May 3, 2012

what not to say

I hate mommy wars.  I've seen enough of the trenches to know that it's impossible to transfer one's own standards to anyone else.  It's wrong to judge other mothers even if you have walked in their shoes.  I've never felt that I could give advice except to point out where I've failed and let that speak for itself.

BUT here's my one exception--the one time I  get preachy:

Never tell your children that you can't wait until they are eighteen, grown and gone.  Don't tell them exactly how long that will be--twenty two months, because yes, you are counting.  Don't tell them that you can't wait until you have your life, your home and your time all to yourself.  Don't tell them that you expect them NOT to wait to move until their July birthday because really, when you think about it,  they are virtually adults upon graduating high school in June. 

Even if you feel this way, don't say it out loud; don't let your actions communicate the thought.  Children never forget this harsh message.  The off-the-cuff rejection that you find liberating will cause your offspring to carry scars much longer than the 1.8 decades you had to "put up" with them. 

There aren't many things I know for sure.  You could argue that I haven't yet parented teens so I should never say never.  I know that I've made mistakes and I will continue to--but I'm certain that I'll never make this one.


  1. Any parent that takes this stance should have perhaps given their child up for adoption. Parents who think they've done a good thing for raising children they didn't want don't have the right end of the stick for sure.

    There have been many difficult times with our teenager as you know, but even when he was asked to temporarily live with his mom (at 18) when we were fighting A LOT, words of such a nature were never uttered, by me or his dad - his mum is another issue all TOGETHER...

    As I keep saying, you are a brilliant mom and your boys will never feel as if they weren't loved and wanted. xo

  2. Well said & so true.

    There is a mom at work who had a daughter 6 months before me & whenever I ask how she's doing, my co-worker inevitable complains about daughter, makes fun of her or puts her down. I don't get this!! I think she's just being funny but at the expense of her kid?

    I agree with Jody, you're a brilliant mom. Not because you're perfect but because you're NOT perfect & you admit it.

  3. I agree, we may think of it, but should never verbalize it. On the other hand, we may say things that we think are meaningless, but mark our children without us even realizing it.

  4. There is a mom I am acquainted with, certainly not a friend, who routinely refers to her 3.5 year old as an "F*&!ing B" The child is 3.5 years. When I heard her say it the first time, I couldn't even speak. Then she said it again and again, in causal conversation, not even in a moment of angst or anger. I have little doubt that she says this to the child, given that she could care less that I (and several other moms) expressed our sheer horror that she would ever, ever call her daughter, a toddler no less, such a name. I can't even be in the same room as this woman. Makes you wonder why people have children.

  5. I know as a choice mom, wanting this baby so much to do it on my own, I appreciate everything about being with my daughter. It is unfortunate that others don't see the value in their children and the influence they have on their growth and development in successful independent adults. As a teacher I see all ends of the spectrum when it comes to parenting and the effects that parenting has on developing confident children.