Monday, March 19, 2012

"Mean" mom

I get a kick out of the way articles are headlined.  Today I was reading Babble and came across this

7 Reasons why Mean Moms Rule

My first instinct was " okay.  Why do you rule if you're mean?"  Then I went through the article and just laughed.  Why?  Because the things she wrote down that qualify you as a mean mom, are simply things that I hold to be a duh way of parenting.  In my opinion they aren't even hardcore things, they're things that I think are pretty basic.

1.  Mean moms retain their sense of self

Okay, this one I don't 100% agree with.  Yes I traded some things in for having kids and I wouldn't trade them back.  I think this is more of a what your personality is.  I'm not high maintenance and that's okay, some days I get dolled up, some days I don't.  I don't think that means I've lost my sense of self.

2.  Not afraid of saying no

Seriously?  Saying no makes you mean?  Really?  My mom said no to me a lot.  No you cannot walk down the street and hit every single house asking if they want to hire you as a babysitter.  No you cannot eat strange berries you find the woods.  No you cannot jump the fence in our backyard and wander around.  No you cannot sneak out of the house to play baseball with your friends.  No you cannot talk on the phone for hours on end.  No you cannot dessert because you didn't all your peas. 

And that's just during the grade school years.  :)  I don't think just because they're kids gives them the license to do whatever they want.  I don't buy my kids candy while we're waiting in the checkout line because they're getting antsy or because they're begging me and whining.  We do however get a candy sometimes if they've been really well behaved and ask nicely, please included.  (Or whenever I want one because then it's only fair really)

My kids know when I mean no.  Yes they still sometimes keep asking even after I've said no.  But I just keep saying no 'til they get it. 

3.  Don't follow the parenting pack

I'm not even sure what she means by this.  Shouldn't this be normal as well?  If you aren't into volunteering then don't do it.  Except unless of course it's required by your school to get volunteer hours in, then find something fits your personality (for instance I got my volunteer hours by decorating everything I could).

I think if someone has a good idea then I pick it up and start doing it.  But in general, I don't do something just because somebody else looks cool doing it.  Didn't we learn that in grade school?  "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?"

4.  Mean moms fail their kids

I had to read through this part to 'get' what she was talking about.  Allowing your kids to fail at something helps them learn.  I totally agree.  How will they learn to swing if I don't let them try by themselves?  Obviously they won't get it the first time but with a few tries it's like they've been doing it all their life.  I'm semi-teaching my son to play the piano.  He forgets where his fingers should go sometimes but I let him try and figure it out before intervening.  I don't feel that swooping in all the time is helpful.  Sure if it's super advanced or just to show them once or twice before letting them have a go at it, but I think experience is a great teacher.

5.  Remaining in control at home

This is another one that seems pretty duh to me.  Nobody that I know and no kids that I knew growing up didn't have a bedtime, a certain time they ate dinner, certain time that they did stuff and when their mom came calling....usually they left right away.  Maybe a few minutes later, but we all knew that mom meant business.  So to me, this is just the way it is.  I think this also goes hand in hand with saying no.  Tons of times I've been tempted to let them watch just one more cartoon so I could have 30 minutes of peace, but I know that isn't good for them so I say no to both them and to my id.

6.  Their kids know how to do stuff

Waaaaay back when I remember reading an article about how you should take advantage of your toddler's want to help and let them do things so they grow up loving to help out.  Both my kids love to help.  (Granted sometimes it's just when they're in the mood, but overall they're good helpers)  They help set the table, put away their own clothes, clean up the living room, put away toys in the yard, change the toilet paper, my son even now wants to make his own sandwiches!  I don't think having them know how to do stuff makes me mean.  I think it's pretty cool when little kids know how to be responsible.  I think I would only find this a bad thing if they only learned to be responsible because the parent isn't.  Does that make sense?

7.  Mean moms prepare kids to take on the world

When I read some of the things written in this part of the article I couldn't believe it.  Someone's parent actually called colleges and places of work to defend their grown up child?  Are you kidding?  The only time my mom called a place I worked at is when she thought I was fired for the dumbest reason and really laid into them.  Other than that she's always let me fight my battles.  She gave me advice but never interfered. 

So I guess overall these are just things I don't think make you a mean mom.  I think they make you a reasonable person.  I don't even think they make you a strict mom, you just know that you want your children to behave, be polite and self-sufficient!  I know that even if my kids aren't perfect angels at home, I'm always hearing glowing reviews from their friend's parents about how nice they were and how polite they are.

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