Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney

11 Ways Your Kids Are Your Karma

When I was a teenager and my younger siblings all fell somewhere from tween to pre-schooler, my mom, like an evil fairy in a fairy tale, placed a spell on us. "I wish each of you gets a kid just like you," she said. "For the good things and the bad, so you'll understand someday." Well, as it turns out, I got two kids just like me, my son and my daughter. Yes, karma came for me in the form of my children, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

Now, for the most part, this has been pretty awesome. Not to toot my own horn, but I was a really chill, friendly, good kid. But I had my, you know, foibles and peccadilloes, shall we say. Little things that, I'm sure, drove my parents nuts. I actually know this to be fact because they would openly tell me, all the time, that the things I did drove them nuts. And each of those things — big, small, fundamental and infrequent — have been visited upon me in a kind of cosmic justice and in the form of my two children.

Here are the various ways my (funny, compassionate, and sweet) children have challenged me (to the very edge of my sanity) by using my on personality and quirks against me:

The *Drama*

As an adult, I'm well-balanced and pretty laid back. As a child, everything that happened to me or around me was a huge, cataclysmic event. My parents found it hilarious, endearing, and absolutely exhausting. My nickname, in fact, was Sarah Bernhardt, after the over-the-top silent film star.

Well guess what, you guys? It's clearly genetic. Because you do not know angst until you see my 4 -ear-old daughter freak out over a missing doll. Like, she knows it's in the house and she knows we'll find it, but the journey between points A and B has to be a whole thing.

"Creative" Tantrums

A famous Jamie story is the time my mom wouldn't buy me a toy and had to literally drag me out of the store and, apparently, my response was to scream, "Help! Help! This isn't my real mommy!"

Which was genius and hilarious... when I was doing it to my mom. When my kids are shrieking as I firefighter carry them over my shoulder through the entire-ass mall it's less funny.


This is karma I'm getting from my husband, who is legitimately the most stubborn person I've ever personally met. And that can be an admirable quality, because he is principled and determined and stalwart. He will also stick something out just to spite you if he's decided that's what he's going to do. (I've never been on the receiving end of it, but I've seen it and it's both savage and beautiful.)

Our children have clearly picked up on this, and in their case I've been on the receiving end.

So Many Toys

My mom always lamented the fact that my brothers and sister and I had "too many toys" and we thought that was an absolutely loopy thing to say because, LOL! What even is too many toys?

Now that I'm a mom, I know what "too many toys" means.

So Much Laundry

Ever since I was little, I've had this habit of wearing multiple outfits on any given day because my outfit should match my mood and I have so many moods you guys.

When I was 8, my mom got really tired of this (and the fact that I would toss clean clothes in the laundry because I didn't feel like folding them and putting them away which, like, is a detail). So she handed me a laundry basket, showed me how to use the washer and dryer, and I've been doing my own laundry ever since. And you better believe that, at the time, I found this horribly unfair.

And now? Well, now I would make both my children do their own laundry... if only they could reach the buttons.

Terrible Lying

I've never been good at lying, at least not to people I know. (I'm actually super good at lying to strangers.) I rarely tried to lie to my parents, but when I did it was so obvious it was painful for everyone involved.

My children, especially my oldest, have absolutely no guile whatsoever. It's adorable and funny and absolutely karma.


When I was in high school a teacher once told me that sarcasm was the lowest form of humor. My response? "That's just something people who aren't very clever think." I still stand by that statement, thank you very much.

But there's nothing more humbling than receiving a burn from a particularly witty child. And I do. A lot.

All The Talking

I'm a naturally extroverted, chatty person. And, particularly as a kid, I never ever shut up. You guys, I had things to say and to discuss!

The same can be said of my children, and most of what they have to say is about cartoons IDGAF about. At all. But do they care? No. They just need me to know about all the Pokemon.

Hangover Parenting

This isn't anything my kids do. This is something I do to myself. Still, my kids are the executioners of this karmic justice so I think it applies. It doesn't happen very frequently, because it only takes me about one time a year to remember this painful lesson and act accordingly.

Wishing For Children Who Got Along

I was very nervous about whether my oldest would welcome his baby sister into the family (based on his reaction to my pregnancy, the outlook was not at all good), but I was surprised and delighted when he took to her right away.

And then sh*t got real. because those little monsters team up and organize. They're like cunning little velociraptors. It's one reason I just can't have a third child. Once you get three of them you know someone is going to get hunted and eaten.

So Many Feels

I'm extremely sensitive and, maybe as a result, so too are my children. All three of us have very big feelings which, yes, can be challenging, but it's really not a bad thing. It's nice to know that if I get choked up about something I hear on the radio or read about, my kids understand how I feel. And if they see, say, a picture of a baby duck that's so cute they start crying, they know I understand where they're coming from. (This has happened.)

So, yeah, sometimes the karma is deliciously evil, but on the whole it's really nice to have kids that are so much like me that we all get each other.