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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Resisting The Urge

Stay at home Moms know that pressure means something different from one day to the next.  Appreciation for the ability to stay home is totally and completely necessary.  Some of us keep saying it like a mantra.  That being said, being a good mom sometimes means repressing the urge to punch your kid in the teeth.

Some of us who stay home are built for the job.  This is the lovely woman who reminds us of June Cleaver.  She has a plan for each day.  Her smile radiates through her pleasantly applied make up.  The children she lives with are dressed nicely and are guaranteed a lovingly prepared meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Her house is spotless and the children have helped her with whatever she needs throughout her day.

As a joke I once dressed up like June and surprised my husband at the door with the kids dressed up too.  Some of us have to work hard at handling this job and we maybe weren't the first choice for mother of the year.  The return on investment for stay at home moms is in no way immediate.  All of the repetition and constant reminding and correcting will hopefully, one day, pay off in respectful, polite, and well adjusted people.  Until the "one day" we keep plugging away, investing our time and energy, trying to get it right.

There are days at home that are pure joy.  We can happily putter about the house smiling and subtly teaching life lessons.  These are the days when the kids are listening.  These are the days when the referee stripes and whistle are hanging quietly in the closet.  These are the days when hugs are savored and peace reigns supreme.

Then there are those other days.  Excruciatingly constant whining is heard more than laughter.  Sibling rivalry sounds more like gang warfare.  Using the toilet alone sounds like a luxurious vacation.  Patience is lost and Mom has to repress the urge to want to punch a kid in the face.

There are a few moms in my new 'hood that need some lessons in restraint.  I've not actually witnessed a kid being struck by a rage filled, flying fist.  What I have seen is the soul crushing yelling and belittling of more than one young kid.  It immediately makes me want to squeeze my children knowing how lucky they are that I resist the urge to rage.  I have to refocus the restraint for I want to punch the other Mom in the face instead.

Parenting is not easy, at least not for all of us.  It takes constant readjustment.  There are no perfect children and I'd actually be scared if you introduced one to me.  Noticing parenting fails makes me think of the movie Parenthood.  Keanu Reeves character says, "You need a license to drive a car.  You need a license to catch a fish!  But they'll let any butt reaming asshole be a father."

There are no perfect parents either.  We all fail from time to time.  What we all need to remember is that children are people too.  They deserve the respect that you would give another adult.  Screaming at your children is ineffective.  If one of these parents spoke to me the way that they spoke to their kid at the check out line, there would be swinging fists or at the very least vicious blowback from my eloquent, sailor mouth.  Be careful out there Moms and Dads, you never know who's watching....

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