I’m sure my kid thinks I’m a “mean” mom. My husband can be tough when he needs to be, but he’s definitely the fun parent, and I feel like I just spend 90% of my time staying on my daughter about something.
“Lean over. Don’t get crumbs anywhere. Get in the shower. Are your chores done? Did you finish your homework yet? Why’d you leave your dishes there? Why aren’t your clothes turned the right way in the laundry?” (I think you get my gist.) My husband gets the tickles, laughter, and deep life conversations.
Several months ago, the little one compared me to her stuffed cow by saying, “Mommy is a fat, round cow that doesn’t exercise.”
I was pretty appalled that something like that would roll off her tongue like that. I didn’t really have any words for that. My other half certainly came to my defense that day and made it clear to her that she would never speak about her mother like that again. The only thing I did was hang that little-stuffed cow to a nail on the wall across from her bedroom door, so it’d be the first thing she saw when she started her day and remember how she hurt her mommy’s feelings.
At the time, I was working two jobs and still trying to finish up my degree – all so she could have everything she needed then and for the future. I know a seven-year-old brain cannot always comprehend all of that. But, I would have LOVED to get back to my old gym routine – let alone sleep – during that stretch. Hopefully, she’ll understand one day.
That cow is still hanging on the wall, by the way.
The other night, I tried to have a quiet moment with her. I yelled for her in a tone that would make her think she was in trouble, and she came running out to the living room. I grabbed her down on me and pulled her in for a snuggle. I wanted to take a timeout to let her know that I loved her, that everything I do is for her, and that I only stay on her so hard because I want her to be the best little human she can be.
Well, that lasted about ten seconds before, “Mommy, your legs are really scratchy.” (My skin allergies had been really bad, so I hadn’t shaved in a few days). She paused for a beat… “I mean, in a really good way!” My hubby laughed so hard at that – “How is scratchy ever a good thing?!”
At least she’s gaining some self-awareness. I just hope I’m able to let her know every day that I love her and just want her to keep getting better. I know this is just the beginning, and I don’t even want to think about the teenage years that will come with her strong-willed, sassy self.
For now, I’m okay being the “mean” mom. One day she’ll thank me for it.
Do any of you fellow mommas out there feel like the mean one? Do you have any funny stories to share with us about your kids making it clear they think you are, too? Hang in there! I’m right there with you.