Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"If you have never been hated by your child you have never been a parent." ~Bette Davis

Thank you boys for my wonderful new title. I am very proud of it today. I have always had an issue with labels but this one I like. I especially enjoyed how you threw in a few "it's not fairs" and the "I hate yous" which I am growing more and more fond of.

Why am I a mean mom? What could I possibly do to earn me this title?!? I finally decided it was time that I stopped cleaning their room for them and asked them to do it themselves. That doesn't sound too harsh, right?

It was 9am and they had just finished eating breakfast. I was in a wonderful mood after a surprising phone call that my oldest would be the "King of Florham Park" in the Fourth of July Parade. The sun was shining and the skies were blue for the first time in months. A perfect day. So, I asked my kids to go clean their rooms so I could take them out. I planned on meeting with some friends and taking them on a fun day at the zoo.

At 9:01 am the complaining began. They didn't want to clean their room. It wasn't fair. I told them to go clean it quickly, it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes and then we would start our day. By 9:15 am I was screaming and hollering because they flat out refused. I was reluctant at first to take away the day outdoors because I too am suffering from cabin fever and tried once again to redirect them into their room.

By 9:30 am, my oldest so nicely came up to me and told me, "It's not fair that I have to clean my room because YOU are too lazy to do it." What?!?!?! Seriously?!?!? Goodbye my day outside. Goodbye my play date with the other moms. Goodbye blue skies.

When did I lose control of my kids? Did I ever really have any? I never ever would have spoken to my mother like this without being afraid of the consequences. I just don't understand where I went wrong. All I asked was that they cleaned their room. You want to know what time they finished? At 7:08 pm. How well did they do? Instead of the mess being on the floor in their room, it is now stuffed into the closet which you no longer can open.

I am so angry with them right now. They are uncontrollable. The worst part, they are only 6 and 3-1/2! What am I going to do when they are older? My oldest missed out on his friends birthday party this evening because of this which in return probably disappointed his friend. My middle child missed a day with his best friend which DID disappoint him because he was looking forward to a day at the zoo. My youngest son missed out on a play date, TV time (because the TV was turned off to redirect the boys) and going outside (not to mention tripping over the mess and taking a nose dive into the coffee table) because of his older brothers. Who in this is really punished? They could care less. They show no signs of regret or sorrow. They just don't seem to care. They were however, sure to let me know how little they think of me.

Today is one of those days that I should have listened to the good news I received first thing in the morning and then go back to sleep. New rule of thumb, if you wake up with the best news you could probably hear that day...the rest of the day is going to be crappy. Go back to bed and call it a day.


Lit and Life said...

First of all, you did the right thing. Kids have to learn how to take care of themselves and it's a parent's job to teach them that. I did find, when my kids were younger, that you had to break chores down into mini-chores; they had no idea where to start and the whole thing seemed like too much to them. Good for you for sticking with it. It may not seem that they learned a lesson but if you hadn't stuck to your guns, you can be sure that that lesson would have stayed with them. And....you cannot possibly be the "meanest mom in the world" because I am the meanest mom in the world!


Jo said...

I feel you did the right thing and if you go back on that, then they will know they can get over on you any time they want ~ I'm sorry y'all went through this yesterday and hope the next time it gets better. (And they cared about not being able to do what they were going to - they just didn't want you to know that). And you cannot possibly be the meanest mom in the world - my mom has yet to give that up!!!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Mandy, I think you did the right thing. I'm only 19, so I don't really know what it's like to be a mom (although I have a 7-year-old brother).

When I was little, I used to throw fits when my mom told me to clean my room. I used to think she was the meanest mom in the world, but what I didn't realize then was that she was actually being the most helpful mom...I was just too stubborn to think of it that way.

I remember the one time, I finally broke down and asked my mom not to help me clean my room, but to help me figure out how to do it. She taught me to clean one section at a time, and I still do that to this day! "A place for everything and everything in it's place."

What you instill in your children now will stick with them as they grow older. Just remind yourself that you're doing them the ultimate favor :)

Lori said...

Mandy, I think you handled things right. If you had caved, it would have reinforced the wrong idea--that is, that you will clean their rooms for them. I have no real parenting experience (and as a nanny, I just make sure no one dies) but I think the idea of making it into mini-chores might be a good starting point to illustrate what you mean by "clean your room."

Also, I feel like such a jerk about this morning on Twitter with the whole The Prince and discipline thing. I hope you don't think I was being pointed in my comment about it. I was just asking for parenting advice from anyone who had any to offer that could help my paper.