Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I Won't Apologize for Being a "Mediocre" Mom

I have my moments. My "I'm a kickass Mom" moments. I cater to my kids' every whim on their birthdays and the first day of school. I go to school parties and sometimes I even volunteer to bring stuff! I do my best to make sure Christmas is a balance of Christian celebration, childhood magic, and wonder. I try like hell not to fall asleep and forget about the ding dang tooth fairy. We go on memorable family vacations, which I document with eleventy thousand pictures.

But day to day, my approach to parenting is somewhat of a "less is more" approach. Some call it mediocrity. Whatever. I offer no apologies for it.

I will not apologize for not entertaining my children every waking minute of the day. It's called imagination. They should learn to use it on occasion.

I will not apologize for NOT taking my children to the amusement park or the zoo or the pizza arcade extravaganza (hell) every time they have a day off school. We'll do these things sometimes, and they'll be a lot of fun and exciting and special when we do. But sometimes a day off is good for just that...a day OFF.

I will not apologize for occasionally "ignoring" my children while I use the computer, or play on my iPad, or use the phone. Because most of the time I will give them my undivided attention. It's better they learn that, while they are the center of MY universe, that won't be the case when they enter the great big world of "a whole bunch of other people with agendas all their own who aren't going to heed your beckon call".

I will not apologize for expecting my children to behave like respectful human beings at home, in school, and in public. When they choose to do otherwise, there will be consequences. I will not rush to their side and blame ill behaviors on peers, teachers, or society in general. They need to learn about taking responsibility and holding oneself accountable.

I will not apologize for not making a big production out of things my children should be doing anyway. They will be expected to turn in school assignments when they are due as well as make every effort to maintain decent grades. I will encourage them and offer every resource available to support them throughout their education. Their reward for doing these things will be a diploma. I will beam with pride at their accomplishment. When they get a job, the reward for doing said job will be a paycheck. Neither college professors nor future employers will throw a parade in their honor for simply doing what is expected. There is no sense in setting that precedent now.

I will not apologize for making my children do their own school projects. I'll willingly help where help is needed, but I've "been there and done that". And I did it by myself. There was a sense of pride when I turned in projects that were truly mine, and I want them to feel that pride, too. I've done my time at the science fair thankyouverymuch.

I will not apologize for making my children learn to "earn their keep" on occasion. A good work ethic is not going to appear out of thin air. 

I will not apologize for sometimes saying "no" to things even if we can afford them. Because that's a word they need to learn to hear on occasion. And because a lot of the time I'll say "yes".

I will not apologize for not escorting my children back to their bed when they creep into mine in the middle of the night. I honestly don't believe that I'll look back on these days and say, "I sure do regret all those mornings I woke up to my babies' sweet sleeping faces." This phase will pass. All too soon, it will pass.

But most of all, I will not apologize for loving my children enough to do all of the above. While it may not work for everyone, and while I am by no means the best parent, I'm doing the best I know how and it's what works for me. It must work for my kids, too. Because I know without a doubt that they go to bed every night knowing they are loved. And that's really all that matters.






33 comments:

  1. Sounds like we are the same kind of mom. I was nodding my head in agreement with all of your points!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that. I actually got kind of nervous about posting this!

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  2. Virtual High Five to all Mediocre moms! We raise the best kids!

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    1. I think mine are turning out a-ok if I do say so myself! High 5, Momma!

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  3. I love this so much! I'm gonna go share the crap out of it.

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  4. And so I have cohorts in the mediocre mom universe. I can't possibly entertain my kids all the time. I'm not that creative or imaginative or interesting. Thanks for this and I'll be sure to share it everywhere.

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    1. Thank you, Melissa!

      Exactly - not only am I not the creative, imaginative, or interesting, but I also am not nearly energetic enough to entertain them 24/7! Knowwhatimean?

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  5. If I was the kind of girl who yelled "Amen!" - that's what I'd be doing right now.

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    1. I get it. I'm not an "Amen!" shouter, either. But, I hear ya anyhow. :)

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  6. Mom says you are doin' just fine!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley
    Online Doods

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  7. You sound far from mediocre to me! Mom on!

