The Top 5 Ways Motherhood Proves I’m A Hypocrite (But I’m Too Tired To Care)

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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?
  5. 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?

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37 thoughts on “The Top 5 Ways Motherhood Proves I’m A Hypocrite (But I’m Too Tired To Care)

  1. You may be getting that instinct about “Lego” from the ol’ Leggo my Eggo ads. Anyway, your kids will learn to rush and multitask from the world if not from you, so don’t worry about it. I try to do-as-I-say with major things like buckling my seatbelt, drinking water and letting the kids hear me say I’m sorry, but I also multitask like crazy while telling them to slow down and do one thing well before moving on to the next. But next time I feel the wave of hypocrisy I’ll just tell myself, “Outlaw Mama does it, too, so there.” Happy December, by the way.

  2. Technically, Lego is not Lego, it’s LEGO – all caps, never plural. If you want to make it plural, you say LEGO bricks. How do I know this? Because I wrote a whole essay on my love/hate relationship with LEGO for one of the Momoir Project classes and one of the women was married to a man who was a HUGE fan of LEGO and she advised me of my errors in case I wanted to publish it somewhere.

  3. That’s a parent’s job, to tell kids what to do without following the rules themselves! If they question you, you only need to use the “I’m a grown-up” clause.

    But seriously, you should get more sleep! (and there’s my do as I say, not as I do statement for the day 😉

  4. My kids need to mind their own damn business and pick up their socks already (as mine lie about my bedroom floor and I fall over them pissed in the middle of the night because I slid on the sock before I fell. The sock that I stepped over before I got in the bed. The sock that probably matches the one I yelled at them to pick up in their room.)

    Two “g’s” would make it the ghetto let’s go, so, um, no.

  5. Haha I love this because I always think about how I am going to be such a hypocrite when I have kids. But then, my parents were too, I think all parents are. When I was growing up we were NEVER allowed to eat junk food, but I would come down to the kitchen in the morning to find ice cream bowls in the sink from my parent’s midnight snack. It’s sort of a “do as I say, not as I do” situation.

  6. Hey, I always warn my daughters of the perils of drunkenness and debauchery and then the weekend hits and . . . you get the idea. :/ You don’t need details. I’m just trying to let you know we’re all a bunch of hypocrites out here. Hugs!

  7. So funny, as always! Even if you modeled all of those things, your kids would probably not listen. This is the age of multi-tasking. No one does it better than my teen, and even though I’m always doing more than one thing at a time, he was well ahead of me on the technology part!

    I love it that you hide the best stuff for yourself, ha!

  8. Sharing is BS. It’s just the PC party line that we all have to blabber while stashing the whole foods honey crisp apples was behind the fujis from Costco. You model all the important stuff for your kids. And when you don’t? Oh well, you’re human & that’s an important lesson too. I make them share stuff too but then I just caved and bought Lizzie A brand new dress coat in the exact same size as the hand me down we already own simply because sometimes the little sister needs her very own coat.
    Funny post! Loved it. I feel happy to be in such good company.

  9. Oh boy, you really got me on #1 and #2. I am terrible at sharing and I am very particular about the stupidest things – like which yogurt I want or how many cookies I plan to eat. Your description about not being gentle made me spit my tea all over the screen. Loved it. So guilty there.

  10. Guilty as charged. Hypocrite it is. And for today, I’m okay with it. I also hide the fruit I want and get annoyed when the girls announce something is “mine.” And then I model my version of sharing – what’s yours is mine; what’s mine is mine. The end. And don’t get me started on the rushing! At least you’re not alone. Brilliant as always!

  11. I sometimes eat desert before supper. I have great fun telling my mom I enjoy the freedom of doing that after not being allowed as a child. And yes, sometimes I even eat cake for breakfast (gluten, lactose, and soy free, but still….)! I’m not sure how that’s going to work with my daughter. Secret snacking and hidden stashes may be needed.

  12. I love how you just own your Type-A-ness. The whole hypocrisy thing is so tricky in parenting. I keep telling myself to put some serious thought into an overarching strategy about it now because in a few years I’ll have to deal with questions about sex and drugs and Lord knows what else. Sigh. I’ll put off doing that while I go talk to my kid about procrastination…

  13. 1. Me, too.
    2. Yup, that’s me.
    3. Ditto.
    4. Yes.
    5. Nope. My kids are always asking if we’re late because I calmly explain that they have to do everything when I say and as quickly as I say. I think they may worry that “late” means in trouble. Late just means I’m anxious.

  14. True. True and true some more. I am the worst offender of everything you said… the worst sharer, the worst sleeper, the worst at focusing… so not gentle… hahaha. I guess what we really should be saying is, do all those things because it makes our lives easier.. because it’s all about us!!! Now, I don’t want to hear any screaming and share with your brother, since you haven’t learned how to be all sneaky and hide your shit yet. Now go to sleep. 😉

  15. I’m guilty of most of this too. I never sleep enough, I’m always doing 12 things at once. Except I’m always telling Nathan to hurry up, walk faster, let’s go, I have things to do!! I’m trying to raise a child who can be as manic as I can. It’s not working yet. He just goes slower. Loved this post. And I laughed out loud at the part about not wanting to go to the park anyway. Because seriously, I hate the park.

  16. You can’t keep up the ruse because they are smart and they figure it out…oh, about 2nd or 3rd grade, maybe even 1st. We raise them the best we can but they will do what we do, at least mine did/do. Actually, one doesn’t swear as much as I do (19 and 22 years old). I’m all over your 3, 4, and 5. Especially 5 because dawdling drives me completely nuts.

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