“Adult Children Sued Mom over Birthday Cards and College Care Packages.”
My husband has a knack of finding crazy articles, but the one he read to me on Saturday morning really took the cake. Apparently, two kids from a wealthy neighborhood outside of Chicago decided to sue their mom for ‘bad mothering damages.’ Steven and Kathryn Miner stated in the lawsuit that their mom refused to take Kathryn to a car show, that she sent her son, Steven, a birthday card without money in it, and that she called Kathryn at a homecoming party, at midnight, to tell her to come home.
Obviously, these kids are spoiled rotten and completely obnoxious, that goes without saying. And maybe their mom didn’t deserve the “mother of the year’ award, but seriously, which mother does???
“I would never say that/do that/scream that to/at my children.”
Before I became a mom, I remember those words escaping my mouth every once in a while. “My son will never throw a temper tantrum in the grocery store.” “I will never raise my voice at my son…instead I will ask calmly why he is upset and try to come to a compromise.” The list goes on and on.
Then, my son was born and humbling experience after humbling experience made me realize that those moms I was scoffing at were just surviving the daily, agonizing minutia of raising children. Moreover, my judgmental eye was not warranted or deserved. Now, I definitely don’t advocate humiliating your children in public or screaming curse words at them (those can be mumbled under your breath or your inner dialogue.) However, I have definitely done my share of things that I never thought I would. Sometimes I feel guilty and apologize to my little guys. Other times, I just realize that I am not perfect and accept my imperfections. I’m human, dammit!
For new moms, this can be really challenging as most of us have this image in our mind of how we will parent and how our life will be with kids. What I am offering is a little perspective. It is OK if you are not a ‘perfect’ mom and your child is not the ‘perfect’ child. What’s important is that we don’t judge ourselves, or one another, too harshly.
So, in solidarity with the other imperfect moms out there, here are a few of my doozies:
- I let my 15 month old son watch hours of the Wiggles just so that I could breastfed my newborn son in peace and quiet. We even took him to a Wiggles concert when he was 18 months old. I surprised my husband didn’t sue me for damages on that one.
- I have threatened to drive my son to the police station so that they could write him a ticket for not putting on his seatbelt.
- I have dragged my boys, football-style (under the arm), multiple times, out of stores, playgrounds, and restaurants, just to minimize my embarrassment.
- I have been THAT mom on the airplane, more times than I care to remember, whose child was practically hanging himself by the seatbelt, screaming bloody murder. What caused this meltdown, you may ask? The flight attendant made me turn off his DVD player for the landing, of course. Seriously, like MY DVD player is going to bring the plane down!
- After both of my boys bit each other (one in the face and one on the back) at Costco, I checked for blood, found none, and continued to shop. Do you know how hard it is to get to Costco with two kids? I had to finish my shopping!
So, clearly my kids have survived me being their mother. They are fairly happy children, with a huge capacity to love and negotiate. And hopefully will NEVER go to such obnoxious extremes as Steven and Kathryn Miner. And to those little brats, just wait until you are parent. Karma, baby! Karma!
Ok, now it's your turn to spill the beans.... please share a few reasons why you won't win the Mother of the Year Award any time soon.