Why Moms of Older Kids Just Aren’t That Into You

Kim Brown Reiner

I knew a rift was going to open between my friend and me when she brought her two year old over to play with my children. My six year old and eight year old exist in that sweet spot—they have outgrown binkies and boppies and don’t yet have their own cell phones. It’s not that they’re perfect, far from it, it’s just that they don’t require 24/care and usually return questions with answers in the English language, rather than ear-splitting sounds.            

So when a toddler pulled all the books off a shelf in my living room before her dirty diaper needed changing, I started to have the rapid heart palpitations brought on by post-traumatic-stress disorder. Each household item crash and screech when it was put out of her reach, reminded me why I wasn’t crazy about taking care of my own infants and toddlers, much less someone else’s.            

Yes, your Facebook pictures are adorable and I will continue to like all of them. But the real-life version of your child, honestly, not so much. It’s not you, it’s not me, it’s them. My suspicion is other moms of older kids feel the same way, like we are the upper classmen, and new parents are the freshmen. As a friend with two teenagers recently said, “I can go out and leave my children home alone. That’s life changing, why would I ever want to go back?”

Been up all night,  done with that. We’ve traded the agonizing cry-it-out or co-sleeping decisions for discussions about little league and the Common Core.

So, don’t ask me if I think homemade baby food is really worth the time and effort. I’m back to work full-time and trying to figure out how to help my daughter navigate mean girls and the state tests, without being a helicopter mom. And my son’s teacher recently told me he is only reading at level G, when he should be at I, whatever that means.            

Let’s face it, when we’re invited to hang out with another family, the first thing we think is “How old are the children, and will they keep mine somewhat occupied so I can talk to an adult?” Even if there’s food and good friends in the equation, toddlers and babies will step on anyone’s good buzz.            

I’ll take an acquaintance’s reasonably behaved child over a good friend’s terrible two any day. In the meantime, let’s meet for lunch dates instead of play dates, and stick to sharing pictures of our children.  

Head to the Family Room


Why Moms of Older Kids Just Aren't That Into You

This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media, LLC.

Kim Brown Reiner is a mom of two, who tries not to speak to her children before drinking coffee. She has written for NY1 News, The New York Times, the New York Post, The Village Voice, msnbc's Today Moms, Mamapedia Voices, Mamalode, Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop and many articles for local New York and New Jersey newspapers.