Dec 3, 2014

I sound just like my mom; Things I swore I would never do as a parent.

I remember my mom telling me when I was a child, one day you will understand what it's like to be a parent & you will sound like me too.  

I didn't believe her.

Actually, I laughed at her and may have rolled my eyes...

Years later, as a mother, I completely understand what she was saying to me.  There are times where I take a minute and think, wow, I am just like my mother...and it scares me!  It scares me because I swore I would be a great single mother just like her but I also swore I wouldn't do certain things that I ended up doing anyway.  

1. Use electronics as my babysitter
When I was pregnant with my oldest I swore to myself that I would never use electronics as my babysitter.  I told myself that I would make time to spend as much time with my daughter as humanly possible and I did achieve this for the first few years of her life.  When she got older and I actually got a job outside of the house, I found that it was impossible to be with her at every second of the day.  My mom would babysit her while I was at work and she would turn the TV on for my daughter when she had to get some work done...and I ended up doing the same.

It's so hard, as a working mother, to come home from work, make dinner and clean the house while also entertaining my kids.  I had to depend on the TV, computer, their ipods, etc... when I'm trying to get the essential things done.  I know some parents are going to think that I'm horrible for it, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

2. Yelling at my kids
Sometimes I say that my mom doesn't know how to communicate by speech, she only knows how to yell.  Though that's a joke, she did yell a lot at me when I was a kid.  I understand now that she was a single mother who tried to do everything for me and sometimes I was not grateful for all she did for me.  I completely understand that!  When I had my kids, I promised myself that I would never yell at them...I was wrong. 

"Clean your room!"
"Do your homework!"
"Get your leg off your sisters lap!"
"Don't touch that, it's not yours!"

I find myself losing patience so often that I feel horrible about yelling at my kids.  Though I know every parent does at some point in time...especially when they have kids who deliberately disobey or who don't listen to a word that their parents say. *cough*mykids*cough*
3. Say things that my mother said to me
Although my mother was a great single mother who did everything possible for me, I still said I wouldn't become her.  I told myself that I would never say anything that she said;

"Stop it or I will turn this car around right now."
"If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you?"
"Eat your food, there are kids starving in the world!"
"Clean your room or I'll get trash bags and clean it for you!"

Stuff like that...but there's more I can't remember right now.  Sometimes I just stop and say to myself, "Did I just say what my mother used to say to me?"  It's shocking how natural those words seem now that I'm a mother versus how unnatural they seemed beforehand. 

4. Get my kids something at the store just to shut them up
If you've ever been to a grocery store with your kids, you completely know what I'm saying!  There are times that I can't stand hearing my kids beg for this and that.  Most of the time I don't give in (when it's higher priced things they don't need)  but if it's a candy bar or a bottle of soda most of the time I will tell my kids to shut up and just throw it in the cart.  It stops them from annoying me...for a few minutes...

Though I did swear to myself that I would never give in to my kids just because I didn't want to spoil them like I was spoiled as a kid. 

5. Let them have junk food
I remember when I would say that I would never let my kids have junk food because I didn't want them to be unhealthy or have weight problems like I did.  Well, I learned to choose my battles in life.  When they were younger I would say no to junk food and really tried to have them eat healthy but it just became impossible as time went on.  I do limit junk food and make healthy lunches and dinners for them, but sometimes for breakfast you have to pop in frozen waffles or give them sugary cereals. If you're pressed for time, there's nothing else that you can do!

6. Leave their room a mess and close the door
Never have I been a super organized person but honestly I've never been a completely messy person either.  For the first few years I would clean their room when it got messy and then as they got older I had them clean it.  I would literally be on them like white on rice until it was cleaned.  Eventually, I realized just how much effort and time that took and started telling them & asking them to clean their rooms.  Occasionally they did and occasionally I walked into a room that looks like a hurricane hit it. I would get angry and frustrated until I realized that no one goes to the second floor and no one really cares except me.  Sure I would love to have a house that's spotless and looks like it's never been lived in but that is theoretically impossible with the two crazies I have living in my house.  I've learned that when they don't listen to me and clean, just shut the door and walk past.  Unless they are having friends over, no one is going to see it anyway.  Once again -- pick your battles.