Monday, June 27, 2011

Like a Piece of Toilet Paper Stuck to My Shoe

Now I remember what I felt like back then. Back when I took my newborn and my toddler to Target alone for the first time. Both in the cart crying and needing something different. The baby wanting to be fed or changed and the toddler wanting a snack or to use the bathroom. Me hardly holding it together with my spit up stained shirt tucked into my under ware , my hair unbrushed and a piece of toilet paper hanging off my shoe. Goldfish crackers periodically hitting me in the face as I ward off stares of women wondering what I was doing to that baby to make it cry so hard. Tossing random items into the cart but forgetting the diapers and wipes so necessary to survive. Signing the credit card slip without even bothering to look at the total and walking with clenched teeth to the parking lot where it has started to pour big wet drops. Strapping the kids in and dumping the bags in the back. Making it to the drivers seat before the tears start to come. Looking in the mirror and hearing myself gasp. Then instead of more tears a few giggles come from somewhere deep down. I realize I am doing the best I can. I am being all I can be at this very moment. No one can ask for more.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Drawing Lines in the Sandbox

I am one of those parents that believes you can't be friends with your kids while you are raising them. I just don't feel like that is part of the job description. To me when you have kids you automatically vow to teach them to be independent, responsible people with morals. This doesn't happen if you are pals. It only happens if you are the one in charge. The one who sets the rules and punishments. The one who follows through with those rules and punishments.

I never quite get it when moms are so proud when their daughters say "my mom is my very best friend." Love? Yes. Respect? For sure. Trust? I would hope so. But... friendship? No. When you start to be best buddies with your kids there is a shift of sorts. Children begin to take on the burden of knowing the kinds of details friends tell each other about their own parents. In a sense they become the parent. Their focus goes from learning to being a confidante. Letting your children be your equal backfires in a big way. They begin to issue the rules and the punishments. The power is owned by them and the parents lose that all important gentle but persuasive guiding hand they use to help raise a contributing adult.

I love my kids but I take my job very seriously. I hope some day to be friends with them. Probably might happen around the time they have kids of their own. By then my job will be done.