Worst. Mom. Ever. x3

July 6, 2011

in Parenting

To balance out this post.

I.

Reed says to me: “Mom, you never play with me. All you ever do is sit at your computer.”

He’s kinda right.

I feel horrible.

II.

Though she’s not much for picking up, Tessa likes to surprise me by cleaning. I know! How lucky am I?

But here’s what I tend to do. She’s put the dishes in the dishwasher, washed the pots by hand and set them on the stove, wiped off the counters and cleaned the sink. I say thank you and praise her.

But I cannot stop myself there. What I do next shames me.

I rearrange the dishes so that more will fit in the dishwasher. I pick at any missed spots on the cleaned pots. I sweep the floor where she’s wiped off all the counter debris. I do manage to leave the sink alone.

I know. Horrible. I know better and I do it anyway.

III.

I am holding firm on my  no-cell-phone and no-dog stances.

This item was contributed by Tessa.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Kymberli July 6, 2011 at 7:11 am

I had a huge “bad mom” moment recently. I’ve been saving that post in my back pocket for after I get more settled in my new space. I think that to be a good parent, there is a requirement that something always causes you to feel some degree of guilt. Trying to do better helps us keep our priorities straight and our kids first, right? xo

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HereWeGoAJen July 6, 2011 at 8:08 am

I am standing firm with you on item three. Except that we already have dogs. But that wasn’t MY idea.

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Calliope July 6, 2011 at 8:12 am

Oh I think it can’t be turned off – that “following up” clearn-up. Millie used to do it after I cleaned. She actually would try so hard to NOT and always failed. I remember I once washed dishes after a holiday meal and I didn’t properly rinse out/ wring out the sponge so it was sitting in the middle of the sink FULL of water. Millie waited a full five minutes before getting up to do something else in the kitchen all so she could “happen” to see the sponge and just take care of that for me…
I am quite certain that I will be the same way…sigh
xo

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Jenny - Sugar Loco July 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

You’re not bad at all…it’s called NORMAL! Now go treat her to a cupcake for helping so much! (it’s like mind eraser for kids)

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Dannie July 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

well the no dog stance is pushing it……but we all have our things that earn us that title every so often.

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Kir July 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

I agree, that “way we clean up” mode is ingrained and there is nothing we can do about it. WHEEEE. Our kiddos will learn that they will also have their own way of doing things too…that doesn’t make us bad moms, just moms with OCD. ;)

and I try NOT to be on the computer at home, but I do ignore my children in the car while I read blogs, tweet, write in my notebooks etc…and I feel really really crappy about it lately. Again, doesn’t make us bad moms, just moms with NOT ENOUGH time. *Sigh*

there is NOTHING about you that is “WORST” …NOTHING.
xox

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Daria July 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Sounds SO familiar! I don’t think this makes you the worst mom ever…more like a normal one :)

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Andy July 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Hilary does the follow up cleaning to me! what does that mean?

I get the “you never play with me” line a lot too. They just know what buttons to push. The forget about the times that you do do stuff with them. And when I thought about it the other day, my parents never played with me! The idea that my mother would come outside to ride a bike with me or play tag made me giggle!

Kids today!

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Frenchie July 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm

No cell phones!!! Stand your ground! ;)

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Valerie Power July 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I shall just copy & paste my current FB status here (and I’ve changed my profile pic to the evil stepmother from Cinderella):

“Done with her Royal Highness’ nasty attitude, the Evil Mama gave options: You can wash ALL the dishes (2/3 of which are HERS to begin with) or from here forward Evil Mama will only wash, cook & clean Evil Mama’s things. Her Highness is now washing dishes (though the attitude has most definitely NOT improved).”

And, NO cell phones are permitted here, either!

PS: I could do better about #1, as well. :o( Though, there are days now when I feel like “there are SO many kids in this amazing neighborhood we live in who you could play with but you CHOOSE not to! Therefore, why should MAMA have to be the captive playmate?” Am I so wrong?

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a July 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I second the “normal mom” idea. None of us are perfect. #1 is me too. I can’t wait for the time when I have a problem with #2 (which I already restrain myself from doing to my husband. But seriously? You can’t see that stuff in the pan?) And #3 – well, you’ll break down on one or the other (or both) eventually.

