October 7, 2011
Tempted to Take the Easy Way Out
Sometimes I wish I weren’t such an overachiever as a mom.
My daughter told me the other day that when she grows up she was going to be a “good mom” – apparently the six-year-old definition of this is: “I will let my kids do whatever they want, and have candy all the time whenever they want, and get all the toys they want.”
I laughed because it was cute. But part of me was thinking “If only it were that easy.” If only I could just let it go and let loose, let me kids eat candy whenever they wanted and give in to their whining at Wal-Mart. Maybe then they would leave me alone and I could have a bit of a life. Sure, my kids would be running through said Wal-Mart screaming and hitting each other, but I wouldn’t have to worry about it. Because the easy way out means not worrying about what your kids will grow into, later and just focusing on the now; as in “Right now my kid is whining for that toy. If I buy the toy it will stop the whining. So I will buy the toy.”
If only it were so easy. If only I could leave the TV on Treehouse in a continuous loop and not worry about the brain cells that were being sucked out of their brains by too many episodes of Toopy and Binou.
If only I could give in to the candy blitz and let them scarf down sugary snacks whenever they wanted them, even at 5 PM (the highest-level whining time of the day). Then they could eat all the candy they wanted until they puked and then I wouldn’t even worry about that, just mop it up and move on, because we were living in the NOW. If only I could let them pack their own lunches with whatever food they wanted (Twizzlers, Skittles, Gummy Bears and Chocolate pudding – the new four food groups).
If only I could ignore the piles of dishes, the Cheerios crumbs all over the hardwood floor, the piles of unfolded laundry, the legos on the floor, the sand in the entranceway, the craft supplies in the cupboard, the drive to teach them their alphabet before kindergarten.
If only I could ignore the whining, the tantrums, the screaming, hitting, pushing and biting each other. Just let them fight until they end up in the Hospital or otherwise work it out for themselves. If only I could overlook the open mouths full of half-chewed food, the goldfish crackers “swimming” in the glasses of milk, the bright pink toothpaste smeared all over the bathroom counters, the dirty fingernails, the long fingernails, the milk mustaches, the rat’s nest hairdos, the unbrushed teeth, the snot crusted on upper lips, the eye crud in the corner of sleepy eyes the drooping-to-the knees diaper.
Maybe if I could do all these things, I could relax and actually enjoy my kids more than just every once in a while. But if I could, what kind of mom would I be?