No, I’m not trying to toughen my kids up because it’s a cruel, cruel world and I want them to be prepared for it. I don’t think the world is all that bad, to be honest. Why would I want to send my kids into it as cynical pessimists?
When my family is out in public, strangers who overhear exchanges or conversations between us give us an array of different looks.
On a recent trip to the grocery store, the kids were pulling their typical a-hole act. I don’t know what it is about the grocery store, but it’s like it flips a switch inside all kids that makes them act a complete fool. They all go completely fucking nuts. NUTS. And in turn, we parents usually go nuts. Usually only on the inside, but sometimes it overflows and you crouch down and hiss at them that if they don’t cut it out, you’re going to melt their legos into one big multicolored lump and throw it off the nearest cliff. Doesn’t matter if there’s no cliff within 1,000 miles. You WILL find it, and you WILL throw it.
ANYWAY- so Parker was basically on the verge of losing his shit. I’m pretty sure me and Thomas were feeling the exact same. Whenever we do something Parker deems un-fun (which changes hourly), he whines about wanting to do something fun the. entire. time.
Parker: *in his most obnoxious drawn-out whine voice* I wanna do something fuuuuuuun!
Thomas: You wanna know what sounds fun to me?
Thomas: The sound of you NOT whining
Store Worker: *laughs loudly* Dad: 1, Kid: 0!
Not all the reactions from strangers are quite as humored. We get stares, some with shocked expressions. We get THE LOOK, you know the one- “those babies are precious and you are so mean to them! You’re breaking their spirit!” kind of looks. Oh yes, we LOVE those. No one ENJOYS getting looks like that, but they don’t really bother me. Why? Because I truly believe in my heart and my gut that I am doing the right thing by my children by giving them a hard time. The heart might at times be an idiot, but the gut knows what it’s talking about. Or grumbling about… whatever! Either way!
Yes, I’m a hard ass. I call my kids on their shit when they’re being shitty and it doesn’t matter WHERE we are or who is around; they don’t get a pass just because we’re in public. I poke fun at them. I follow through with consequences. I’m not afraid to be mean when I have to be.
I call them on their bullshit because it’s my responsibility to teach them right from wrong. If I don’t do it, they will go off into the world feeling like they can do whatever the hell they want with no consequence.
I poke fun at them because I think it’s equally as important not to take shit so damn seriously all the time. No one can laugh AT you if you’re already laughing.
I follow through with consequences because if I don’t, how will they ever learn boundaries? Why would they ever respect laws? Or people?
I’m not afraid to be mean because, well.. kids suck sometimes. Sometimes being mean is the only thing you can be. Sometimes being “Mean Mommy” is the only thing that gets through their thick-ass skulls.
You know what? I truly believe that they are better people for it. They don’t always like my hard-assed-ness; I don’t even always like it, but they’ll thank me when they crap their pants in public and they’re laughing harder about it than anyone else instead of running off in shame leaving a trail of turds behind them.
Best compliment you can give me is to tell me you hope your future kids turn out like mine. I mean, you're lying, but it's a nice compliment
Where you should be spending your Saturday night twitch.tv/holdinholden
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