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Gaby July 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm

So my five-year-old daughter goes through periods of prolific creativity at the rate of dozens of drawings a day. One day, I was fed up with all the loose paper in the house so I picked a few that were representative of her stage of drawing at the time and I threw the rest away (I kept quite a few, mind you). She opened the kitchen trash to throw something out and saw all her hard work inside of it. She turned to me, tears in her eyes and said: “how could you throw away the pictures I made for you today?” WORST MOM EVER. I’m with you, girl; we all have those.

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Barb July 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Item 3 – DEFINITELY agree.

The cleaning up after? As long as she doesn’t know, it’s ok. :) My Mom always did that, but while criticizing what we did and re-doing all of it as we watched. Then she wondered why we never wanted to help. What was the point of doing it twice?

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Baby Smiling In Back Seat July 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I reload the dishwasher every day, thanks to both my husband and the nanny. But I’d like to think that if it were one of my children (years from now, of course — right now they aren’t even allowed to touch one dish) I’d use it as a teachable moment to show what else needs to be done (no criticism, just hey here’s another step, I’ll do it this time but just so that you know all the steps). Someday Tessa will have her own apartment and she’ll need to know that after the counters have been cleaned, the crumbs can’t stay on the floor.

I’d also want to pick my battles. The consequence of not sweeping the floor is that bugs will come, which is not acceptable. The consequence of food in a pot is that some old food may make it into the next meal, which may or may not be acceptable. The consequence of the dishwasher could either be a bit of wasted water, which I don’t mind, or that some dishes don’t get cleaned properly, which I maybe wouldn’t mind with a kid but I do mind with my nanny and husband. Cuz hey, didn’t their moms teach them how to load a dishwasher? :)

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luna July 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I think you sound like a totally normal mom.

btw, if they really want to care for a dog, maybe they can volunteer to help out at a local shelter. all that poop ought to nip that in the bud.

…though baby J has been asking for a puppy and kitty for a while now, and she’s only 2.

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St. Elsewhere July 7, 2011 at 4:35 am

I loved BabySmiling’s comment.

I don’t know what to say…I would agree 100 percent with you on III, but I think that the first and second thing can be changed a bit.

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Catherine July 7, 2011 at 7:35 am

How fair and balanced of you to throw the bad side in. I think you sound perfectly normal and lovely. I feel guilty about computer time sometimes too.

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Quiet Dreams July 7, 2011 at 9:20 am

I read the “best mom” post several days ago and hadn’t commented, yet. So glad that you have those “best mom” moments to get you through the days when you feel like this. Kids are like a mirror, aren’t they–holding up to us so many things about ourselves that we can easily ignore (both good and bad).

For the record, I think you’re a pretty great mom, despite cleaning up after Tessa’s clean-up job, spending time on the computer, and not allowing dogs or cell phones. ;)

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shannon July 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I’m regularly on the “worst mom” list. I had a small triumph the other day, though. My husband and I have been seeing a family therapist to help us help the kids. We explained to our daughter what we were doing that we wanted to be better parents. She said, “but you already are good parents.” I think I’ll remember that one forever!

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andrea July 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I’m with you on number 3.
and number 2 is what I do to my husband – he never loads the dishwasher right.
and number 1 happens here some days too. it sucks.

hugs because you are awesome.

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Denver Laura July 11, 2011 at 9:47 am

Totally with you on the cell phone thing.

How about setting a timer for internet usage? I use it for my kids, so why not limit the internet usage during core hours (3p-9p or some other preset criteria). After the kids go to bed, you can stay on as long as you want.

For #2, Tessa does need some guidelines for cleaning. After she is made aware of them, if it isn’t exactly to your standards, you’ll just have to let go of some things. Maybe not all the time but every other time. Otherwise she’ll think that what she does is never good enough.

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Connie Weiss July 11, 2011 at 10:25 am

I have problems with that first one too.

M made up a song about me their other day that had lyrics about Mommy working on the computer and watching Young and The Restless.

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Hannah July 20, 2011 at 7:28 am

Just watch me parent, it will make you feel better. I promise.

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Sheri July 20, 2011 at 10:35 am

I tend to re-organize the dishes in the dishwasher whenever anyone else has so kindly loaded them in. My thought, “They just don’t understand the Zen of how to load this dishwasher efficiently.” Translated: No one can fit in as many dishes as I can because me and my dishwasher are ONE. :) Sick…but true!

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