Monday, February 05, 2007

10 reasons I'm a Bad Mom

A friend posted this meme on her blog, so being the typical, guilt-ridden mom, I thought I'd share some of my darkest doubts about my own mothering abilities. Here goes:

1) I tell my kids that I don't have to be "fair" and I use the Bible to back me up. Every time my kids object to my apparent lack of fairness, I ask them to research the Bible and show me where God commanded parents to be "fair" to their children . I admit it. I am not "fair" and I don't have to be. Each child has different needs at different times and I do what is necessary to train them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord at that moment. Fairness isn't possible and trying to be "fair" would just make me insane and leave them in the custody of Child Protective Services.

2) I lack the gift of hospitality and it extends to the friends of my children. I just don't enjoy entertaining and I really don't enjoy entertaining children. I'm lousy at scheduling play dates for my kids and dread birthday parties.

3) I believe in whole foods but I don't practice whole foods. I came late to my belief in health food and vitamins and my family was already used to junk food, convenience foods and fast foods. Although I've made brief attempts to convert my family to a healthier diet, I just gave up because I don't have the emotional strength to fight the battle. I am in the process of introducing gradual changes, like switching to hormone-free, organic milk and whole grain breads but I can't just force a wholesale change because I'm a wimp.

4) I'm easily distracted and get off task during school. If the phone rings or an e-mail comes in, I can lose track of what the kids are supposed to be doing and they'll take advantage of my lapse and wander off. I spend a lot of time herding them back to their respective spots because I lack focus. Believe me, there is little I can do to change this because it is part of my natural personality. It drives me crazy and my husband absolutely bananas but the kids seem to like this quirk of mine. If I ever figure out how to control it, they'll be totally bummed.

5) I don't check for hats and mittens or socks before we leave the house. I tell the kids what to put on, often multiple times. They get impatient with me telling them three or four times to put a hat and mittens on. But I'll find out when we're on the way that someone has left without some article of clothing. DD#3 has even left without shoes before and we've found out only after arriving at our destination. Why I can remember to tell them but not actually check them baffles me.

6) I don't dress my kids, meaning I don't put together pretty, coordinating outfits for them. I buy their clothes and will buy coordinating outfits but once the clothes enter the house, I pretty much let the kids mix and match them however they like. The only exception is on Sunday and holidays. I get to pick out what they wear for special occasions. This means that my kids can be seen in some pretty wild combinations. I am an artist and always preferred to put my own outfits together as a child and I give my children the same privilege. But they often look strange to outsiders who may not appreciate their artistic viewpoint.

7) I let my kids run around barefoot - all the time. I believe that shoes abnormally restrict and constrain the foot and that natural foot development depends on being barefoot. But it drives people crazy to see my kids barefoot in the winter, especially grandparents. Now, my kids own socks and slippers, so if their feet are cold, they can put something on. But they usually choose to go barefoot because they prefer it.

8) My kids don't drink milk. We barely use one gallon of milk a week. Again, it was a lack of gumption on my part but my son hated milk from birth and wouldn't touch it. I didn't push it and found alternative ways to give him dairy products. My daughters will drink a little milk but I am just not in the habit of serving it.

9) I don't read aloud to my kids nearly as much as I'd like or I should. It is blasphemy in homeschooling circles to admit it but I spend a fortune on books on CD instead. Reading aloud makes me yawn - a lot! Not because I'm bored, though. It must be an oxygen/CO2 issue but it's annoying.

10) My kids watch too much t.v. I have tried to reform them and we've gone entire summers without television but it always creeps back into our lives. It doesn't help that my DH is addicted to news programs and I have an penchant for old movies and musicals and HGTV and craft shows. It just seems so hypocritical to say we can watch but the kids can't.

Whew! Do you all despise me now?


Guinifer said...

Your post made me laugh - it's hard not to make judgements on people, but I really have to rein myself in - seriously - I do NOT want anybody judging my parenting style!!! My number one rule for myself is to always judge the importance of my decision on a sliding scale - so if your kids don't want to wear shoes, really, who is it going to hurt? There will be other battles so much more important to win.

My other rule, is when I make a rule, I follow through with consequences. (I'm probably about 80% successful with that one, but I think it's the right approach.)

Also? Puck rode 180 miles to our cabin on New Year's in a pair of sock monkey slippers.

Mamadala said...

Yes!! You make me feel better!! I also have left the house with kids with no shoes on. They get natural consequences for that one. X-tron went to his baseball clinic and a friend's house yesterday, when the high temp was below zero, in only a hoodie. But I blame my husband for that one.

And I also don't read aloud as much as I used to or should. Shhhh...

Sheepish Annie said...

I'd say if that' all you have going on in the Bad Mom department, you have nothing to worry about!

I always tell the kids in my class that "equal isn't always fair and fair isn't always equal." Even if they don't agree it quiets them down while they try to figure out what the heck I'm talking about!

Shirley Goodwin said...

Nah! You sound like a pretty normal mother to me! Lose the guilt - you love your kids and you're doing your best for them.