Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Mama Club Only Has One Rule: There Are No Rules

Hi, I’m Kaitlin.

At least, I think I’m Kaitlin. I, hold on…

Okay. Hi, I’m Kaitlin.

Did I say that already? Sorry, hold on.



Today I was asked by a fellow mama if I had any advice on the topic of parenting.

I have three terrible and treasured sons all under the age of four.

It seems like I would have a lot to say on the subject, and, I do.

 If you know me well at all, you’ll quickly learn that I have a lot to say about practically every subject.

The more passionate I am about a subject, the more I have to say.

 It is very safe to say that I am extremely passionate about parenting.

 But. I don’t have very much to say about it at all.

I guess all that parenting has done (and perhaps all it is designed to do) is unteach me.

And at the same time, teach me.

Is that making any sense? It’s been more than an hour since my last shot of caffeine.

So, by request, here is what I know about parenting.

In no order, because I’m freaking exhausted.

Lesson #1: I was a much better parent before I had kids.

 Remember that parent you were going to be?

“Can we read another book Mom, maybe something by Chaucer?”

“Happy Meals? What’s that, Mom?”

“My kids would NEVER act like that/say that/eat that/touch that/do that. I simply wouldn’t allow it.”

Yeah, I remember her too. She died somewhere in between “I do” and coming back from Cancun with a plus sign on a stick I peed on.

Now my kids, God bless them, are stuck with me instead. And maybe, that’s a good thing.

If I’ve learned anything from having kids, it’s that I don’t know anything. And that’s okay.

 Lesson #2: “You’re special because you’re you. And there’s no one else like you!”

  Isn’t that a marvelous thing we tell our children?

And, isn’t it even MORE marvelous that we MEAN it??? Like, REALLY MEAN IT.

  So here’s a thought.

What if those children who grew up unique also had children and REMAINED unique?

That’s probable isn’t it?

  Take away: stop bashing other moms because they’re different.

Why is it that we can accept 90 different “learning styles” none better than the other, but we can only accept one “parenting style?”

 Seriously. Knock. It. The. Freak. Off.

 Look, we’re on the same team of raising responsible and caring individuals for the future of our world.

Act like it.

 Lesson #3: Saying “no” is awesome. You should do it often. Like, all the time.

  If you’re only going to do one thing with your child. ONLY ONE THING.

  Tell them “no.” Tell them to “knock it off.” Tell them and tell them and tell them.

Once time my husband got really honest and upset with our three-year-old and said, “Son, I’m only going to tell you SIX MORE TIMES, N.O.!”

  If they scream, tell them “no.” Especially when they scream.

Especially when they get that really good high-pitched-make-you-wanna-punch-the-cat scream.

Giving in may be easier right NOW. But parenting isn’t about RIGHT NOW.

Parenting is about putting up with (and society putting up with) that person you’ve created (so-help-you-Jesus) FOREVER. Like, seriously, forever.

Invest in them and give them a future by saying, NO.

Your kid can be the smartest person in the whole entire world. But, if they’re terrible to be around and entitled, they’ll be just as unemployed (and probably living in your basement) as the next man child who wouldn’t recognize a boundary if it jumped out and bit him!

Lesson #4. Babies don’t keep.

The good news? That screaming two-year-old throwing a fit over the fact that he imagined a red balloon and he wants, in fact, an imaginary BLUE BALLOON (seriously, this is my life) will grow up. Quickly. This isn’t forever.

The bad news? That screaming two-year-old throwing a fit over the fact that he imagined a red balloon and he wants, in fact, an imaginary BLUE BALLOON (LOL) will grow up. Quickly. This isn’t forever.

You have a gift. They are your legacy. They are your history.

They are yours for but a moment.

Don’t miss out. They’ll be fine without you to a certain degree.

But you will miss out on a GIFT that was given to you.

Do you really want to go to heaven and see wrapped up boxes of blessings that you were too busy climbing the corporate ladder/watching YouTube videos/playing video games/drinking with your friends/whatever to open them?

Me neither.

So, in conclusion, my advice for all you mommies out there?

Well, you’re already doing it. And, brava. Together we’re looking pretty great.

Now go find your secret stash of Oreos, and breathe it all in, sister.


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