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Momma Kiss: You're Doin' it WRONG!* Am I?

Momma Kiss

If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You're Doin' it WRONG!* Am I?

Being a parent has proved to be one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.

I grew up in a single parent household. I got good grades. I’ve been working since I was 15. I paid my way through college. I led a healthy single life until I was 28, without getting into too much trouble. That's when I managed to trap someone into marrying me. Deciding to have kids was sort of next, even though I was never EVER a “I need a family to complete me” kinda girl. Having kids - it just sorta made sense. We decided on 2 from the beginning, hoping we’d be able to have kids, that is. Luckily, for reasons unknown, God decided he’d toss some my way and we got just that: 2 beautiful boys.

And I wanted boys.

OH did I want boys. Obviously if we had girls I’d love them to bits anyway, but in my heart, I just felt like I was meant to be a momma to boys.

Babies are sort of easy, you know, when you look at it from the bigger picture. They’re cute. You feed them. You clean them up after countless dirty diapers. You give up your right to sleep so that they can. But all they need is love and caring. You get rewarded with smiles and giggles and firsts…sitting up, crawling, walking, words, sentences, boo-boos, jokes. It’s been a world of firsts for me in the past 5 years. And also lasts…last diapers (thank GOD)…last "12 month old” sizes…last sippy cup. I know more will come, more firsts and lasts, the joy of being a mother is that it’s your title for life.

What do I mean by challenging, then?

I’m constantly struggling with “am I doing it wrong.” I actually have the “fun and joy” motto to parenting, even though it may not seem like it, but you know – play and laugh with your kids. While playing and laughing, teach through example. We try to speak kindly and respectfully. Tell them that ‘hands are not for hitting.’ Hug them whenever possible.

I hope my kids have fun with me, but bet your ass, they also know I’m the Momma. And Momma has rules. When we’re at parties or events, I’ve heard more than once that my kids are very well behaved and I think “Who the hell are you talking about?” They aren’t always the best at home, but if they “do it right” in public, well then, I’m doing something right, too.

We work at it. In the middle of playing with your kids and being fun, we also think that your kid should have manners and we sort of hold them to a high standard. I’ve been around some who don’t listen, have no manners, run wild [not just “being a kid” but wild]…and I truly believe that if your kid’s an asshole at 3, and you don’t work at reigning it in, he’ll be an asshole at 7 and at 14 and then he’ll be the douchbag in every crowd for life. I’m pretty sure my kids aren’t the asshole kids – but if they are, if they’re out of line, etc. – I tell them and they suffer consequences. That’s the other side – when the parent sees it, and does nothing to correct it, well, they’re at fault for raising an asshole.

Back to my parenting questions, I guess. My Big Kiss is 5 now. He’s been in daycare since 4 months old. All year, summers, etc. On Monday, he started a new program there, new kids and new surroundings and it’s kind of our precursor to kindergarten. Both days this week when I picked him up, as he grabs my hand to walk to the car, he’s asked me about the monkey bars. Yesterday, he said “Momma, can we go to the playground so that I can practice on the monkey bars?” My mind races - wondering when I’m going to fit this in before dinner and bedtime and can he wait til the weekend. So I say “sure, are there monkey bars on your new playground?”

“Yes, and I can’t do them and when I fall and run to the other side, Tommy called me a cheater cheater. So can I practice more so I can do them so they won’t call me names?”

I literally choked and turned so he wouldn’t see my face. I was called names as a kid. I was bullied. I never want that for my kids. Ever. But I don’t want him being the name caller, either.

What the hell do I do? I never know if I’m babying him too much. I’m trying to teach empathy and compassion. And he’s got it – a lot of it – but can he have too much? Am I making him too sensitive and a target for the ‘tougher’ kids?

In this instance, I just said “Yes, we’ll practice. We’ll get it. We’ll keep trying. And when those kids call you names, it hurts your feelings right? So you don’t ever want to call kids names, right? Maybe tell them that you’re not cheating. You’re learning.”

Thing is, he’s only 5. I’m sure more things like this happen than I’ll ever know. I’m not a helicopter parent. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish I could hold his hand through every new situation he’ll be in.

I still don’t know if I’m doing it wrong – not sure I ever will. I can only hope I’m doing my best.

*one of my favorite lines from a movie. Mr. Mom - when dad goes the wrong way in the school drop off line. "DAD, you're doin' it wrong!"

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Blogger Moooooog35 said...


You did that..perfectly.

You should be proud of yourself.

I would have instructed him proper headlock technique, but whatever.

6/9/10, 12:03 PM  
Blogger The Sharp's said...

Sounds like you did a pretty great job to me! I am so glad I found you, another full time working mom! I constantly question whether I am doing things right. If I should be working, blah, blah, blah. It fills me with guilt and tears me up inside. So, I do the best freakin job I can. Making sure my kids say please and thank you and have respect for others. But they're not always going to be perfect and I have to remember that that isn't a direct reflection on the job I am doing. If they get it and do their best 75% of the time, call it success. God knows I probably don't get it right that much. You are doing a great job, momma!

6/9/10, 12:38 PM  
Blogger John said...

Jeez, momma - you're kinda-sorta my hero :-)

The rib & I lucked out, too -- we wanted a boy & a girl, and that's just what we got. Now, she's been in a "every girl needs a sister" phase as she approaches the delivery date & she sees her own sister all of the time. Hopefully the "joy" of having two kids closer in age than Irish twins will prevent too many "let's try for another girl" late-night dalliances.

