Alright. Today we’re getting down and dirty. Today, you are my priests, and I am sitting in your confession booth. (Alright, I’m not Catholic, but you get the picture).
Today is about thoughts, notions and ideas that I often wrestle with. I know that I am a devoted, good mother and wife, but sometimes, just sometimes, I take the shortcut. I feel like crap afterward, but in the moment, it sometimes feels like the only thing to do.
The purpose of my confession, is to get the conversation flowing. Am I alone? I am the only one in this world who feels this way? I’d like to know.
Soooo, here are Erica Diamond’s mom confessions, on the fence issues and dilemmas.
Confession #1: A video game can bring a mother much peace. My hubby and I laid down the law last year. The kids’ screen time was getting out of hand. Every spare moment, they wanted to play Wii or with the Ipad, or whatever. So, we changed the house rules: NO screen time during the week. At all. And we have stuck to it.
Well, what has happened here? I compare the situation to a man who hasn’t had sex with a woman for a year, and then you put a beautiful woman in the room with him. What happens? He devours her! Same thing here. When Saturday morning comes, my kids are like those horny men for their electronics. The minute they wake up, the PSP turns on, the Wii is going, the IPad is downloading new games. We enter screen hell!
So here’s the confession: I sometimes let it go waaay too long. I am their mother and I need to nip it in the bud sooner than I sometimes do. By 10am, (if we haven’t left for hockey), it’s time for me to say, “Close those things, and let’s get outside and play.” And I often do, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the excellent behavior they demonstrate while they’re quietly playing games as I am lying in bed, is just too good to disrupt. So I compromise being a proper parent for an hour’s respite. Am I alone?
Confession #2: The sibling tag-along playdate. This is less of a confession and more of an ‘on the fence’ issue. This is when, for example, I have arranged a playdate for my older son, and not my younger son (who is almost 5, but very mature, and can do anything my 8 year old can do). I sometimes find myself reprimanding my older son, “Include your brother. He wants to play with you guys, and you’re not being nice. You’re ignoring him, it’s rude, and he’s upset.”
So, my question for you: Should my older son HAVE to include his younger brother in the playdate? Am I asking too much of him? Should everyone have to play together so no one gets excluded, or is my 5 year old really cramping their style and should the older kids be entitled to play alone? I NEVER know what the right answer is. Help!
Confession #3: My kids start EVERY MORNING in our bed, and end EVERY NIGHT in our bed. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Since the day the boys were born, it has been our family ritual, to let the boys start and finish their day in our bed. They come in before school starts in the morning. They come in again before the day ends at night. Weekdays AND weekends. Our choice. (Slightly more my choice).
They don’t watch their 30 minutes of TV at night in the den, or in the basement. When homework is done, dinner and showers are finished, where do they go? Yup, right into mommy and daddy’s bed. The four of us snuggle, and talk, and it is a full-out bonding fest. After a long day, we reconnect as a family in our bed. The kids smell delicious and clean. They’re calm. We love it.
Confession: sometimes, I get snappy. And the very thing I have recreated, I rebel against. I blurted out last week, “You guys are in our bed every morning and night, and mommy needs her space today. Can you please just go into the den tonight and watch TV?!” They looked at me like I was nuts. I just totally wanted to be alone, and they were crampin’ my style! But, these are my kids. Is that wrong? Should they even STILL be in our bed? We love these special quiet moments together. But sometimes, **GASP** I need my space. I’m not sure…
Confession #4: I gotta confess, sometimes UNDERSTANDING ain’t my strong point. I often don’t know when to give or take in marriage. If my hubby comes home tired at the end of the day, or in a bad mood, my mother (my best friend and therapist for 25 years) tells me I should be understanding. After all, he the breadwinner of the family, has been out all day hunting for his family, and I should, in her words, “cut him a little slack.”
But sometimes, I can’t help not being a little cranky. Why should I always nurture him? Maybe HE should make a little effort too, right? Maybe he needs to be a little understanding of me, and FAKE IT or something if he’s in a bad mood. I never quite know where my needs come into the equation. I actually hear this from my girlfriends a lot. We want to be supportive of our husbands, but what about our own needs? Shouldn’t they make the effort right back? I never know when I’m justified to be resentful, or when I’m acting selfish (one of the unfortunate character traits of my only child syndrome). I sit on the fence with this.
Most men love to come home to a yummy aroma in the house, a nice home cooked meal, happy and well behaved children, and Miss Happy Wifey. I definitely try… just a little appreciation and thank you once in a while would be nice. C’mon honey, throw me a bone.
Confession #5: Sometimes I wonder why I bother cooking a fresh home-cooked meal altogether. For the same $25 is costs me to buy healthy salmon, veggies and rice for dinner, (how I was raised), I can order 2 cheese pizzas for the family. And guess what? My family prefers the pizza over my chicken, steak, or salmon. When I make my healthy dinners (which is obviously most of the time), the food gets left on the plate, and my 8 year old has even gagged on my salmon. Buuuuut, when I order plain pizza, my kids are smiling. Happy. They clean their plates, and are THRILLED with the dinner.
Confession: I’ve convinced myself pizza is not really junk food, and I order them pizza at least once a week. I just can’t fight, and I rationalize that there’s a carb and protein in the pizza, I throw a few veggies on the plate, and call it a day.
Am I alone? Do I suck?
Alright, I am over 1000 words and I try to top things at 750.
These are my confessions and truths as I know them today.
Can you relate to anything I’ve said? Am I a horrible person? What are YOUR confessions? Feel feel to write them anonymously. As I always say, misery loves company.