So, I have this one friend who teases me saying she thinks I am the "Mother of the Year." Often, I ask if she has seen my award, because I haven't. My six year old asked me to do something the other day. I told her that she could, but time got away from us, and by the time she was ready to do it, I said, "No." She said, "But you told me I could, before. Why not now?" She wasn't whiny, but confused that I would change my mind. I simply explained, "Sweetheart, I am trying to give you things to discuss with your therapist when you get older." It's a gift, but she won't appreciate that until later.
As a mom, I am not what I thought I was going to be. I thought I would be the mom that co-slept with my babies. (PS Neither child ever slept with me at any time, and now, at six and seven years old, they have only slept in a bed with us about five times each. And it is torture. They kick, grind teeth, and the autistic one stinks for urine due to his inability to night time toilet train.) In fact, since I breast fed, they would come to bed for a feeding in the middle of the night, but I would wake them to put them back into their crib. A crying baby does not scare me.
I have absolutely no emotion for a child who has to deal with disappointment either. I'm like freakin' Grumpy Cat. "Mom, can I be an ice skater on t.v one day? Me- "No. You have never ice skated a day in your life. You have missed your prime since professional skaters are skating as zygotes, and we don't have the money for that nonsense. Sorry. However, you "may" go to school and get married one day and then you can afford to take your own offspring to your local ice skating rink as a fun family outing." I don't know how, but she totally accepted that and didn't push it. Yes, I think honesty is important.
My house is freakishly organized. My children are allowed to play with their toys. But- ONLY in their rooms. I don't allow toys in any other part of the house. (The house is under 1,400 sq. ft. You step out of one room and you are already in the "other part of the house.") So, they are allowed to play with their toys, but they are not allowed to leave the room if they don't clean it up. We all go to bed with all the laundry put away each night, and clean rooms and generally, all dishes dried and put away. I vacuum each day, sometimes, more than once on the lower level. (We have a Collie. And we eat. And well, it gets messy and I like lines on the carpet and my son's gymnastics mat erases those.) I assume medication would easily calm some of this down. But then, I wouldn't be the mom that I am.
Yep, I play outside with my kids. I like being outside. I like being active. (Yes, I know I am morbidly obese, but I would venture to say that I can keep up with my children as well as anyone who is not.) This weekend I threw a football with my son. I tried to hulu hoop with my daughter. I run behind both my kids when I teach them to ride a bike. I threw them into the pool without flotation devices when they were babies. And guess what? One learned to swim at nine months old, the other, at two years old. Life lessons can not be taught too early. However, they CAN be taught too late.
My children know I love them. I tell them all the time. They also know before I say a word, if I am disappointed in them. I actually disciplined my daughter for a rude child's behavior this morning- IN FRONT OF THE RUDE CHILD! The little girl is a neighbor who's mother is a singe parent, and she works downtown. I offered to allow her to leave her at my home in the mornings before the bus comes so that she isn't late to work. The little girl is in first grade with my son. She is consistently unkind to him, and sweet with my kindergarten-aged daughter. She pulled some ridiculous stunt this morning and it upset my first grader. I disciplined my daughter for not sticking up for her brother and pointing it out to the neighbor girl. She didn't even do anything, and yet, she got a lecture. Essentially, I did come full circle and address the offensive child. She looked at me, blinked, and told me she had new sandals. After school, without that child in our presence, I lit into my daughter on that one too. I asked if she recognized how inappropriate that child was. She, at six years old- knew it. I'm doing it right.
I'm that hard core, hold incredibly high standards, and accept nothing less from my children than I can tolerate, and somehow, they are doing okay. Am I "Mother of the Year" material? Not so much. I don't even want that sort of stress. I love to hang out with my kids, and honestly, if I have helped to create two individuals that I enjoy spending time with, I think I am doing "it" right.
PS To Scarlett, who made the M.O.T.Y. award comment again this evening- thanks for that. But, each child needs a mother of the year. You are that for your child. How often do you see me allowing my small children to cliff dive in a restricted area of the lake? See? You are teaching your child to rely on faith. (I might be grasping for something there, but honestly, you are exactly what your child needs. And if not- change it.)
PPS My greatest accomplishment I have found as a mom has been that my children are closer than I ever imagined they would be. That they seek each other out in the middle of the night, and not me. (I need my sleep to be uninterrupted.) That they have their own secrets and that forever, they will be able to identify with each other due to whatever craziness I have made the norm for them. I am forever grateful that they each have a fantastical sense of humor. One more than the other, but I will continue working on that ;o) Gotta' have goals!