We had a rough morning. My nine year old is one of those kids that does everything at the same speed, no matter how many times I asked her to pick up the pace. This particular morning, she decided to eat breakfast. Now usually, eating early in the morning makes her sick, but for whatever reason, today she needed breakfast.
An agonizingly slow, leisurely breakfast that included much daydreaming.
Oh- she decided this five minutes before we were to walk out the door. Kids, man.
I explained to her that she should have asked for something 20 minutes ago instead of playing on her ipod, and that she literally had five minutes to grab and eat something. Who sends their kid to school without breakfast if they ask for it, right?
Twenty minutes and a very exasperated Mom later, we’re finally walking out the door. I ask her if she grabbed a drink for her lunchbox and she says no.
“Why? I told you to grab one!”
“I didn’t feel like opening the juice box package”
“You can’t go to school without a drink in your lunchbox just because you didn’t feel like doing something I asked you to do!”
Another argument ensues. Who sends their kid to school with nothing to drink? Almost me, apparently.
These little arguments always turn into something more. I ask her why she didn’t follow a rule, she argues with me about the rule in question (Most of the time it’s ‘put your markers and crayons away so your brother doesn’t create the next Mona Lisa on the walls’- if you were wondering), I express my distain for excuses, she back talks, she gets grounded.
Doesn’t sound that much different that your usual tween, but my daughter lives with her Dad on the weekends.
Dad doesn’t exactly enforce the rules the way that I would. I have a zero tolerance policy for what, in my opinion, is disrespect. Dad is a bit more lenient.
You see where I’m going with this, right? I literally look like Satan in comparison. It sucks.
I don’t ask for much. Clean up after yourself. Help me when I ask. Follow the rules I set. She doesn’t have chores. She goes to a private school and takes horseback riding lessons. She has nice clothes and every toy she’s ever asked for.
IT SUCKS that she looks at my like I’m insane. Like really. I break my back for this kid.
By the time we pulled out of the neighborhood, she had already proclaimed that she would rather be in school all day because at least school is fun.
Unlike our home.
This is not the first time this has been announced. We go through this at least once a month
I told her that what she said was very unkind and we rode the rest of the way to school in silence.
I know you’re probably thinking that she is a spoiled brat, but she really isn’t. She isn’t demanding or rude. She uses manners and is kind to everyone. She is the best sister to her two-year-old brother and generally follows the rules and is respectful- except for, you know, when she isn’t.
But it still hurts me to hear her say that she’d rather be at school or, the unspoken part, her Dad’s house where it’s fun all the time.
even though her words send me home in tears- I still am perfectly okay with her not liking me.
It’s not my job to make her like me.
It’s my job to teach her respect. Life skills. Responsibility. Work Ethic. Common decency. Morals. I take my job as a parent very seriously. I’m not gonna be over here raising a flock of assholes know what I mean? She won’t be the co-worker someone else always has to cover for or the sloppy roommate. She needs to understand that you can’t argue with your boss or teachers in most situations and you certainly cannot be lazy or makeup excuses all the time.
I want to set my daughter up for success.
So, do I want her to like me and think I’m fun? Of course I do. I work very hard to give her a happy, fun, memorable childhood. But NONE of that comes before doing my best to make sure she becomes a good person.
I ONLY HAVE 18 YEARS TO GET IT RIGHT.
I’m not going to waste it.
So this mantra is what gets me through days like this.
How many of you parents can relate? Tell me in the comments below!