Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

Archive for the tag “bad mother”

“How Empty is Your Life?” and Other Parenting Misses

Everything’s just peachy around here

Did you think I could stay away from the my little soap box for a whole 10 weeks?  Come on now.  You’re dealing with a woman who gets interrupted six times while screaming “FIRE!”  Plus, I went camping so there is only so much that one’s psyche can handle.

Since there is only 4 weeks left to the kids’ summer vacation, and I wouldn’t want them to have delusions that it was niceor anything, I thought I should permanently record the Mommy Misses so far of the season.  Think of this post as one of those Realty TV recap shows.   My kids will appreciate the cheat sheets for their memoirs.

“This will be perfect for the cover!”

  1. As for the title —  I didn’t actually say it that way.  Sweetie Pie came up and showed me some gross, dried-up glue in a tube, and said, “You could squirt it on some paper in a big blob.”  I assuming that, at age 9, she was a pretty much an adult in some Hunter-Gatherer cultures,  and quipped, “How empty would your life have to be to want to do that, eh?”  As I watched her eyes and then entire face fill with horror, I realized that I had made a grave mistake.  I gave her the glue and paper and a whole bunch of candy.  Things seem fine now.
  2. Look into my eyes!

    Tall Girl asked why I was staring “right there,” and pointed to a spot above her eyebrow.  I said that I was just looking at her.  Then I realized, being always crazy-run-around-busy, I never make eye contact with my kids.  They think all Moms have heart to heart talks with their heads stuck in the dryer.

  3. I got so out of shape I couldn’t get up off the floor.  Well, let’s back up on this one:  While I was pregnant with my SIXTH adorable child, I strained the ligaments in my back, which caused me an amazing amount of pain.  Being, like, not un-pregnant, I took it easy for a while.  A while being 18 months.  This rest period was abruptly terminated the day I lay down to retrieve a binky from under the kids’ bed and couldn’t get up.  I pacified the little ones by grinning furiously and telling them I was “playing whale.”  Daily walks have since ensued, and the call to “bring it here to Mommy” is slowly disappearing.
  4. Mommy is soooo distracted. Plus this tastes healthy.

    Today, my kids ate Chocolate Chip Cookies and a little piece of cheese for lunch.  I gave them buttered bread, cheese and peaches for lunch, with a cookie for dessert, and they just ignored all the real food and went straight to the sugar.  I was trying to fix my email and didn’t notice until I went to clean up and found all this perfectly good foodruined by sitting in sun outside for too long (they were having a picnic.)  Luckily, chocolate is a good source for Vitamin K.

  5. I told the kids the Ice Cream Man was “just a jerk in a truck.”  They retaliated by lying that he was riding a bike and wearing a FREE ICE CREAM hat .  I knew better — that’s too many letters for a hat, and those jerks avoid all physical activity.  Mom 1 Kids 0
  6. Big Boy reads Green Eggs and Hamto himself by stabbing the the picky guy with his finger and shouting, “I hate you.  I hate you.  I HATE YOU.”

    Come back here Sam-Not-I-Am! We’ve got a score to settle!

Yeah, lots to be proud of around here.   People sometimes says nice things to me like, “You have lovely family,” or “What good children,” or “Could you please go ahead of me in line because I can’t stand the noise” and I just have to laugh if they knew what a zoo I have.  Oh, well.  Four more weeks to screw up improve.

If you feel it would be helpful, feel free to share your parenting missteps in the comments.  Remember, it’s harder to catch a whole herd, than a single Bison.


Let the children go

My eldest is bummed out.  And I don’t blame her.  Now that she is ten, we told her that she could go Trick-or-Treating in our uber-safe, well-lit, child-friendly neighbourhood with a group of her friends.  She was so excited.   At school she asked all her friends if they could go.  They all live nearby.  They were all responsible, good kids.  But no….not even with a parent tagging along.

This really makes me sad.

Most kids I see are so cloistered, you’d think they were in an invisible compound.  I sometimes think those few terrible, evil child-snatchers have committed the additional crime of convincing parents that they need to steal their children’s freedoms to keep them safe.  But what is the cost of their safety?  So many kids are never without an adult supervising them.  They go from car to school, to car, to after-school activity, to dinner, to after-dinner activity, to bed, day after day after day.  They never get a chance to try out the skills they need to be successful adults for themselves.

If anything I think this is making our kids un-safer.  Case in point:  I sent my older girls to the convenience store down the road to buy some kind of treat.  I gave the 8 year old at $20 bill.  Back they came, and all I can say is thank God for honest store clerks.  “Did you have enough money?”  I asked.

“Yeah, but she kept giving me money back.  I tried to shove it toward her, but she just kept pushing it back.”  Yep you guessed it — it was the change.

Just stop and consider if by over-protecting our kids from a few, rare bad things, we are actually exposing them to a lot more common bad things in the future.  Those who work with young people today complain constantly:  they lack initiative, they require incessant direction and praise, they are stunningly self-entitled.  Young people are so narcissistic that psychiatrists are considering it the new “normal,” and contemplating not treating it anymore.  But if every activity you were involved in ended with a trophy, if adults mediated and supervised most of your personal relationships, and if you were protected from the world of hard-knocks way too long, how would you be any different?

If allowing my tween to walk with a group on a well-lit sidewalk, surrounded by other kids and adults, in a safe neighbourhood where nearly everyone is home and answering their door, makes me a Bad Mother, then so be it.  Childhood is not a prison sentence.

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