You're right, though - the asshole kid at 3 turns into the douchebag kid for the rest of his life. Douchebaggedry can be learned independently (I don't necessarily blame the parents of any fully-grown douchebag I run across), but if you permit it as a child, it can't be unlearned.

6/9/10, 12:43 PM  
Blogger The mad woman behind the blog said...

Okay, that's it, Momma. You will now officially be called Super Momma. And I would like to sign up for a seminar, please.
That's what this is, right? You're setting up for a career change and you're going to be Super Momma, parenting guru, extraordinaire. Right?

Oh, you're not? Well suck it, then. You'll just have to come show me how its done. I've got Momma Juice.

Seriously, I will have to keep a journal of all your stories as a guidebook on how to not raise an asshole.

6/9/10, 12:52 PM  
Blogger Frugal Vicki said...

I think you did that perfectly!
That made me cry. Bullying is my biggest fear for my kids

6/9/10, 1:34 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I think you did a perfect job. Now pass along the name of that little jerk-face to me and I'll take care of him for ya.

6/9/10, 1:35 PM  
Blogger ☾ Ash ♡ said...

You let me know the next time your kid has trouble and I will send my kid to go with your kid to the playground and my gigantic kid will scare the piss outta that little brat, lol. You're doing a great job.. You're trying, and learning.. it's all a big learning experience.. Parenthood.. too bad there is no manual (even though nobody would read it until they got in trouble anyway, lol)

6/9/10, 1:45 PM  
Blogger Red Shoes said...

Yeah... first and foremost, ALWAYS be the Mom... I've a situation now with my kids where it would almost be easy to be Dad/Friend... but I don't want that... I want to be Dad... that way, I get to bust their chops (figuratively of course) anytime they screw up... :oD



6/9/10, 3:10 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

everyday I try to remind myself to enjoy my kids, as hard as it might be sometimes! I have come to a decision that your can be the best parent for your kids as long as they know you love them! I try to make sure they know that every day. Who knows where that logic will get me but at least its something! I think your a great mom by the way!

6/9/10, 4:05 PM  
Blogger slinkygirl77 said...

Your kids are the ones who every teacher will love to have in their classroom. Because they will be respectful, caring, and independent. I'll save them each a spot when they get to 3rd grade. :)

6/9/10, 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Tired Mom Tésa said...

Ugh, that is tough. Great response by you though. It sounds like you're doing a good job. I hope that the teachers here that Tommy kid and put a stop to that.

6/9/10, 8:11 PM  
Blogger Shell said...

I beat myself up all the time for the things that I don't think will be a big deal. So busy working on something else that I neglect something that ends up being a big deal to my kids.

But, can we do it all? Not without being completely neurotic.

So, we do the best that we can and try again.

6/10/10, 12:20 AM  
Blogger Daffy said...

See what an awesome mom you are! You even taught me something.

I'm totally taking that "tell them you're learning" and sticking it in my back pocket. I'm gonna need it one day that will come waaaaaay to soon. I can only hope and pray I think of such awesome ways to guide my child.

6/10/10, 2:06 AM  
Blogger tulpen said...

I saw a kid hitting my son at the playground last summer, I called him a 'motherfucker' and made him cry.

Don't ask me for parenting advice.

(I should repost that)

6/10/10, 9:49 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I guess if we don't know if we are doing it right, we must be doing it right!! I feel like this all the time, especially with my almost 3 year old.

I love what you said about people saying the kids are well behaved and you kinda look around like "what?!". Somebody just told us Tater was such a good kid, and I actually laughed!

Glad to know I'm not the only one feeling this way :)

6/10/10, 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saying hi from SITS. As a parent of a 15-year-old and 12-year-old (boy, girl in that order), I can tell you that it doesn't get easier but if you are bothering to stop and think about how you handled the situation then you care and that's 99.9% of the key to success.

I like the attitude of you blog. A fun read.

6/10/10, 10:13 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

My eyes are watering. I love that kid. And you for being a rock start mom. I try and tell my kids that I always have their back, no matter what. I think having them know that no matter what happens in school, what names they're called, however frustrated they get by things, knowing that I'm always behind them will make it all ok. And your kids know you have their back 100% too. :)

6/10/10, 10:32 AM  
Anonymous MommyNaniBooboo said...

Yeah, a lot of times I don't know if I'm doing it right either. But we have a shared goal- NOT HAVING KIDS THAT ARE ASSHOLES.
And that makes us pretty awesome mommas.

6/10/10, 1:51 PM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

We ALL feel like we're doing it wrong, I'm convinced. All of us. You're doing a great job, ladyfriend. I promise.

6/10/10, 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Kiki said...

I loved reading this. So touching. You are doing awesome. Love you

6/11/10, 1:24 AM  
Blogger Val said...

You are a great Momma. Your kids are lucky to have you.

I'm terrified of having that douchebag kid. Terrified...

this parenting shit is hard.

6/13/10, 3:02 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Just found your blog through my friend Slinkygirl. GREAT post!!! I was at the play ground this weekend and there was a fountain all the kids were playing with. One 7 year old kept coming over and putting a bucket to cover the fountain (ruining the fun for the other kids). I told him "That's not fun" - her responded "Yeah it is" - already an a-hole at age 7. :(

6/14/10, 3:10 PM  
Blogger SwishDesigns said...

I also just found your blog (TY Alison!) and this hit so close to home for me...although my "Big Kiss" is just about 3.5. And he's a softy...and he's well mannered...and he can be a little timid. I so worry about his school days. Your response to your son was absolutely perfect.

I'm definitely going to follow your blog.

Another Mom who was destined to be a mom of boys...until I had a girl.

6/14/10, 5:52 PM  

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