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  8. Want to adopt a 25 year old? I'd love to have you as my "mediocre" mom ;)

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  9. Love you more after this. xoxo

    And I won't apologize for not forcing my picky eating kids to eat things they can't stand. One day they WILL eat veggies and foods with color (I was the same way) but until they're ready I'd rather spend dinnertime talking and laughing instead of arguing about eating one flippin pea.

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  10. No need to apologize. There is no such thing as a perfect parent but you are not mediocre - far from it Sounds like you're raising independent respectful kids who will know how to use their imagination and have self esteem. Exactly the kind of kid we should all be trying to raise and the kind that those "perfect" parents who cater to their child's every whim will not get.

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    1. Thanks, Liz! I am so far from "perfect" it's not even funny.

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  11. I love my kids, but I am not one of THOSE moms. I will support them, I will encourage them, but there are a lot of things I WILL NOT do.

    One of the things they do need to learn is to entertain themselves. They haven't figured that one out yet! I don't get that-when I was their age I was able to go play with my toys and not have to be sitting in the living room just because the parents are in there. It's not that I don't want to see them, it's just that I'm worried about them when they get older. If they need someone to entertain them all the time, then....???

    I'm subbing in a three year old preschool classroom right now. You can tell the difference between the parents who cater to every whim and the ones who raise their kids in the real world. :-)

    I think I'm in love with your blog. Is this healthy? ;-)

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    1. The idea that kids need to be entertained every.single.second drives me insane. Find something to do for crying out loud!

      You're in love with my blog? I'm in love with this comment!

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  12. Do I need to ask how you feel about every soccer player on the league getting a trophy? Or sixth grade graduations?

    I love that you love your kids enough to work hard at teaching them responsibility and independence. I hope to be able to write a similar post when my kids are older and I've worked hard enough to do so. Gotta earn my stripes first though. Anyway, loved this post.

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    1. Thank you, Carol!

      Yeah - don't get me started on the trophy thing. PUH-LEEZ. That's not how real life works, kids.

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  13. Just found you and love this! Am still kind of a new mom...my daughter is 11 months old. But I aspire to do all the things you said and I think I do many right now. Keep on lady!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I shall print this comment out and hang it on my bathroom mirror. And all the other mirrors. And the refrigerator. And maybe the front door. ;)

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  14. I have 6 kids - boys ages 19, 15, 13 and 7 and twin girls that are 7... and I must admit they all have chores and I feel ZERO guilt about that!!! (Plus I do not pay them an allowance because they won't get an allowance for cleaning up after themselves when they move out. 0_0 **And all they haters say "BOOOOO!"**) The other rule we have is that the electronic devices (i.e. cell phones, ipods, ds, etc.) do not come anywhere the dinner table or into any forum where we are having "family time." Does that make me a bad parent-------> NO WAY! Because like you said ~ at the end of the day, they know I loved them enough to show them responsibility and how to carry on a conversation that did not require a text message or Instagram. IJS!!!

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  15. Um. I think I just spent 3 (THREE) hours reading your blog. Forget where I stumbled from but crazy in love with your writing style. I feel like freakin Roger Ebert: I laughed. I cried.
    I'm a mommy of a 2.75 y.o. who's been telling me a lot lately that she loves me (and I'm the best and I'm her favorite). Therefore I think she knows I love her too. And as you said, what matters is she knows she's loved. Even if she does know all the characters from all the Disney Jr AND Sprout AND PBS Kids AND Nick Jr shows. Sigh.

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  16. Um. I think I just spent 3 (THREE) hours reading your blog. Forget where I stumbled from but crazy in love with your writing style. I feel like freakin Roger Ebert: I laughed. I cried.
    I'm a mommy of a 2.75 y.o. who's been telling me a lot lately that she loves me (and I'm the best and I'm her favorite). Therefore I think she knows I love her too. And as you said, what matters is she knows she's loved. Even if she does know all the characters from all the Disney Jr AND Sprout AND PBS Kids AND Nick Jr shows. Sigh.

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