Last week when I had to take Child A to the dentist, I had time to kill in the waiting room so I picked up a Parenting magazine. I stopped reading those years ago because they just made me feel bad about myself and were full of annoying ads, and I realized I was not going to be one of those mothers who counted until their children behaved. This particular one was full of things NOT to do in order to be a good and perfect parent and I realized that still some 10 years later....I am still a bad parent according to this magazine. Want to know why?
I let my kids sleep with me....The big one not so much anymore, he is too old but the six year old....as much as he wants. I still make him sleep in his own bed during the week but most mornings I wake up with a kid pasted to me. On weekends, or if his brother is gone it's game on and he just gets in my bed. No big deal to me. He is six....it won't last forever....he is comforted by the fact that his mother is there for him and doesn't yell at him to go back to bed...and it's just me so who cares???
I scream, yell and occasionally smack.....I am a very passionate person and when I have had to ask someone to do something for the 10th time, my voice tends to go up about five octaves. When they fight with each other I am just trying to get in the middle so no one gets hurt. When they get mouthy I jump in their shit, and I will in no way, shape or form deal with disrespect or nastiness. I know my neighbors think I am a screaming crazy woman but I just cannot be that parent who just pats them on the head and wants to hug it out. They get swatted and my oldest has gotten his mouth smacked more than once. Also he is bigger than me now so I occasionally kick his legs out from under him to let him know who is boss. I usually apologize after I have screamed and stomped and gestured to get my point across.....then we hug it out.
I let my kids listen to inappropriate music.... Let me clarify, we aren't cruising down the road listening to 2 Live Crew, but my six year old knows the words to most Beastie Boys songs. Music is very big in our household and I do think they should listen to what they like, I personally don't like or listen to anything with gratuitous profanity or content but something that has it with artistic merit is fine with me. I still filter what the 6 year old can hear and I had a problem at first with my 13 year old listening to Eminem but then took off my hypocrite hat because I was listening to 2 Live crew in middle school and honestly the kid has great taste in music.
I taught them the fine art of sarcasm... My kids are smart, intelligent and entertaining. They can carry on conversations with adults and they have opinions. ( Don't ask Owen what he thinks about Obama) They are as respectful as they can be for 13 and 6 and I figured learning how to carry on a witty, pithy conversation would only benefit them in the long run. Occasionally it backfires on me and they get sassy with me but then I remind them who gave them their sarcastic superpowers and that I can take them away!
I don't reward them for breathing...Nothing annoys me more than kids being treated all the same because "we don't want little Tommy feeling bad" Well we know what that creates. The current generation of twenty-somethings who basically think life should be given to them on a silver platter because that is what is "fair" They don't get an allowance or money for good grades. They get praise where praise is due and when they say it's not fair, I say life isn't fair and to suck it up. they have chores and earn a commission for certain chores but not all of them. Sometimes one of them gets more than the other, sometimes one of them gets special treats and the other doesn't. They learn to live with it.....I think they used to call it building character.
So there you have it, on paper I am a terrible mother. I know I'm not, but far from perfect and that is fine with me. We are real in our household and if I screw up I tell them because it makes it that much easier when they screw up.
I doubt I will be on the cover of a parenting magazine anytime soon