I was cruising around the twittershpere this last weekend while the kiddos were happily digging in the dirt or staying otherwise self occupied for about 15 minutes (And what precious minutes they were!) when I came across two tweets that had me thinking about what makes me the mom I am today opposed to the mom I thought I would be. So, of course, I had to blog about them.
“Why do people think its okay to say mean things about their parents when they brought you into this world?”
In answer to the first tweet, we tend to lash out at those closest to us, our family and loved ones for two reasons: One – We know we have their true love, which means we will never lose it. Two – They know just the right buttons in just the right order to push, in order to piss us off. That is a two way street, kids do things to push back and gain their independence from their parents and parents do things to protect and raise their kids well. Those two objectives are constantly at cross purposes and will lead to conflict.
“My future child will not be disrespectful, talk back to me, or disrespect other people”
The second tweet made me think of my own dreams of family, how often as a teenager, I rolled my eyes at my mom, how she “just didn’t get it”. Then, when I was pregnant, all the promises I made to myself how I was going to do things different, better. There was new parenting advice: sleep babies on their backs, rear facing till 25lbs or 2years old, wear helmets while riding bikes. I was going to talk TO my kids, not AT them. And, most of all, “Because I said so” was NEVER going to cross my lips. My kids were always going to love me and respect me, because Mommy Knows Best. Don’t laugh! It was true.
But, five, almost six years & three children later, I have broken many rules. Yes, I slept my kids on their back but that is about the only rule I didn’t break, at least until they started turning themselves over. At that point, I started giving in. The twins were too big for rear facing car seats by the time they were 13 months, so I turned them around. “Because I said so” is sooo much easier than taking 15 minutes to explain: why I want you to brush your teeth before putting on clothes after a bath or why I want the play room picked up before lunch when I know it will be destroyed by dinner time again, and the list goes on. Nothing is more complicated, and more wonderful than the love between a parent and a child. Lets face it, kids have a mind of their own, *gasp*. Its true. They see situations in their own way and have their own opinions.
So, my new dream is thus: Bring it! Bring on the questions, the fights and the struggles. Bring on the times you say “Im not happy with you right now mommy”. I want to see the temper tantrums when you just don’t get it. I hope r to choose my battles, reach for patience (my new daily mantra) and remember these moments are teaching moments. Yes, you really must fold your clothes before you put them in your drawer. Some days will be great, and I will be able to give you a reason. All the other days: “Do it because Im Mom, I win and I say so.” eventually you will learn the why (so your clothes don’t wrinkle and you don’t look like a reprobate). Till then, trust that I love you, want the best for you and will fight (even you) to ensure your greatness.