Motherhood– the subject that launched 6,789 blogs. And that’s just this year. I love motherhood– my motherhood– and it’s done a great deal for me and to me. But this isn’t a post about my breasts or my ability to be selfless.
It’s about my hypocrisy that stares me in the face every time I interact with my children.
Can you relate to this?
- Sharing: It’s the top edict in my house. “Those are for everyone– please share the jumbo-sized Goldfish tub with your brother.” “We are a Costco household– if we can’t share, then who can?” If I charted it, I guarantee you that 8 of 10 comments I make to my children from the hours of 4 – 8 PM concern sharing. And guess what? I SUCK at sharing. I am the worst person to share with, mostly because I just don’t do it. I hide the best pieces of fruit so I can eat them later. I eat my dessert really fast before my husband asks for a bite. I hide, I hoard, and I scheme…I’ll do anything, just don’t make me share.
- Be Gentle: I’ve been pleading with my kids to be gentle with themselves, me and each other since they gained motor control. “Oh, be gentle waving around that metal train Gramps bought you, because it will hurt when you inevitably sock me in the face with hit.” There’s lots of talk (from me to them) about being gentle. Meanwhile, do you think my mental chatter is gentle? Do you think that pressuring myself to run everyday, keep up a good skin-care regime, cook healthy meals, and write awesome blogs and books sounds gentle? Maybe, but only if you compare it North Korean dictators.
- Sleep Will Make You Feel Better: Being a parent means having endless negotiations about sleep. When Sadie is over-tired, I like to remind her that she will feel “so much better” after she gets some sleep. Hmmmm. That’s pretty interesting COMING FROM ME, who can’t seem to put herself to bed early EVER, and though I professe to love sleep, I refuse to nap because I’m busy blogging or writing or figuring out how to make a pie-chart to depict the percentage of my comments that concern sharing. Here’s what I might consider saying to myself (in a Dr. Phil voice), “Sleep– it’s not just for your asshole 3-year old.”
- Let’s Do One Thing At A Time: When my kids catch on to how hypocritical I am, they may start here. I love to tell them that I am happy to play with the Legos (FN1) (and by happy, I mean I have had enough Zoloft to tolerate it for about 7.6 minutes), but only after we clean up the Lincoln Logs, because– say it with me now– “We only do one thing at a time.” Lately, I have been adding “it’s the best way to maintain serenity.” Putting aside the fact that I have negligible serenity most of the time, I am also typically doing about 4 things at once: working on laundry and/or dishes, while cooking/heating up dinner, and reading a book to the kids and Tweeting about how awful my Trader Joe’s burrito looks because I over-nuked it by about 10 minutes. Where did my kids learn to try to do so much at once?
- It’s OK To Slow Down? What’s Your Rush, Kids? While I spend half my time trying to get my kids to stop licking every rock on the path so we can get where we are going, I spend the other half trying to slow them down. “Sadie, it’s not a race– take your time trying to measure the flour for the pie you are making your Mama.” “Simon, slow down on the stairs. Mama won’t leave without you!” (especially since I don’t want to go to the park in the first place). But, I am almost always revved. I am the Waldorf School’s worst nightmare– I am rushing to run five errands during nap time, when I honestly only have time to do one. I always feel as if I am trying to catch a trans-continental flight, and I never stop to tell myself to slow down. Gulping food in the car on the way to preschool pick up, speed walking through the grocery store before bedtime….Rush, rush, rush.
No wonder my kids don’t listen to a thing I say. I don’t either!
But, I think they are on to me. Help me! How can I keep up the ruse so they will do what I say and not what I do?
FN1: Doesn’t it seem like the word “Lego” should have two “g’s”? Is it just me?