Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Myth of Mommy Dearest

There's an assumption going around on the part of our children. I know they make this assumption because I too was once a child and I too once made this assumption. They assume that we parents enjoy the role of dictator, disciplinarian or unpaid nag. I remember as a child thinking, with great disdain, that I couldn't wait to be a parent so that I could one day dole out punishment and sit back and enjoy the disgusted looks and tears of outrage that my children would exhibit.

Sigh along with me, mothers of the world, as we dispel the myth of the maternal protagonist. Our children have no idea how much energy it takes to yell at them for the 48th time in a week to THROW YOUR CLOTHES DOWN THE LAUNDRY CHUTE. They have no clue that nothing ruins our day faster than a breakfast time conflict with one of our offspring. They don't watch us drive around between errands questioning whether we were too harsh, too quick to judge or too bitchy. They don't know the sleepless nights we've spent after being disappointed in a child that left a 10-page term paper till the night before it was due. Even when we're right, it sucks when we have to come down on the side of the law. I don't know about the rest of you, but I never get used to it.

I've always prided myself on being a little more fun, a little more hip than your average mom. Well, there's nothing to kill a good mojo faster than banishing someone from computer after repeated IMing violations. Fun? I don't think so.

It's almost as if that crappy cliche thrown at us by our parents is true: "This is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you." 30 years ago, this was generally uttered prior to a swift swat on the butt and seemed ludicrous and insulting. Now, I think about it and there's a ring of truth in it. If I punish my kids, they go to school and get loads of sympathy from their friends and further validation that parents are mean and out to ruin their life. I, on the other hand, generally keep it to myself, sometimes sharing it with my husband just to get a little support. It's a lonely job and honey, it ain't fun.

I hold out hope that we'll all look back on these events as just blips on our memories, sometimes even something to chuckle about. In the meantime, here's a big, fat digital hug to the moms out there who scold, yell, nag, bitch, guide, insist, in other words LOVE their children.


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