Sunday, April 22, 2012
Good mom, bad mom
I read this post on BlogHer today, in which a mom overhears her kids talking about what makes a good mom. Curious, I asked my two. Here are some of the answers:
A good mom hugs us, kisses us, snuggles us all day, does whatever we say, and lets us watch TV all day long even when we have a bad night-night time.
Sweet, no? Hug us, kiss us, and do whatever the hell we say. Not so far off from the mom they have, really, so awesome. And every time I take away TV and Wii as a punishment for an insane bedtime, I regret it. It sucks for me. I usually give it back later in the day as a contingency for some other behavior. Like, "eat your dinner without getting up from the table 427 times, and maybe I'll let you watch some TV before bed." Every two or three months, I make the "If I hear one more word from this bedroom, no TV or Wii tomorrow" mistake. I hear the words coming out of my mouth, and I want to take them back. I much prefer the "no treats or snacks" consequence. Not that I won't give them a snack between meals—I will of course—but "snacks" in our house is a category meaning salty junk food. The "no treats or snacks" consequence is very effective, and I have no trouble sticking to it on the very rare occasions when they continue to screw around at bedtime after that threat comes out.
When we were done discussing the ways in which I could accommodate their every whim, I asked what makes a bad mom. Here is what they said:
A bad mom yells very loudly, punches us in the face, makes plastic food for dinner, or poo-poo for dinner. It degenerated from there into the various unappetizing things I could make for dinner, and the conversation was clearly over.
So, I'm doing OK on the not being a bad mom front. No feces on their plates, awesome. And I have yet to punch them in the face, so I win! Oh, yelling. Well, yeah, kids. No one's perfect.
The sweetest part of this, though, is that they really believe I'm a good mom. When I do something questionable, like let them eat nothing but Doritos for lunch at a party because I want to hang with my friends rather than police their food consumption, I sometimes jokingly say that I'm a bad mom. And every single time they have overheard me saying that, they remind me, "No mommy, you're a good mom."
Of course, if their standard is that I don't punch them or give them poo-poo for dinner, I guess that's a pretty low bar.