what do I do? Should I just start planning my life without him in it, and if he happens to be home at a time that I have something scheduled then he can just tag along? Then again, my girlfriends have taken to not even bothering to include me on their outings as all their husbands now know each other and get along. I get the feeling the leave me out out of pity. Either that, or it makes them awkward to have a woman there alone when the rest of them have their husbands there. I don’t know. I just know that I am incredibly lonely.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 22, 2014 at 7:07 am

      Hi Erica. I hear your pain. Sorry things are so tough for you. I can relate to not being able to plan ahead and that sort of thing because it’s the same at our place. Personally, I’ve worked out that I have to create a life for myself and the kids apart from my husband because of his work — I don’t wait for things to happen or for him to be around…and my husband fits in where he can, how he can (and he works really hard to do that too). Over the years, we’ve found a bit of a system that works for us but it’s still very tough on family life.

      In my experience there are periods in family life — years sometimes — that are tough. Sometimes there are things I can change…and if I can’t, then I accept and make it work the best I can. It’s all learning and investment. That’s been my journey.

      Wish I could give you a hug! Sending you love. x

  • Reply
    June 20, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Oh my goodness, I can really relate to this post too … I’ve just come across from your latest blog about not wanting flowers … BEFORE having children … Ha!

    I can relate, ESPECIALLY in the last week as I did turn into a monster on and off just so I could deal with my daughter. At some stage a rage needs to be released before settling back into TRYING to deal with an outraged child. Yep, I love this post and I can totally understand and relate!!!

    Thank you for seeing the good side. You wrote it in a way , I TOTALLY “got”. :0)

  • Reply
    Tea Poulsen
    July 15, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Love your post usual – could have been me except for I lost the patience etc when I had my second child and I still don’t get how people manage more than two and still have a bit of sanity left 🙂
    When my kids are with their dad I often make sure the house is clean and tidy and enjoy a day or two where everything is where it’s suppose to be – and then they are back and my life is normal again 😉

  • Reply
    July 15, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    Yay I got to read your post finally. Thanks for republishing it.
    It’s always nice to know you are not alone in this huh?
    Glad the comments on this post have been less cruel than on mine. A woman just accused me of abusing my children! Whaaaaat??!!
    Nice to hear your reasonable and sane voice.
    Hope the holidays haven’t sent you mad xx

    • Reply
      Kelly - Be A Fun Mum
      July 23, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Oh, you poor thing. People behind keyboards can be very cruel. I’ve learned just to shrug them off. They don’t know you (or me!)…and all the people not feeling alone because of what you posted will outweigh the negative. Wold love to catch up soon if we can make it happen. I’ll email you soon. x

  • Reply
    October 13, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Just curious if your husband helped keep the house clean and tidy and do other helpful things or was this all your doing prior to having children? Otherwise you would have had practise looking after your own things and taking care of someone else even before children, even if an adult should not necessarily need to be taken care of a lot in theory ….It would be easier if the things to do were shared if there is more to do with two people than one, even more to do once kids come along I am sure

    • Reply
      Kelly - Be A Fun Mum
      October 14, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Hi Lori. Both my husband and I did (and do) things around the place. I agree, it’s so helpful when you work as a team.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    nice post.i can totally relate to this post and other mothers who have left their comments above.i am a 23yr old mum and i have a 2 yr old son.I sometimes get really angry and impatient to the point of spanking him really badly.its even worse if u r young and not financially stable and you have to fend for that kid and raise them all by urself .Before getting this kid i was not irritable at all and i would not even yell at the top of my voice but the baby changed everything.I CAN TOTALLY RELATE.ITS GOOD TO KNOW THAT AM NOT ALONE.VERY ENCOURAGING POST

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