I watched ‘Bad Moms’ yesterday, and for a couple of minutes, in between the fits of laughter and saying, “Omg. I do that”, I did feel really freaking bad, because:
- I have gotten up late to feed my kids in the morning,
- I have spent the entire day in my pyjamas and liked it,
- I have given them weetbix and tinned fruit for dinner,
- I have taken shop bought cakes, biscuits and muffins to their school gala days (which are similar to bake sales I’m guessing),
- I have yelled at my kids in public, and
- I have allowed my kids to wear second hand clothes and shoes (4 boys. You do the math),
- I have forgotten their names and spent 3 whole minutes going through everyone’s name in the house until I got to the right child, OR have just given up and made a sound that would eventually make them turn around
- I have sat on the loo doing absolutely nothing for ages, JUST to have a sane minute alone and oh, let’s not forget the amount of times
- I’ve stood with my eyes wide, ears pricked up like a Lynx, in the pantry, with a hot cuppa on a shelf – I’m still in the pantry, face grotesquely contorted whilst trying to secretly prise open a packet of TimTams without alerting … “Them”, so I can smash back half the packet and walk out of the pantry relatively guilt free, sit back on my chair in the lounge, and growl my children as they try to smell my mouth, and,
- I have forgotten my lady mouth and used every swear word under the sun when I’ve walked barefoot through the lounge, kitchen, hallway, bedrooms, carpet, lino, driveway, lawn and stood on one of their bllloody toys. Wooo nelly, that one. That one bites at the soul.
But while I sit here and think about how absolutely messed up my boys could be under my parenting … I’m reminded that they’re really frikkin great kids, and I’m glad I get the chance to tell them how much I love them as much as I embarrassingly can [insert cheesy grin emoji]. I’m a lucky mum to have my boys, and no doubt I’ll write more about them later on as well, but man, just like in the movie, but without the expletives, “I frikkin love my kids!”. They are my everything.
I know, I know [insert eye roll face emoji], but it can be difficult raising kids in a social media friendly/not so friendly world. Everything and everyone seems out to get you as a parent at times; and sometimes you fear that similarly, they are also out to get your children. God forbid if I accidentally sneeze and don’t move my hand or the crook of my arm to my mouth fast enough and actually sneeze on my own child. Gasp! Wrath me again for actually not giving my children everything they want. Nah. I’m not that kind of mother.
Some of my friends and relatives throw their hands up in the air and say, “Oh well, what can you do? It’s a modern world. We can’t keep up and I’m too old to go chasing after them or teaching them”. A quick answer could be one of two things, ‘everything’, or, ‘nothing’, but for my husband and I, the right answer for us and our kids is always, “Teach them while they’re young, and keep on teaching them until they start teaching you“.
Yep – raising my kids is the most crazy difficult and awesome thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m also only speaking from my own perspective as a mother of boys. No one else’s.
Raising young boys to be men these days can be tricky business. I have to remind myself that one day they won’t realise they have their own physical strength, and as their mum it’s partially up to me to make sure that they know how to use that strength in the right manner (as they see many examples of how not to use their strength on social media and they hear enough about it from peers and friends acquaintences from different schools).
If their father is the measure by which they mould themselves as men in the future, then I am the measure by which they may see in their future partner/gf or wife. How they view mine and their father’s relationship, and indeed, how our sons view our relationships as parents with them will help shape their views of what a couple’s relationship should be and how they will treat their children. So when I see what they’ve all achieved at school, from seemingly simple things like:
- one son learning to accept help from his teachers and friends when he’s stuck or doesn’t understand something (at primary school he wouldn’t ask for help with his school work but would help others. It was a tough road for him to ask for and accept help)
- giving a whaikōrero (an opening speech in Te Reo Māori at a pōwhiri, a traditional welcome for their school, which includes aspects of his lineage)
- all four can stand and recite their whakapapa (their lineage and tribal connections and no, I’m not swearing)
- all four come home from boarding school during the holidays and sing when they do whatever chores need doing, without being asked twice
- all four help one another to learn something new. From eldest to youngest. Whether it’s playing chess, cleaning windows, practicing catching a fly ball, learning a new riff on the gat or the bass, how to build a boat using only natural material and testing it, whatever. Even when they’re tired and have had enough of one another
- they do well in school, because they know that even the smallest victory is an achievement
- they mow the lawns, hang out the washing, and cook both when they want to and when asked (one still only bakes when I pester him long enough. Work in progress)
- they’re respectful
that’s how I know I haven’t screwed them up, and damn straight I’ve done something right. Both my husband and I ROCK at being our kids’ parents, and apparently … ‘apparently’, we’re cool. No lies. Not mine or hubbies words. “Them”s.
So, as a mum of teenage sons, what am I going to do?
Frikkin – everything wrong most probably. My husband sometimes has to remind me that our boys love their mum but they also sometimes just need dad. To talk with dad or not talk with dad. Just be. That bites at the soul too sometimes. I look forward to watching my boys turn into young men. Men. Husbands. Fathers. Parents. That’s all I want for them really. It’s not everything in the world, but it’s my world, and it’ll do.
Bad Mum/Bad Mom out. Peace.