B is for Bad?

I never imagined I’d be the mom with the “bad” kid. I remember those kids in my classes growing up. I could still tell you their names. They were usually boys that loved being the class clown, always acting out and vying for attention in some way. As a kid, I never gave much thought about their reasons for acting the way they did. Surely their parents just didn’t care or weren’t giving them the necessary attention at home. Now I can say with full confidence that I was entirely wrong because (GULP) that parent is me.


It’s an extremely hard pill to swallow being a bit of a perfectionist myself. I remember being pretty good about following the rules at school. (Talking too much was probably the biggest issue I had.) It certainly is embarrassing if I’m being 100% honest. I constantly worry that my son’s teachers or other moms must think I’m failing miserably at raising my son. I look at them and smile, but inside I’m saying, “I’m sorry my kid hit your kid. I’m sorry my kid took your kid’s snack.” And so on. I think “why us? Why did we get the kid who always misbehaves?” But I don’t want to feel sorry for myself especially when I know we could be dealing with far worse. And of course, he doesn’t ALWAYS misbehave. Sometimes he does wonderfully, but this was a particularly rough week. And it’s these weeks that wear me down. The pregnancy hormones sure aren’t helping either….cue the flood of tears.


I say the word “bad” very loosely. I do not believe my son is a bad child. In fact, I think he’s amazing. He is super smart, funny, and outgoing. I love him with all my heart, but he can be a bit challenging at times. I truly believe it’s all about finding what works best for him, but when we have a week like this…GOSH, I begin to feel hopeless! We’re going to keep trying everything we can…occupational therapy (he’s DEFINITELY a sensory seeker), discipline/punishments, fidget toys, and a whole lot of prayers.


At lunch the other day, my friend commented that her son probably comes home with Student of the Day almost once a week. She didn’t say it to brag, and while I was genuinely happy for her and her son, I sarcastically made the comment that my kid won’t be getting that award anytime soon. But that’s ok. I keep telling myself that perhaps that’s just not who he is. From the moment I learned I was pregnant with my first child, I told myself that I would accept them for who they are. Whether he’s athletic, musically inclined, or neither, it’s not my job to choose his talents. God chose them. My job is to foster them.


I guess my point here is please know that most of us moms (and dads) are trying. We are trying our best to teach our children right from wrong and how they should treat others with kindness and respect. Don’t be quick to judge that class clown with a heart of gold. One day when my son is in high school, we’ll hopefully be able to look back and laugh about all those rough days we had in PreK. But right now, I’m just hoping I survive until he’s in high school.


Katie Matherne
Originally from Thibodaux, Louisiana, Katie has been living in Baton Rouge (again) since 2014. She is married to her husband of five years, Cody, and they are parents to the active and adorable Graham (4) and Emile (2). They’ll also have two more boys in March 2021! Katie graduated from Nicholls State University with a degree in Government, then went to L.S.U. Law school and finished in 2011. She practiced law in both the private and state sectors, but has been at home with her boys since 2016. In her free time, Katie enjoys exercising, going on adventures with her family, getting manis and pedis and watching cooking competitions on Food Network.

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