Thursday, February 25, 2010

This is a lecture I have composed in my mind many times when I imagine myself sitting down with my children and attempting to simply reason with them rather than my usual rant. Ironically, it is similar to the lecture I imagine giving to the decision makers of our nation if I were the President (yes, I have actually imagined this). Some of it may sound a bit childish for the United States Senate, and some of it may sound like it would go right over the little heads of a 6 year old, 3 year old and 4 month old, but I think it could strike a chord with both. Call me naive…too:

Ok guys, I need your help here. I know that before I took on this responsibility I was naive to think that I had all the answers; that I knew what it would take to run a tight ship; that good intentions, a heart in the right place and asking politely would lead to progress. But I was not counting on having to rely so very heavily on your cooperation, that I would have to plead it out of you every step of the way, and that explaining myself incessantly and simply asking nicely and respectfully would not accomplish anything. And I certainly had no idea you would be so STUBBORN!

I realize that it’s not always easy to get along and work together. But it’s crucial. There are endless responsibilities in seeing that we are all taken care of. I am only one person and despite my very best intentions, I simply can’t do it alone. And it is my job to lead you, to make clear what is expected of you and to see that you meet these expectations.

I know it may be hard to believe, but it is NOT always about what YOU want, it’s about what is best for all of us. I know that you genuinely believe that YOU always know what that is, but again, you’re wrong. Your life, for instance, does not depend on getting that new toy and it is not, in fact, more important to buy that this week than to buy groceries for our family. And no, you do not absolutely NEED that book RIGHT NOW simply because your sister just picked it up while you were nowhere near it. You didn’t care about it before, don’t pretend you do now just because someone else has it.

I do not care who started it or who did it. What’s done is done. What matters now is how we end it or fix it.

We need to understand that we will all make mistakes, yes, even me, but that we need to learn from them and move on, never to repeat them again.

We need to respect each other, and to respectfully disagree.

We need to look out for each other, even when we are frustrated.

We need to love each other, even when we are angry.

We need to be thankful for what we have, and to be willing to make sacrifices for the greater good even when we think we deserve more.

We need to help each other, even when we…just don’t want to.

We are a family, we are in this together. If we can’t work together, we will never accomplish anything around here.


Thank you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

lost in translation

The other day one of my facebook friends responded to one of my posts. I don’t remember exactly what my post said but it’s usually something that my kids have done that was amusing, or that others may find amusing because it’s happening to me and not them. I usually find the humor eventually. I write it to vent frustration and then I read it for a laugh.

Her response was “awww, your posts always make me want another baby.” I was very surprised to think that my love for this motherhood thing was still somehow apparent through all of my venting/ranting; that my love for my children is not overshadowed by how crazy they make me at times.

Things are often getting lost in translation in my world. It’s inevitable when you’re communicating with children all day. Logic takes on a whole new meaning in their world. It still exists but on an entirely different level and one that is actually tricky to argue with sometimes.

I once told my mom that I had this “mom” thing all figured out (before I actually had kids, of course). My daughter is only six and I’m already stumped. The other night I attempted a very positive and upbeat lecture on how we both had responsibilities and one of my responsibilities is to teach her to be responsible, to be the best person she can be. It was my attempt to convince both of us (more so myself) that I am not a nag! I’m a mommy.

“You have to learn to do things for yourself so that you don’t always need your mommy to do EVERYTHING for you ALL the time. Wouldn’t it be funny if someone who was a grown up still had their mommy cooking for them and getting them dressed in the morning?”

“MOMMY! That means that you want me to die because you’re NEVER going to cook for me again and you want me to STARVE!”

How did we go from asking her to put her dirty clothes in her hamper to me wanting her to die? And how does one respond to this logic?

I find myself being equally as unreasonable sometimes;

“Madeline could you please pick up these books and put them back on the shelf.”



I also vowed (pre-motherhood again, of course), that I would NEVER say “because I said so” to my kids. I always found it half-ass and infuriating when my mother “said so”. I have only said it once and Darren called me on it immediately (I forgot that I vowed it in front of him once). But it is ALWAYS on the tip of my tongue. And to be honest, I now understand its validity. Sometimes, it is a perfectly acceptable response to the 3 millionth “WHYYYYYY MOMMMY” of the day. I’m mean, by the end of the day of a stay at home mom, the mind and body just do not have the explanation and energy left to hold a conversation with anyone under the age of 30, never mind trying to reason with a two year old.

And it’s not like they don’t pull it on me;

“Leo, why do you NEED to put your jammies back on for nap time?”


Yes, they are evil little geniuses whose mission it sometimes appears, is to test my patience, something I had always prided myself on (before I had kids, of course). And I love them dearly and with all my heart, obviously.